I have already covered this above Gus. The so called hunting shirt of the Revolution period is NOT the same as the frock, & the frock was worn by a variety of people in various trades/jobs.With respect, that depends on what persona one is portraying.
Please understand I don’t dispute the use of the Farmer’s/Waggoneers/Carter’s Smock/Frock as having been in wide use in the period, but the term “Hunting Shirt” denoted a difference between it and those other garments.
Neil Hurst mentions the first extant written documentation of the term “Hunting Shirt.”
“During the early years of the hunting shirt, the garment remained highly regional, blocked from the east by the Blue Ridge Mountains. Recorded in a will book from Augusta County at the death of one man named John Smith established the first written reference of the term hunting shirt in the eighteenth-century. At the death of Smith in 1759 without a will or heirs, the county clerk recorded an inventory of Smith’s possessions in order to pay his debts. The small inventory received an appraisal of twenty pounds, with his horse as the single most expensive item. Clothing constituted the majority of the recorded items and these garments included a jacket, coat, leather britches, leggings, shirts, and most importantly a hunting shirt. The will also listed a credit of thirty-one shillings owed to the estate from Captain William Preston.”
Note: I added the emboldening and underlining to the quote above:
Now considering a County Clerk used the term in 1759, it must have been a common and well-established term at that time and demonstrates the term was in common use in the FIW period, where such garments were actually worn.
I believe one of the main differences between a “Hunting Shirt” and the Farmer’s/Waggoneers/Carter’s Smock/Frock was the Hunting Shirt was “open before” or IOW had a split front, which clearly differentiates it from most (if not all) period engravings/paintings of the other kinds of smocks/frocks from European Sources.
So the question then is, “Why was the Hunting Shirt commonly made “open before” or had a split front?” I suggest the answer is rather simple, unlike the Europeans commonly depicted, American Frontiersmen commonly rode horses. The Farmer’s/Waggoneers/Carter’s Smocks/Frocks usually depicted would be impractical to downright impossible to wear on horseback, with the exception of the short French Smock illustrated above. However, that smock is much too short to fit the period accounts of how far down the leg/thigh that Hunting Shirts normally were in length.
"This no doubt must be referring to the revolutionary period short hunting frock, which was never an undergarment, & therefore never a shirt in the true sense of the word".