Trek Clothing

Dressing in pioneer clothing can have a tremendous impact on the spirit of the trek!  This takes them out of the everyday world. The following information is to help you properly prepare your clothing needs for trek.

Men’s Clothing:

  • Shirts: Men’s shirts were worn loose.  Plain colors were common, but stripes or plaids were also used.  Light colors will be coolest. Choose something larger than a regular fit, with LONG sleeves.  You may find an old shirt from your grandpa’s or dad’s closet. Maybe even your own closet! To make it look more like a pioneer, a simple method of trimming/cutting the collar and picking the pocket off with a seam ripper can be shown to you. (view sample shirts on website)
  • Pants: Pants were also worn loose.  Cotton pants work great. Colors can include blue, black, gray, browns, especially beige and tan.  Choose rather loose fitting through the crotch and thigh area to add comfort in walking. As a reminder, no jeans are to be worn.
  • Hats:  Men’s everyday hats ranged from pilot caps, straw hats, wide brimmed low felt hats, or round crowned hat.  Don’t wear a baseball hat.  A hat is strongly encouraged to avoid sunburn
  • Ties and Suspenders: (OPTIONAL) If desired, ties were worn on Sunday or when attending a meeting or social event.  Ties were small, black and silky. Wrapped around the neck and tied in the front with a square knot.
  • Vests: (OPTIONAL) If desired, thrift stores (or grandpa’s closet!) are a great option to find a vest.  Vests can also be sewn.

***Most every clothing item on the men’s clothing list can be found at a second hand store, borrowed, or right out of their own closet.

Women’s Clothing:

  • Dresses:  Back then, women wore floor length dresses, some with ruffles.  The sleeves were full, and long, with buttons or bands at the wrist.  Necklines were usually high, with buttons up the front. Fabrics were cotton in solid colors or small print.

***Experienced pioneer trekkers today have found that dresses or skirts should be mid-calf to just above ankle in length.  This helps the women to not trip over their skirts while pulling.

  • Skirt & Blouse: Long skirts & Blouses were also worn by pioneers.  Solid or print fabric skirts can be sewn for a very low price.  Blouses of all colors can be found at any second hand store (or even in your own closet!).  A simple method of cutting the collar off will make any blouse a pioneer style. 

(view website for sample images of skirt and blouse)

***We have found the easiest and most cost effective way to prepare is to make a skirt verses a dress.  Either are acceptable. A skirt, apron and bonnet could be sewn for under $12.

  • Spandex shorts / Exercise leggings:  Should be worn under your dress.  This will help avoid chafing. Bloomers were worn in the pioneer days.  Modern trekkers have found severe chafing occurs when wearing bloomers.  

If interested in sewing a dress, skirt, bonnet or apron, pattern options are attached.

  • Aprons are strongly encouraged: The standard apron was six to twelve inches shorter than the skirt length.  It gathered at the waist and tied. Daytime aprons were made of calico remnants.  Sunday aprons were made from white fabric and did not have a bib.

For trekking today, large deep pockets are helpful to be able to carry different by along the trail. An apron can be made out of a pillowcase (see website for picture of pillowcase apron) or there are patterns available. If interested, please contact a member of the clothing committee.  Here’s a pattern you can use: http://handcart-trek.org/patterns/Aprons.pdf

  • Bonnets: Women wore bonnets whenever they were outside.  They were made of cotton with a deep stiffened brim and back ruffle to protect the neck.  They could be white, plain colors or a print, but they never matched the fabric of the dress.  Today, bonnets are important, they need to have something they will wear to protect them from the sun. If windy, bonnets are helpful because they are secure.  A straw hat may also be worn.

Bonnet Patterns (PDF-243KB) 

All Trekkers

  • Shoes: Comfort is most important!  All trekkers should bring well broken-in shoes.  Do not wear hiking boots unless you have taken at least 2 months to break them in.  Don’t wear flip flops or any open toed shoe.

Clothing Patterns

Simplicity: www.simplicity.com

Women’s Simplicity Patterns: https://www.simplicity.com/simplicity-storefront-catalog/patterns/costumes/simplicity-pattern-3723-misses-costume-dresses/

McCall’s: www.mccallpattern.com

Women’s McCall Patterns: https://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m7220

https://mccallpattern.mccall.com/product-search?ref=7230

The Historical Pattern Company: www.pastpatterns.com/1830.html

Various men’s and women’s patterns are shown on this website.

***If you want to buy custom made high quality authentic pioneer clothes, visit: https://whiteelegance.com/dress-bonnet-2-piece-4607/  Very extensive & expensive selection. 

Mormon Handicraftalso has some pioneer clothes you can buy (a little cheaper than calicoannie.net) https://deseretbook.com/t/clothing/trek-clothing?ref=pioneer-trek-clothing

Bonnet and Apron: This website has a bonnet and apron for $12.00 each  http://www.etsy.com/shop/williamscreek

Etsy Store: https://www.oldfashionedclothing.com

*** For additional information:  http://handcart-trek.org/clothing.html

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Pillowcase Apron Tutorial

Easy Apron

Church Clothing Patterns