Clothing Guidelines for the 2010 Event
The people we portray in living history deserve our best efforts. Remember, they can no longer speak for or
represent themselves. When done well, living history can be a unique way to honor them and restore a touch of
humanity to their memories.
The reputation of Minute Man National Historical Park, as well as every living history group participating in a
park event, depends upon everyone striving for and maintaining the highest possible degree of historical authenticity.
This includes authenticity in period dress and accoutrements, character role portrayals, and demonstrations.
The following guidelines were approved by The Battle Road Committee.
General Protocol (also listed in the Registration Packet)
- During living history programs/encampments at Minute Man National Historical Park, historical authenticity standards will be observed and in effect during hours when visitors are on the grounds: generally 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. unless otherwise stated.
- Participants are required to dress in as authentic and appropriate manner of clothing for the 1770’s period for Eastern Massachusetts as is proper and possible. Western frontier and native dress are not acceptable; this includes hunting shirts with fringe, beads, and a general “buckskin” or Native American appearance.
- No anachronisms such as: cameras, cell phones, cigarettes, plastic items, wrist watches, modern jewelry, sleeping bags, coolers, non-period glasses or sunglasses, etc., will be used in sight of any visitor during hours of operation. (Because of the expense of period glasses, modern glasses will be accepted if not too obvious [wire frames only].)
- For safety and authenticity purposes clothing must be of natural fiber such as wool, linen or cotton. Polyester, nylon, velcro, or other synthetic fabric presents a safety hazard and may not be worn.
- Any modern accoutrements such as company pins, logos, nameplates or any other paraphernalia are not authentic to the period may not be worn.
- Bales of straw (provided for bedding) will be opened and spread out. Full bales are out of period, especially when tied with brightly colored nylon cord.
- Frock coat or workman’s jacket is required for all military impressions: of wool, linen (flax or hemp), or cotton (or silk if appropriate to the overall impression). Soldiers may not turn out in their waistcoats and shirtsleeves.
- Likewise, farmers smocks will not be allowed this year. Militia/minute companies may not take the field in matching coats, or uniforms of any kind. Leather coats and frontier/rifle/hunting shirts (the garment with the cape and the fringe) are not acceptable.
- Shirt and neckwear: long, full sleeved, closed neck with stock, cravat, or neck cloth: Linen, cotton, wool in white, natural, or checked. Laced-trimmed jabots and ruffled stocks sold by several sutlers are not acceptable.
- Waistcoat: wool, linen, cotton (or silk if...). Necessary with frock coat, optional with buttoned workman’s jacket.
- Breeches: wool, linen, leather, or cotton (or silk if...). Trousers are acceptable as part of a lower class impression. Fringed suede frontier-style trousers are not acceptable.
- Stockings: over the knee, wool, cotton or linen (or silk if...), white or colors, held up with leather or cloth tape garters. Athletic socks are not allowed, nor are horizontally striped stockings.
- Shoes: period-style leather shoes with buckles or 2 hole lace up, black or brown (appropriate modern leather shoes may be worn if covered with gaiters)
- Gaiters: Farmer’s half boots or half gaiters of dark brown or black wool, or linen canvas may be worn over period style shoes. Knee length F&I or Rev. War style gaiters are not appropriate for wear at Battle Road.
- Hat: Must be worn out of doors. Cocked hat (civilian or military, depending upon your particular impression,) uncocked hat, knitted cap, workman’s cap.
- Sleeved outer garment: such as gown, jacket, caraco, bed gown, or riding habit of wool, linen, or cotton (or silk if appropriate to the overall impression). Because of the difficulty of obtaining period-appropriate prints, it is recommended that you avoid prints unless you have studied them in detail or can find exact replicas (such as Williamsburg replicas though not all their offerings are authentic); paisleys, cabbage roses, and 19th century calicoes are not correct. The sleeveless so-called “French bodice” and “English bodice” are not acceptable. A sleeved outer garment is required.
- Petticoats: recommended 2.5-3 yards in circumference, longer than mid-calf; high-ankle/low-calf suggested. At least one petticoat with full-length gown; otherwise at least two. See above concerning prints. Print petticoats are only acceptable if worn with a gown or jacket of the same fabric.
- Shift: low necked, sleeves reaching slightly below elbow. Linen, cotton, or wool in white or natural.
- Stays or Jumps: highly recommended. If wearing a fitted garment like gown, caraco or jacket, stays or jumps are necessary.
- Neck handkerchief: recommended. Triangle or folded square of linen, cotton, or wool (or silk...) in white, natural, solid color, or small checks, stripes or period block print.
- Apron: Wool, linen, or cotton (or silk if...) in solid color or small checks or stripes. No eyelet or bibbed aprons.
- Stockings: over the knee, linen, wool, silk, or cotton, white or colors, held up with leather or cloth tape garters. Athletic socks are not allowed. (As stockings do not show above low calf at most, plain modern knee socks are acceptable and garters are optional.)
- Shoes: Period-style leather or cloth shoes with buckles or 1 hole lace up, black or brown (appropriate modern leather shoes may be worn if petticoats reach ankles or lower).
- Cap: White linen or organdy. Acceptable cap styles are too numerous to list here, but “mobcaps” (a single circle of cloth gathered with a casing and/or elastic to form a ruffle) are not acceptable. Note that a plain cap with front band and gathered back is the simplest to make. A cap or hat is required except for fine ladies with dressed hair. No eyelet.
- Hat: Low-crowned women’s style in straw, or felt, plain or covered; or bonnet. A cap or hat is required except for fine ladies. Hats typically were simply decorated; flowers, and feathers should be avoided, unless doing a gentry interpretation.
- Hair: Either long, pulled back from the face, and put up, or hidden with a cap. Long or thick bangs should be pulled back off the face. Obviously-dyed hair (a color not naturally occurring in hair) should be well-covered by a cap.
- Make-up: If worn at all, should not be noticeable.
- Cold weather gear: Optional. Period-pattern cloaks, mantles, tippets, hoods, etc. Wool kerchiefs. Woven or knitted wool, linen, or cotton (or silk...) mitts, mittens, or gloves. Wool and/or fur muffs.
- About lace: Eyelet and tatting are not authentic to the period. Crochet is not acceptable in any form (lace, shawls, etc.). Machine-made lace is acceptable if it is in imitation of period-style lace.
- Babes in arms: Shirt or shift, and cap, of linen, cotton, or wool, in white. A frock and petticoat are optional but preferred. Shoes and stockings optional. If plastic diapers are used, cover with a cloth.
- Young children: (unbreeched boys from toddlers through age 3 to 7 and girls from toddlers through early puberty) shift of linen, cotton, or wool, in white or natural with a child’s frock (back closing for either gender / front closing for boys only) and petticoat. Cap and / or hat for girls (optional but preferred), workman’s cap or uncocked or single cocked hat for boys (optional). Stockings, as for women. Period-style shoes; due to the expense of children’s shoes, any black or brown leather lace-up modern shoes are also acceptable. Shoes and stockings are optional but strongly recommended.
- Haversacks were military camp equipage for carrying rations. Thus, they are not appropriate for civilian and militia impressions. Knapsacks, snapsacks, and market wallets are recommended as are the use of your pockets.
- Women may carry baskets, market baskets and workbags. Baskets should be made of wood splint or willow,; metal parts are discouraged. Also use of pockets is strongly encouraged.
We ask your strong, mutual and enthusiatic cooperation in achieving the aim of an authentic impression for the public.