Minute Man Living History Authenticity Standards: Boys

Infants Younger Than 10 Months, Babes in Arms, Non-walking

A baby this age, either gender, would be wearing shirt, clout (diaper), pilch (diaper cover), petticoat, cap, and robe, made according to patterns available at the link below, or something very similar.http://sharonburnston.com/baby_linen/index.html

Standard: These garments, made as above, hand or machine sewn. Also acceptable are modern diapers, diaper covers, and socks, so long as they are completely covered by the petticoat and robe.

Exceeds Standard: These garments, made as above, completely handsewn, made in white linen and/or fine white wool. The robe could be made in a documented cotton print.

Unacceptable: Any modern baby clothing or gear that can be seen.

To keep a child this age warm in cold weather, you will want to layer multiple petticoats, robes, and caps, and wrap the baby in blankets. The blankets should be white wool, or can be red wool, with no binding or trimming.

Standard: White or red wool blankets, with no binding or trimming. - or natural fiber blankets of any reasonable, period-appropriate color.
 

Toddler Boys, ages 10 months to 4 years

A boy in this age group would be wearing a shift, petticoat, robe, sash, and cap or hat, made according to patterns available here, or something similar. There is a good deal of variety to toddler boy clothing, and you are welcome to explore it, but please be prepared to document your choices. The garments you can make from the linked website below are merely one set of well documented options, and the minimum necessary for historical accuracy.http://sharonburnston.com/toddlerboys/index.html

The shift needs to be white linen. The petticoat and robe can be linen in white, unbleached natural, blue, brown, or a stripe of those colors, or they can be in wool in blue, brown, gray, mustard yellow, or red. The robe could also be in a documented cotton print. The sash should be in silk, in any coordinating solid color.

Standard:These items, as described above, hand or machine sewn.

Exceeds Standard: These items, as described above, completely handsewn.

Unacceptable: Any of these garments made from synthetics or other inappropriate fabrics. Any modern diapers, underwear, or other modern clothing that is visible. Boys under 4 years old in breeches.

Standard: Machine or hand constructed, appropriately styled shoes with period-style buckles on black or red leather uppers, worn with white cotton or woolen stockings. Or, simple Oxford-style black shoes, tied with ribbons (one hole each side) instead of laces, worn with black cotton or woolen tights or knee socks. Any simply-styled modern black leather shoes will be acceptable although we urge you to make some modifications as indicated below.

Exceeds Standard: Hand-constructed, appropriately styled shoes with period-style buckles on black or red leather uppers, worn with white cotton or woolen stockings. [Such shoes are commercially unavailable at the time of this writing.]

Unacceptable: Obviously modern shoes such as sneakers, lug soles, etc. Shoes that extend up the ankle. Dutch-style wooden clogs. Synthetic tights. Athletic socks. Tights or knee socks in any color but black or white.

The problem here is that at present, no supplier is offering child-sized 18th century reenactor shoes, neither handmade nor machine sewn. Therefore, there is no “best” option currently available, and “acceptable” standards must also be modified. There are some styles of modern children’s shoes that are passable and there are ways to adapt them to make them as passable as possible. For now, we refer you to Irina Huynh’s useful videos on how to do this.
https://youtu.be/vu3RaSXWc2k
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ipe6WDqoVmw&feature=player_embedded

Standard: Hand or machine-made child-size versions of hand-knitted wool “Monmouth” or Dutch sailor’s caps with small brim, commonly with some height and slouch to them, in solid natural wool colors or striped as seen in period images. Black felt hat, cocked or uncocked. Hand-stitched white or unbleached linen tube-construction caps tied at the top with a black silk ribbon, as described here:http://sharonburnston.com/toddlerboys/toddler_cap.html.Wearing no hat is also acceptable.

Exceeds Standard: Hand-made child-size versions of hand-knitted wool “Monmouth” or Dutch sailor’s caps with small brim, commonly with some height and slouch to them, in solid natural wool colors or striped as seen in period images. Black felt hat, cocked or uncocked. Hand-stitched white or unbleached linen tube-construction caps tied at the top with a black silk ribbon, as described here:
http://sharonburnston.com/toddlerboys/toddler_cap.html

Unacceptable: Unfinished (unshaped and unstyled) wool felt hat blanks worn as slouch hats. Straw hats. Hats with feathers, animal fur, and other trinkets tucked into them. Colored felt hats. Stocking caps. Modern knitted winter caps. Synthetic knitted caps. Fur caps/hats, sheepskin hats, modern hats or modern caps of any kind.

For colder weather, the best approach is to layer several of the robes. You may also add a woolen hat, woolen tights, and mitts or mittens.
 

