Many members here have or adapt clothing items to feel more appropriate to the era of the music we play than our usual modern duds.
Where'd you get that great hat?? (shirt...shoes...eyeglasses...skirt...jacket...pants...)
I'm hoping this thread can be used by members to post pictures of some apparel item ...to ask/share info on where they got that item, or how they made or adapted it, etc. Some folks have been pretty clever in putting together outfits that may not be perfectly authentic for strict re-enactments, but that give a good overall feeling for the time period of minstrel and early banjo.
Share your tips, sources, questions, clever solutions on obtaining/making/adapting particular items to wear...maybe we can help each other! Photos help.
(It would be good to refer to just one item at a time and not whole outfits.)
Probably my best makeshift period accessory is my straw top hat:
…it did not come from Dirty Billy or any Civil War sutler, but from an Amish hatmaker. Three times a year in Massachusetts is the Brimfield antique show, an *enormous* antique fair/flea market - like, dozens of acres of antique dealers. One of the dealers there has a few antiques, but mostly sells wide-brimmed, flat crowned straw hats like the one Dave is wearing above. (great for keeping the sun off while wandering around all the big open fields.) He buys them from an Amish woman (or possibly Mennonite? She does use a hand-powered machine to make the hats, I'm not sure where that falls on the allowed technological spectrum) and sells them at a very reasonable price... I think I paid $20 for one 6 or 7 years ago. Knowing that he had a direct line to the manufacturer got me thinking, and the next time I was there I asked him if his supplier would be able to make one of her hats with a double-tall crown... he thought for a second, shrugged, and said "I'm pretty sure she would. I'd have to charge you maybe an extra $10, though." $30 for a straight-crowned straw top hat? Sold! It took another year to catch up with him again, but the hat is just perfect. I hadn't said anything about the size of the brim, so I wound up carefully ripping the seam and unwinding a couple of inches' radius, but that was no big deal.
(Edited to keep it to a single item.)
Cool, Mark! But your link has too many prefixes. Try this link instead:
Hey thanks- there's one for ladies there too!:
Courtesy of the Hardtacks' website, a few sources:
Richard that's great!
Google "French workers jacket" for a version of a French sack coat. Looks very 19th century, although the French blue is a little different from natural indigo. Here's an example I pulled off the web:
Here's another example, from an outfitter in Seattle:
The vest and shirt are from Wild West Mercantile.The pants,are modern. Finding clothing in larger sizes has been a problem so I have made a few of my own. Not knowing how to sew made this a slow process with a fair amount of seam rippng necessary. Pats Patches in NE Oho made me some pants, but she specializes in colonial era and doesn't make later period clothing. She did do a very good job with them. Colonial works for mid 18th to early19th century, but may be a bit too early for minstrel era or later. Probably workable, if you aren't being judged for period correctness.
The hat, vest and shirt are from Wild West Mercantile. Finding clothing in larger sizes has been a problem so I have made a few of my own. (Cover myself with cloth, cut off whatever isn't a shirt or pants, and sew where needed.) Not knowing how to sew made this a slow process with a fair amount of seam rippng necessary. I did use my grandmothers old treadle model Snger sewing machine. Pats Patches in NE Oho made me some pants, but she specializes in colonial era and doesn't make later period clothing. She did do a very good job with them. Colonial works for mid 18th to early19th century, but may be a bit too early for minstrel era or later. Probably workable, if you aren't being judged for period correctness.