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  • Betsy Bashore
    Bob- I think Richard answered the quesiton of dress colour a couple of days ago. This being a subject of interest to me, I will reinterate his reply. Fabric
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 2, 1999
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      Bob-

      I think Richard answered the quesiton of dress colour a couple of days ago.
      This being a subject of interest to me, I will reinterate his reply.
      Fabric and dress colours, on the frontier or in the city, were as diverse in
      1812 (or 1750) as they are in 1999-- perhaps except for day glo, though some
      dye baths came close. My usual instructions to individuals choosing civillian
      clothing is to examine their personal tastes-- are you conservative, muted in
      dress or fashinable and flamboyant? Personal taste dictated the style of dress
      in the same manner in the early 19th century. Though we only have a small
      cross section of society's clothes to examine, persons (even those of wealth)
      wore garments of bright hues and fashionable cut as well as conservative
      garments of drab colours and utilitarian fabric-- depending on the location of
      their residence, the activity for which the garment was made, and their age
      and station. Newlywed women often had conservative work clothes in their
      stores and women of wealth and finery (and of advanced age) would sometines
      wear more avant guarde styles. No concrete answer exists as to the types of
      colors available or the range of styles-- ethnic dress tends to be more
      colourful, but this also is not a rule.

      My favorite exaples of colourful clothing come from native dress-- while
      modern mentality suggests that one would want to blend with the woods, natives
      adorned themselves in bright colours and (rather loud) bells to draw attention
      to themselves in an otherwise chromatically challenged landscape.

      Civillian dress is proboable the most difficult to reproduce effectively. The
      nuances of uniforming are often apparent in extant examples, portraits, and
      regulations. The variability of common or middlin' dress precludes any
      simplistic rule of construction. And the trinkets and adornements (even the
      wide array of fasteners) often exceeds available resources and skills.

      The greatest barriers to relistic civillian attire, in my estimation, include:
      -inappropriate fabric choices
      -inappropriate foundation garments
      -incorrect fit or patterned garments
      -inappropriate attire for station or activity
      -and incomplete attire (missing the integral every day pieces of clothing that
      would complete a civillian's outfit-- wallet, cap, waistcoat, stockings, good
      shoes, pockets (the early 19th century variety))

      My original vein was in regards to legislating appropriate uniforms through
      the U.G.. As a female in line, I often regret the lack of attention many fine
      military units pay to the civillians (particularly women) in their complement.


      Betsy
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