A question of pants

Discussion in 'Clothing' started by Daryl Crawford, Nov 14, 2019.

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  1. Nov 14, 2019 #1

    Daryl Crawford

    Daryl Crawford

    Daryl Crawford

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    All,
    I don't have a persona or anything like that (though I do volunteer work for the National Museum of Civil War Medicine and dress as either a Union or Confederate surgeon at times for that). My question is, if I were to portray anything, even just at shoots or Rendezvous, I would expect something between F&I War and early nation (1800). I'm no fan of knee breeches, so are there any acceptable pants that fit into these decades?
    Thanks, from a PC novice.
     
  2. Nov 14, 2019 #2

    NW Territory Woodsman

    NW Territory Woodsman

    NW Territory Woodsman

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    Who, when and where??? Those are the questions you should ask yourself first. Mid 18th century to early 19th century are nothing alike in clothing.
    Also I believe rendevouse today accept 1660s-1840.

    One of the most forgiveable and long streching pants would be a simple ankle length narrow fall trousers, I belive they might also be called rifleman overalls. Worn by the poorer working class of the second half of the 18th century, then more common to the late 1830s.

    Pick your location, time period, and persona and then you can decide on fabrics and color.
    Example: cotton was expensive in the 18th century and was usually only seen on people of wealth, certain dyes were hard to come by, making them more expensive. For pre 1800, use wool or linen. Wool for cooler weather and linen for warmer weather.

    Or you could try the clout 'N' leggings, but I advise againt it, youd have to be raised wearing the breechclout to find it comfortable.

    There are others here way more knowledgeable than me,

    Hopes this (somewhat) answers your question
    NWT Woodsman
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
  3. Nov 15, 2019 #3

    Daryl Crawford

    Daryl Crawford

    Daryl Crawford

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    I appreciate it. I figured if I was to go to a rendezvous I should dress the part, if it is expected. I'll look at the trousers.
     
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  4. Nov 15, 2019 #4

    Grenadier1758

    Grenadier1758

    Grenadier1758

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    If you want some ready made trowsers, then visit Jas. Townsends' web site and catalog. He offers several choices.
    https://www.townsends.us/collections/mens-clothing?page=2

    As a visitor, proper period clothing is not necessary. Find an event, which in Pennsylvania, shouldn't be too difficult. There will be vendors at rendezvous or trade fair with everything you should need. Trade blankets are a great source of period clothing.
     
  5. Nov 15, 2019 #5

    NW Territory Woodsman

    NW Territory Woodsman

    NW Territory Woodsman

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    Also, if you do get some trousers, stay away from cotton if your going to be doing any work or trekking in them. Remember, what makes cotton excelent at being an absorbing bath towel, makes them awful for clothing. Since your in PA, and being this time of year, I sugest wool. Wool retains warmth while wet, and wicks away mosture.
    NWT Woodsman
     
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  6. Nov 15, 2019 #6

    Brokennock

    Brokennock

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    I have to agree on the wool. If one can find clothing in light enough weight wool it is pretty comfortable into warmer weather. It also handles many of the conditions and hazards we encounter in this hobby better than plant fiber clothing. Sparks, twigs, thorns, the occasional lick by open flame, you are much safer in wool. The biggest disadvantage, due to our modern mindset, is cleaning. But, with the way most of our period clothing is constructed I think it doesn't matter as one will probably be handwashing these garments regardless of material used.
     
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  7. Nov 15, 2019 #7

    Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave

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    I've worn wool trousers and wool leggings, and wool breeches with long stockings.... trust me lad if you're not busting brush and needing protections from the thorns, you WILL be happier in linen canvas than in wool trousers at a rondezvous event in hot weather. I know the heat and humidity of Frederick County Maryland as you do since you volunteer at that venue...I'm only about a half hour away from that museum. It's worse in Colonial Williamsburg in July, which I've also done. ;)

    LD
     
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  8. Nov 15, 2019 #8

    tenngun

    tenngun

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    Narrow fall breeches and trousers went out of style about 1820. Button fly were common at the WTBS time. Broad fall was common in much of the nineteenth century.
    French fly was common in middle eighteenth century but considered ugly. Long vest were worn to cover up ‘unsightly’closures.
    Trousers were seen early but mostly later eighteenth century.
    Narrow fall trouser will match most outfits in rendezvous times.
    I’m happy with every thing Townsend, but I found his linen trousers to light and tore quickly, after a few events they were more patches then pants.
    I have cotton narrowfalls that I’ve only had to repair the gusset.
    On my broad falls I find suspenders very uncomfortable and gusseted those.
     
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  9. Nov 16, 2019 #9

    DaveC

    DaveC

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    Yes, the "french fly" button closure at the front was popular through much of the 1700s, since it was covered by the long waistcoats that were then in vogue. Once the waistcoat fell just a bit bellow the waist, the french fly was visible and thought scandalous and unsightly. Of course tailors probably promoted that idea, so they could make and sell more britches. Enter the fall front breeches, and yes, even "overall" trowsers. I've got some 1812-era gray wool uniform narrow fall trowsers that while very, very high waisted are very comfortable too. I also have the sail cloth canvas broad-fall trousers for use in 1830s living history events in Texas, and these are much, much more comfortable in the heat and humidity, although they are stained and quite well-used. The U.S. army authorized a white sail-cloth fatigue jacket and trousers for wear south of the Potomac River/ PA-MD "Mason-Dixon" line, and it would seem that these were authorized in Illinois at the time of the Black-Hawk War. But Mexican War re-enactors will insist on sky blue kersey wool jackets and trousers even if they obviously were not worn in the extreme heat of South Texas and old México... :rolleyes:
     
  10. Nov 17, 2019 #10

    spudnut

    spudnut

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    I have a pair of trousers from the gentlemans emporium ,they carry lat 19th century, more cowboy era. But Its hard and very expencive to find 18th century clothes in my size , and being on a tight budget these work for me, I wear a long shirt so noone but me knows my biz.leggins dont work on my buld either , so unless I dont participate at all this is about my only way to go, and they wear like iron.
     
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  11. Nov 18, 2019 #11

    Stophel

    Stophel

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    I find breeches to be VASTLY SUPERIOR to trousers of any kind... IF the breeches are made correctly. Problem is, almost none of them are. They're all sternum-high horrible things, while breeches (and trousers, which were the same thing but with long legs) prior to the 1790's would have a high rise in the back, and a LOW rise in the front, and they hang on the hips very nicely. Not above them, not below them. No belt or suspenders required.

    There's nothing at all particularly "French" about fly fronts. Everyone wore them. They were even worn long after fall front breeches became fashionable. Fall fronts originated in SE Germany/Austria and were definitely in use by the early 1730's. The English seem to have begun to adopt them sometime in the 1760's, maybe a bit earlier.

    The best I have found are the fly front breeches from Cobb Creek. They're not quite so ridiculously high rise in the front.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
  12. Nov 19, 2019 #12

    DaveC

    DaveC

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    SE Germany/ Austria: Strangely, the fall-front style were called by the French "bavarois" or "Bavarian style" like the Oktoberfest lederhosen!

    It is true that the knee breeches often went pretty high in the back and down to speedo territory in the front. Later, of course, everything went high-waisted to the navel.
     
  13. Nov 19, 2019 #13

    steam1993

    steam1993

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    I try to stick to a kilt, but have to wear pants around our groups cannons, when on the line, because of insurance. I just put on some grey light cotton scrubs, under the kilt.
     
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