"The Girl I Left Behind Me" a popular Colonial fife song sequenced by Barry Taylor

Short Glossary of Clothing Terms 1700-1776

  • BAG-WIG: wig with a bag in back, tied at nape with bow to hold in hair.
  • BODICE: tight-fitting corset-shaped waist.
  • CALASH: a large hood with hinged hoops of silk or transparent fabric.
  • CARACAO: close-fitting jacket with full skirt falling gracefully over a panniered gown.
  • CARDINAL: (early 1700s) hooded cloak of scarlet cloth, resembling the mozetta worn by cardinals.
  • CHESTERFIELD: men's single-breasted, fly-front coat with notched lapel and velvet collar; named for Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield.
  • CIRCA: (early 1700s) overdress which hung from shoulders, resembling a long, loose coat.
  • CLOAK: form-fitting outergarment.
  • CLOG: wooden sole fastened to shoe.
  • CLUB: wig having ends of hair turned under, sometimes referred to as a CATOGAN.
  • COATEE: small coat in fashion in 1757.
  • COCKADE: bow or knot of ribbon on one side of cap or hat, worn as both decoration and as a party distinction.
  • CONSIDERATIONS: small panniers.
  • CONTOUCHE: (early 1700s) overdress which hung from shoulders, resembling a long, loose coat.
  • CRAPAUD: same as bag-wig.
  • CRAVAT: neckcloth or neckerchief, at first of lawn folded and wrapped about the neck with colored ribbon used to tie the ends in place; later refined to one end overlapping the other.
  • DORMEUSE: fancy nightcap with ruffles and bows, framing the face.
  • ECHELLE: ladder-like decoration of braid, ribbons and bows which extend across the opening of the bodice.
  • FARTHINGALE: series of graduated-sized hoops attached by ribbons or ties to each other on a metal frame.
  • FICHU: 3-cornered lightweight scarf or shawl used to cover bosom; worn about the shoulders and tied at front with ends either hanging or tucked into bodice.
  • FULL-BOTTOMED WI : large wig extending over shoulders in both front and back.
  • GAITER: a covering for the ankle and instep, many times rising to the knees.
  • GALOCHE/GALOSH: protective overshoe worn during wet weather.
  • GREATCOAT: large overcoat with double or triple shoulder capes attached.
  • GYPSY HAT: sometimes worn over a cap, a large leghorn staw hat.
  • JABOT: neckwear which was knotted at the neck back, pinned at front with a double frill running down the front.
  • JACKBOOT: heavy large boot extending above the knee.
  • JOUY PRINT : cambric fabric from France.
  • JUSTAUCORPS: long-skirted, close-fitting coat.
  • MACARONI: basically a fop: usually a member of a London club dressed in extreme fashion - bobtailed coat and high wig topped by a tricorn (referenced to in song Yankee Doodle).
  • MANTELET: silk scarf or mantle with narrow front and wide back.
  • MISER: silk net purse with with a middle slit and moveable ring for keeping money at one end.
  • MOB CAP: cap with gathered ruffle around edge, later referred to as a dust cap.
  • MONTERO: a round fur cap with a turned up brim.
  • MULE: half slipper.
  • NIGHT GOWN: loose robe, originally an underdress, used for sleeping or as a dressing gown.
  • NIGHT-RAIL: shoulder cape of muslin or lace.
  • PANIERS A COUDES: paniers so wide the elbows rested on top.
  • PANIERS A GUERIDON: paniers made of large hopes fastened with tape.
  • PANNIER: basket-like framework of metal and ribbon/cloth ties in a worn under skirts to achieve fullness.
  • PANTOFFLE: half slipper.
  • PATCH: small patches made from black silk and adhesive and used as "beauty marks", usually circle or star-shaped.
  • PELERINE: short shoulder cape, usually worn with long ends hanging down the front.
  • PELISSE: knee-length fur cape with broad collar.
  • PEPLUM: short skirt of the bodice
  • PETTICOAT: underskirt.
  • PIGEON WINGS: bunches of hair which were curled careless over the ears.
  • PIGTAIL WIG: a wig with black hair wound with a ribbon and the ends left free or folded under.
  • POLONAISE: dress with a close-fitting body and full skirt looped up to form three vertical panels and festoons.
  • POMANDER: hollow ball of filigre filled with a sponge soaked in perfume, usually worn as a necklace or suspended from the waist.
  • POMPADOUR HAIRDRESS: hair combed away from the forehead with a few curls left at the side or back.
  • RAMILIE WIG: wig with a puff at the side and braid in back secured by two black ribbons at top and bottom.
  • RETICULE: small woman's bag.
  • ROBE A LA FRANCAISE: sack-like garment with a train and Watteau pleat in the back.
  • ROQUELAURE: large full overcoat with cape
  • SACK-BACKED DRESS: dress with loose back and pleats or folds extending from shoulders to waistline or lower.
  • SOLITAIRE: wide black ribbon worn around the neck and attached to tie on the wig.
  • SPATTERDASH: high leather legging.
  • STEINKIRK: a twisted cravat.
  • STOCK: close fitting wide neckcloth.
  • STOCKING PURSE : silk net purse with with a middle slit and moveable ring for keeping money at one end.
  • TIE WIG OR TIE PERIWIG: wig tied in the back with a ribbon.
  • TOUPET: synonym for a wig.
  • TRICORNE: a three-cornered hat
  • TURBAN: headress made of a thick roll of material, sometimes worn with a long trail hanging down the side.
  • WAISTCOAT: worn under all men's outer garments; front was made in fine material, many times adorned with embroidery, and back made in lining material.
  • WATTEAU PLEAT: Box pleat reaching from shoulders to hem at back of gown, fitted at front and sides.

Clothing Illustrations

See also our Georgian Section for more costume illustrations...

Interactive Clothing Illustrations

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Colonial Everyday Dress
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1743 Colonial Woman Spinning
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1743 British Redcoat General
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Wilderness Fur Trader
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All photos © 2002 Nancy Davis. All rights reserved.


Colonial Event Timeline to follow....


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