We all know the stories about the First Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims and we all recognize the attire worn by those early settlers like the Pilgrims. Today we’ll look at just how far fashion has come and been thankful no one (hopefully) shows up to Thanksgiving dinner dressed like this guy (see Left).
To start with, a Pilgrim man often wore a felt hat (with a buckle in some interpretations). The next easily noticeable accouterments is the Ruff. It looks much like the variations of ruffles and large white collars worn throughout history, mostly in paintings of royalty. This would get covered I gravy so fast, it wouldn’t be funny (OK, it would be) if worn today. Slightly less awkward and odd is the doublet cuffs. This is a fairly typical jacket of the time (also for quite some time before and after the Pilgrims) and it could be compared to a waistcoat or suit jacket. Some pilgrims also wore a vest and a long sleeved shirt if not the doublet. Further down the body, we find the Breeches, garters, stocking, and shoes . These breeches look silly by today’s standards but they obviously looked good to the Pilgrim women. While there are few comparisons between this style of pants and today’s modern suit pants, at least the color of the pants and jackets matched (with the shoes , too!), making the men look well put together. Today, men wear solid color jackets, shoes, and pants to the actual ankle, leaving the stockings to the women.
Suit and Tuxedo history…
While the history of the suit and tuxedo is long and convoluted, we can still see some similarities to the traditional pilgrim garb. Wearing a suit to Thanksgiving dinner will make you look and feel good, but it can also be a history lesson. Impress the friends and family (and in-laws) by comparing your suit pieces to the good ol’ fashioned Pilgrim attire.
Consider going in the traditional Native American Thanksgiving Suit this year
If you don’t want to go the suit route (because gravy on your best suit, tie, or shirt is a definite no-go) then consider dressing closer to a traditional Native American the Pilgrims may have contacted (see Right). Replace the deerskin mantle with a suede shirt or jacke