Men,Children and Youth Clothing Standards
1. MOST civilian men should be portraying tradesmen, laborers and tenant or yeoman farmers. These men generally should be in sack coats, worn with a waistcoat (vests) and trousers, probably unmatched rather than a "suit of dittoes". In rarer situations, men may opt not to wear a waistcoat if appropriate to your impression as we do have peiod images to support this. Clothing should be in period materials appropriate to the garment type and your socioeconomic level -- e.g. wool, linen, or period blends such as jean cloth or linsey. Particularly suitable weaves for sack coats include broadcloth, cassimere, satinette and kersey.
2. A smaller percentage of frock coats would be acceptable, but again depending upon your impression. Overshirts, smocks, shop aprons and other "occupational" clothing is underrepresented and encouraged if appropriate to the situation.
3. Outerwear (men's shawls, capes or coats) is encouraged as it may be appropriate for your impression but must be of period construction and materials.
4. Buttons should be of period materials: shell, glass, china or bone buttons on shirts; bone or tin buttons on trowsers; 1851 patent hard rubber, cloth or "coin" type metal buttons on coats, depending on the coat type.
5. Shirts should be made of cotton, wool or appropriate blends such as jean and linsey-woolsy, in either woven checks or stripes, or appropriate cotton prints, or solid colors (e.g. white "boiled" shirts for Sunday or the wealthier). Make certain shirt tails are at least mid-thigh length to allow for tucking into period french cut drawers. Nuff said if you've worn them! Over shirts may be made of wool flannel.
6. Suspenders must be of correct construction (e.g. no "Y" backs) Neckwear must be of appropriate materials. If tied, it must be tied correctly. "Cheater" ties did exist in the era and documented styles of these are encouraged.
7. Socks should be period-appropriate and of cotton or wool. Correct underclothing is recommended and NO visible modern underwear is allowed.
8. Men's shirts, particularly white ("boiled) shirts were considered underwear in the era. Adult men should not appear in public in their shirtsleeves without either a waistcoat (vest) or over shirt / smock of some kind. Waistcoats should be of a period appropriate pattern, e.g. flat along the bottom rather than the later and modern pointed style, and made of a material appropriate to the era and to our economic class (e.g . no fancy silk brocades)
9. Period reproduction boots, bootees or shoes, of leather or homemade substitutes.
10. Properly blocked hats or period caps should be worn outdoors. No floppy "hillbilly hats".
11. Pocket watches are permitted if suitable to impression. No wristwatches. If needed, wear period eyeglasses or modern contact lenses.
12. Correct period hairstyles and facial hair (if worn).
13. PROHIBITED: Modern socks; fancy embroidered vests; modern eyeglasses or sunglasses; zippers; Velcro; plastic buttons; wristwatches; earrings; John Wayne-type bandannas (1880s!), synthetic fabrics.
Clothing: Adult Men
1. As noted for adults with modifications appropriate to age. For example: boat necklines, short sleeves, and calf length skirts are appropriate for girls (see women's standards). For pre-teen boys short trousers and shirtsleeves and waistcoats for older boys (see men's clothing standards above). Kepis are acceptable for boys (we have the supporting documentation for it) as long as they are NOT obviously military issue. If they already have a military kepi and coat they love to sell on sutler row, don't get rid of them, just dye them a dark gray or black and change out the buttons to something more appropriate.
Youth and Child Clothing Guidelines
One of our biggest pet peeves is that when it comes to dressing the children far too many give it only a half hearted effort. We see boys in particular attired in blaring white tennis shoes, blue jeans and suttler row kepis or completely dressed out like mini soldiers from head to toe. If they are not old enough or have a VALID reason to be on the battle field, they shoudn't be in a uniform! Little girls are all too often seen in synthetic trouser socks, zippered dresses or Mom's cast off modern skirts and blouses that have been cut down . It leaves the impression children are only an after thought instead of the valuable asset to living history that they really are.
WTC is of the opinion one should always take just as much care and pride in their children's impression as they do their own. Therefore, we require our children to be clothed to the same high standards as the adults. We do realize nevertheless that it can be very costly with them growing out of items every year and have established a hand-me-down program within our unit to help members defray some of this cost. Shoes for children are a big expense and are hard to find and we are therefore relaxed in this requirement a bit. Tennis shoes or thick soled shoes are NEVER acceptable, but an inexpensive "period looking" shoe with thin soles and laces is certainly good enough.
We realize WTC's standards are very high and therefore anticipate those new to us will require a reasonable amount of time to upgrade. Our core portrayal is lower, lower middle to working class rural which we then tailor to the specific event being portrayed. Our base document for these standards was developed by AGSAS for the McDowell event held in the eastern US. We however made slight modifications in some cases in order to better suit our current and most frequent venues and to reflect our research. Since we most often portray displaced lower class refugees given the limitations of our current ventues, we recommend you avoid fussy garments for your basic kit.