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and one pound seventeen shillings in pennies to pay for purchases in London by a captain who was to buy the goods himself or to send the order to some London merchant.
Such an account of purchases could easily be extended, but enough has been said to show the general character of the orders and the dependence of the colonial planter and his family on the captain or the English merchant for fit, style, and colord The suits, which were made as a rule in London by a special tailor or dressmaker who had the measures, could never be tried on or fitted beforehand nor could their suitability in the matter of color and style be determined with any degree of satisfaction. The English correspondents in their letters interspersed their comments on trade with frequent suggestions regarding dress and fashions, and one remarked, for example, that “the French heads are little wore, mostly English, the hoops very small, upper petticoats of but four yards, the gowns unlined.” These old country correspondents and the obliging captains must at times have indulged in some puzzling shopping expeditions in London. Orders for a hat, “genteel but not very gay,” and for hats and shoes for children of certain ages but with the material and shape unspecified
would call for the exercise of considerable discretion on a man's part,' and one is not surprised that complaints usually followed the receipt of the goods in America. Stockings were said to be too large, boots too small, hats too stiff or too soft or wrongly trimmed, leather rotten, and quality, colors, and patterns different from what was wanted. Only to those who frequented the colonial stores where pattern books sent from England were to be found was satisfaction guaranteed. Goods were often damaged on the voyage, and Beverley once wrote, “Goods received last spring damnified and (to cap the climax) have filled my house with cockroaches.”
* That men shopped in America as well as in England appears from the following letter sent by a New England minister to his betrothed one week before the wedding:
"I received a line from you by Mrs. Shepard with your request of purchasing a few small articles. I have bought 374 dozen of limes - and gauze for ruffles, but not plain. I asked Miss Polly Chase which was the most fashionable and best for Ladies ruffles and she told me that pink ruffled gauze was preferable, and as she is acquainted with such little feminine matters, I bought what she recommended, and hope it will please you. I have got no edging for trimming them because there is no need of it with such flowered gauze. I have got some narrow silk ribbon to trim your apron with, but I did not know whether it should be white or black, nor what kind of an Apron you were about to trim. But I hope I have got that which will be agreeable to your gauze, or whatever your apron is to be made of.” (Erom a MS in private hands.)
The colors worn by the men were often varied and bright. Cuyler of New York ordered a suit of superfine scarlet plush, with shalloon and all trimmings, a coat and vest of light blue hair plush with all trimmings, and fine shalloon suitable for each. One merchant wanted a claret-colored duffel, another a gay broadcloth coat, vest, and breeches, and still another two pieces of colored gingham for a summer suit. All clothes, even those which were fairly simple and worn by people of moderate means, were adorned with buttons made of brass and other metals, pearl, or cloth covered.
In addition to damask and silk stuffs, the women, wore calico and gingham printed in checks, patterns, and figures — dots, shells, or diamonds — which on one occasion Stephen Collins complained were too large and flaunting to suit the Philadelphia market. Sometimes a pattern was stamped on the cloth in London and was worked with crewel or floss in the colonies. Women's hats were made of silk or straw, their hoods of velvet or silk, and their stockings of silk thread, cotton, worsted, and even “plush.” Shoes were often very elaborate, with uppers of silk or damask, and those for girls were made of leather - calfskin, kid, or morocco — with silver laces and heels of wood covered
with silk. Gloves, which were worn from infancy to old age partly for reasons of fashion and partly to preserve the whiteness of the skin, were sometimes-imported and sometimes made by the local tailor, who like the blacksmith was a craftsman of many accomplishments.
As for miņor adornments, the ladies carried fans and wore girdles with buckles; but as a rule they possessed little jewelry except necklaces and a variety of finger rings either of plain gold or set with diamonds or rubies, and an occasional thumb ring. The men also wore rings, commonly bearing a seal of carnelian cut with the wearer's arms or some other device. Many of the mourning rings were realistically made with death's heads. As can be seen from the advertisements of the jewelers, the wearing of jewelry became much more common after 1750, earrings appeared, and even knee buckles and shoe buckles tended to become very ornate. 1 Underwear and lingerie in the modern sense were
almost unknown and, though "nightgowns” are mentioned, it is uncertain whether they were designed for sleeping purposes or, as is more likely, for dressing gowns or my lady's toilet. For outside wear for the men there were great coats; and for the women coats and mantillas, often scarlet SILK BROCADE DRESS, WITH SILVER LACE STOMACHER Worn by Mrs. Mary (Lynde) Oliver, of Salem, about 1765. In the
Essex Institute, Salem, Mass.
PORTRAIT OF ELIZABETH WENSLEY
Born in Plymouth, Mass., in 1641, showing the head-dress, stomacher, and puffed sleeves of the period of about 1660-1670. Painting in Pilgrim Hall, Plymouth, Mass.
WOOL BROCADE DRESS
Worn by Dorothy, granddaughter of Governor Leverett of Massachusetts, at her wedding in 1719, to Major John Denison, of Ipswich. In the Essex Institute, Salem, Mass.