Stanton, DelawareGeorge Washington's "General Staff Headquarters" on September 6, 1777. Here Generals Washington, Lafayette, Wayne, Maxwell, Sullivan, and Greene planned defense of Wilmington. House built circa 1750 by Samuel Hale. Owner 1776 -- Daniel Byrnes -- a miller and preacher. Restored by Delaware Society for Preservation of Antiquities. Donated to State in 1971.
A friend very kindly lent me a selection of period clothes to wear while I spun. I'm no purist, so I wasn't period-correct from the skin out. It was quite cold that day, and old houses are notorious for being marginally warmer than the outside temperature.
I'm putting aside what little vanity I have to show you, from the unmentionables out, what a woman might wear during the Revolutionary War. I did have serious thoughts about decapitating myself in these pictures but figured that looking wan and tired was also probably period-correct and so should stay.
Note, please, that any errors in description or naming are mine. My friend, K.B., who loaned me these clothes, is period-correct and knows everything ... I don't.
Here we have the shift. A woman wore this next to her skin -- no underwear, no bra. She might wear a corset or stays over her shift, but that's it. I chose not to go the period-correct route primarily because I knew there wouldn't be any "costume checkers," but also because it was pretty cold that day.
The dog is optional.
Remember the song in the musical 1776, when John Adams's wife asks him to remember "pins, John ... pins"? Well, this is one of the reasons why she wanted them. It would be pretty hard to get things done if your clothes were flapping open in the breeze.
So, that was my outfit. Underneath I wore black tights, a pair of SpecialEd's black socks, and a pair of black ankle boots. Everything worked out great.
So, the next time someone asks me if I'd be willing to come demonstrate spinning somewhere, I'll know what to wear for the Rev War era. If I don't need to dress in period-appropriate clothing, then I'm good to go.