Historical Clothing – Colonial American Women

Ancient American women’s clothing was designed with great care, mostly by women on their own. Just like today’s American women, clothes worn by early American women depending entirely on what they could afford. Wardrobes of colonial American women predominantly featured petticoats, stomachers, stays and silk shoes.

Commonly worn everyday clothes, baby clothes, underclothes and any other garment that did not require expert stitching were tailored at home. Women, who were expert tailors stitched, sewed and embellished their garments with precision to look elegant and charming at all times. Others took the help of professionals such as seamstresses, milliners and tailors for their exclusive clothing requirements.

Affluent women purchased imported clothing sold in bigger towns or got their costumes custom made with expert tailors. American women were kept duly informed and updated on the latest prevalent fashion trends around Europe, especially in Paris through dolls dresses that were made in latest designs and displayed in stores.

Interestingly, most women in colonial America did not believe in owning more than three or four outfits. An average woman during the 1700s hand sewed their clothes that were made mostly of linen or wool. Clothing styles during those times dictated that their knees and elbows are well covered.

Women those days were also not too fussy about infection, dirt and germs and there was no awareness among them that related lack of cleanliness to diseases. Clothes were therefore not washed very frequently. Certain pieces of garments like gowns that did not come into contact with the skin were, in fact, never washed.

Bed gowns worn by colonial American women were large and loose fitting focusing more on comfort. These gowns did not have a waist seam and opened in the front. From the bodice, the skirts extended full length. Women who went out for work wore woolen or linen clothes. Many also opted for the low grade silk clothes and onsnaburg, a type of linen that was unbleached and inexpensive.

Affluent women who dressed in the latest fashion wore good quality silk gowns. These gowns came with stomachers that could be removed. Stomachers are triangular panels that came with tabs. These were attached to the stays or bodice with the help of pins. Stomachers were enhanced with attractive designs such as a ship, dove or a house and were positioned between the breasts and below the waist.

Silk gowns were usually complemented with a silk petticoat. Colonial American women also wore two under-petticoats under the petticoat apart from bone stay pairs and pockets.

Pockets which were nothing but big bags that were tied around the waist were usually sewn to the right of the bottom petticoat. Women could reach the pocket with ease through the slits provided in the petticoats that covered the pockets.

White linen shift was the garment worn closest to the body. These shifts were knee length, had a scooped neckline and featured sleeves that extended to the elbows. Colonial American women loved to wear elegant and attractive silk shoes that were heavily brocaded over their knit stockings.

Stays were worn on an everyday basis by the affluent as well as the middle class working women. Interestingly, even small children and babies were found to wear stays that were thought to improve posture. Stays were usually made of affordable leather or the more expensive bone.

Hip Hop Women Fashion

Hip hop culture is the product of African-Americans incorporating a distinct taste of break-dance, music, graffiti art, beatbox and fashion. In a world that admits to the existence of a thin line that undervalues women and more so, black women, hip hop became their salvation. It has been their self expression, a face they wear with dominating and contagious vibrancy.

What has probably been the most catching with hip hop among the women is their fashion. Aside from the upbeat grooves of their dance, the soul stirring feel of their music, the passion of their graffiti writing and what more there is to the signature homie, the fashion is what really made them distinct. Oversized clothes, baggie jeans, bulky sneakers and flashy urban accessories are quite acceptable for men to wear. But these women fashion accessories has been embraced due to the unique look and hot and sexy appearance it brings.

Hip hop women clothing accessories are identified with a slick, relaxed manly style. The key to this women fashion accessory is not just the funky trainers or trucker caps nor to the hoodies or polo shirts that make them look masculine. It is always the attitude of wearing it. The urban accessories can only imitate a tough and rugged look but the feel of hip hop is how girls bring that impression.

Fashion for women has always been restricted to the prim and proper, the slim cuts, the somehow reserved, the cute, petite and even ranges to the complex, luxurious and extravagant. What hip hop women fashion accessories brought was a new way to present and express the manly them. It generally defies the common gentle and sophisticated nature of women clothing accessories and introduced a more nonchalant parade.

Urban accessories have also changed to fit the more sturdy appearance of women. What is probably the most popular among hip hop women clothing accessories are fitted caps which differ from the usual designs in baseball. It has no elastic or Velcro. They were meant to fit all sizes. Fashion also requires the right footwear which of this trend are sneakers with bright colors and intricate details. Old school foot gear is also preferable with its simple pattern and a sort of grubby look.

Bling-bling are so in with women fashion accessories. The flashy earrings ornament the head along with proud hairdo or a necessary hairpiece. Oversized pendants and elaborate jewelry also a must with women clothing accessories. Loosely fit large-faced watches are also a popular choice as well as the big sunglasses which have really caught on for a long time now.

Hip hop women fashion accessories are the pure impression of the African American culture. It is the shadow of the longing for impartiality. It does not hide under the guise of strength but brings out beauty through the sturdy attitude of the one wearing it. The fashion combined with the music, the dance and the art truly make up the hip hop women.