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18 Century Fashion Styles of the Past Always Repeat

Banyan and Matching Waistcoat, 1750 This banyan and waistcoat were made with silk, linen, and cotton. The banyan is the article of clothing that is covering the waistcoat as it usually did. The banyan was worn as a comfortable article and when people wore them, they usually did not have a lot of clothes on underneath. The waistcoat matches the banyan and is sleeveless so it is hard to see, but these two articles were worn a lot together. The pleats on the banyan are suggestive that this one probably belonged to a woman according to the source.

Drawing of colonial woman, 1900 This is a drawing of a colonial woman that was drawn by Mahonri Mackintosh Young. This drawing depicts what a colonial woman would have worn in the colonial era. She has a dress on that extends down to almost touching the ground, and a hat to cover her head. The drawing was drawn in 1900.

Men’s Breeches, 18th century

This pair of men’s breeches is made out of silk satin. It originated in America and was donated by Miss Frances Fowler and Professor Harold North Fowler. These breeches have an inner waistband, front pockets, reinforcements at the knees, and a button above the knees. Breeches were worn by every man in the colonial period and styles like this one were worn on special occasions or by upper class people.


Colonial upper class suit, 1740-

This is a suit that was worn by an upper class gentleman based on the material it was made out of. This suit is made from silk, linen, metal, and cotton. The origin of this suit is Italian, but the styles of the colonists were inspired from people all around the world. The breeches are fitted and the sleeves on the coat are narrow which shows the creativity and conservatism of this time period. In addition to the breeches, this suit is complete with a jacket and waistcoat. Waistcoats like this one were a way for men of this time period to express their individuality and put different materials and designs in their waistcoats.

Silk, leather, and wooden shoes 1740-1750 These shoes are made from leather, silk, and wood. They are braided where the silk is used in the material of the shoe. This particular shoe would be fastened using a buckle. This pair of shoes came from England, but the style was worn in America during the colonial times.

Pair of shoe buckles, 1774-1780 This pair of shoe buckles was made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the 1700’s. The creator’s name is Richard Humphry’s and he made these buckles out of silver and steel. Buckles, like these, were used to fasten shoes together to keep them from coming off of a person’s foot. They were also used as a fashion accessory and could be made out of many different materials. Designs varied a lot on buckles from this time period and ranged in price so that all classes of people could afford them.

18th Century Fashion Museum  

This museum displays some of the fashion from the 18th century colonial time period.

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