In Colonial America during the American Revolutionary War (1775 -1783), clothing was characterized by great diversity, as one would expect in a society ranging from royal governors and wealthy landowners to indentured servants and slaves. You could tell immediately a person’s social status. The upper-class kept abreast of the latest English fashions through imported garments, letters from England, news from travelers, and immigrating dressmakers or tailors. Surviving garments, portraits, and written records indicate that the affluent had occasion to dress up, and they were very elegant indeed.
The majority of average people dressed as plainly as possible, wearing domestic materials and saving wherever possible. Most of the clothing was sewn at home by hand. People only had two or three sets of clothing and they only bathed a few times a year. Women wore long dresses covered with an apron. They also wore mob caps which were pleated cloth bonnets with a ruffled brim. Young girls wore the same style of clothing as the women. Men wore breeches, stockings, a cotton shirt, a vest, and a tricorn hat. They also wore leather shoes. Boys wore the same style of clothing as the men.
The well-to-do Colonial family, Robert, Anne, and their daughter Sarah, aged nine, is shown wearing the clothing of the mid to late 18th century.