Hello, I’m Jemma. Brandy, one of the Doll Diaries team members, is my Mom. I did a speech for school on what Pilgrims really wore. My Mom liked the speech so much that she asked me to share it with the Doll Diaries readers. I was very surprised what I found out from my research!
This is not what a pilgrim would have looked like! Pilgrims did not wear black and white. Their clothes did not have square or pointed collars. They did not wear pointed hats. Pilgrims wore bright solid colors. Some colors they wore were: red, green beige, burgundy, blue, violet, as well as some brown and black.
Pilgrims did not wear buckled belts or shoes. Pilgrims were poor and buckles were expensive.
Here are inspiration pictures of what women and girl pilgrims would have worn. We know what pilgrims wore because of detailed documents found. When a person died an inventory was taken of their belongings in case there was an argument of who inherited which items. These lists were very specific, describing the color of the clothing items. For example: Mary Ring died in Plymouth in 1633. Her belongings included two violet waistcoats, three blue aprons, a red petticoat, a violet petticoat, blue stockings, and white stockings. She also owned gray, blue, and red cloth which was ready to make into clothing. Governor William Bradford died in 1657. He owned a green gown, a violet cloak, and a red waistcoat.
Pilgrim girls dressed like their mothers. Cloth came from England. They didn’t have looms in the new world for a while. They wore ankle length skirts in a solid color. Some dresses were full piece and others were a shirt and skirt in different colors.
Women and girls wore bonnets, called coifs, to keep their hair clean. They also wore aprons when working. Their aprons did not have a top part called a bib. Shirts were buttoned up the front. Shoes were a simple handmade shoe that laced up.
When women and girls worked outdoors they wore a thick floppy hat like the men. In the summer they wore a straw hat to shade them from the sun. Hats were worn over their bonnets.
On special occasions both men and women would wear a lace collar called a ruff and lace around their wrists called cuffs.
Here are inspiration pictures of what boy pilgrims would have worn. Boys dressed like their fathers. Their clothes were solid colors. Men and boys wore long sleeve shirts buttoned down the center or a loose blouse. Their pants were called breeches. Breeches were baggy. They had to wear a belt. Breeches were tied to the legs below the knees. Ties were called garters. Men and boys wore long socks called stockings. The shirt, breeches, and stockings could be all the same color or all different colors. They wore large felt floppy hats.
In the winter, both men and women pilgrims wore capes or baggy coats.
Here are a few pictures of me when I was practicing my speech. My dress and my doll’s dress were made by Carol, who owns Etsy shop, Sew Sew Carol: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SewSewCarol. Send Carol a message via her Etsy store if you are interested in a custom order. Thank you Miss Carol for letting me choose these colors! I love purple!
I can’t wait to see your pilgrim pictures!