Boys, ages 4 years to 14 years

Standard: hand or machine-stitched in white, natural, or checked linen, or wool flannel or cotton, with full sleeves gathered into narrow (~ ½ ” finished) cuffs. Checked linen was most commonly blue on a predominantly white ground (not the evenly balanced blue/white gingham check found in many shirts being sold). Shirt body is long (to lower thigh) and full. Cuffs close with sleeve buttons (side-by-side “cuff links”). Collar closes with one to three thread (Dorset) buttons. Collar closing with non-thread buttons, and cuffs closing with button and buttonhole is also acceptable. For most impressions, collar is pulled up high and worn snugly closed around neck although period images sometimes show boys with collar open. See “Neckwear” section for more details.

Exceeds Standard: hand-stitched linen, lightweight wool flannel otherwise as detailed above, except for the non-thread buttons and cuff buttons/buttonholes.

Unacceptable: Synthetic fabrics. Modern shirts.

Standard: For middling class boys, best is a hand or machine-hemmed WHITE linen, cotton, or silk handkerchief (square), or a black silk ribbon tied in a “shoestring” bow around the shirt collar. For the lower sorts, best is a COLORED and PATTERNED handkerchief (block-printed, yarn-dyed, resist-dyed), or no neckwear at all with the collar worn open (for boys of the lower sorts, this was probably the most common option).

Exceeds Standard: hand-hemmed handkerchiefs, otherwise as detailed above.

Unacceptable: Neckwear made from synthetic fabrics. Handkerchiefs with modern pattern motifs. Paisleys. Military horsehair, leather or other neck stocks. Lace-trimmed jabots, ruffled stocks.

For indepth information on neckwear, see this video with Ruth Hodges.

Standard: Hand-finished, round-blocked hats made of black wool or beaver felt, cut round, lined with linen, and left plain or cocked in appropriate non-military styles.
Or
Oval-blocked black hats, otherwise as detailed above.
Or
Machine- or hand-knitted wool “Monmouth” caps with small brim, commonly with some height and slouch to them, in solid natural wool colors or striped as seen in period images.
Or
White or unbleached linen tube-construction caps tied at the top with a black silk ribbon.
Or
Wearing no hat.

Unacceptable: Unfinished (unshaped and unstyled) wool felt hat blanks worn as slouch hats. Straw hats. Hats with feathers, pipes, money, animal fur and other trinkets tucked into them. Colored felt hats. Stocking caps. Modern knitted winter capts. Synthetic knitted caps. Fur caps/hats, sheepskin hats, modern hats or modern caps of any kind.

Standard: Hand or machine stitched (ideally hand-finished) coat or jacket of drab, brown, green, red, blue, gray or black wool. Coat may be straight-bodied or in a more fitted cutaway-style. Hand-stitched, well-fitted linen coat or jacket of natural, blue or brown is also acceptableCoats are approximately knee-length. Jackets are generally a hip-length version of a coat. Knee-length (or longer) overshirts/farmer’s smocks ONLY acceptable when portraying a farmer’s or tradesman’s helper AT WORK.

NB: Boys should have a sleeved outer garment, i.e. a coat, jacket, or sleeved waistcoat. A waistcoat worn underneath is optional, but desirable for a middling impression.

Exceeds Standard: Detailed as above, entirely hand sewn in wool.

Unacceptable: Outer garments made from damask upholstery fabric. Outer garments made from synthetic fabrics. Regimental coats. Hunting/rifle/frontier shirts Uniforms of any kind.

Standard: Hand or machine-stitched, well-fitted wool of drab, brown, green, red, blue, gray, or black. Hand or machine-stitched, well-fitted linen waistcoat of natural, blue or brown (or striped in these colors) is also acceptable. The waistcoat neckline should be small and well-fitted around the base of the collar. Sleeved waistcoats are styled as waistcoats but with sleeves. Sleeved waistcoats were intended to be worn under a coat or greatcoat, and only by themselves if laboring or in hot weather, but are acceptable.

Exceeds Standard: Detailed as above but entirely hand sewn in wool.

Unacceptable: Baggy or extremely long waistcoats. Waistcoats made from damask upholstery fabric. Waistcoats made from synthetic fabrics.

Standard: Machine or hand-stitched, well-fitted breeches of of wool broadcloth in black, brown or drab (most common colors), or gray, green, blue or red. Other types of acceptable fabrics include buckskin leather, wool kersey, linsey-woolsey, wool serge, cotton velvet, fine wale cotton corduroy, or wool plush. Well fitted linen breeches in natural, blue or brown linen is also acceptable. Buckled knee bands were most common as they held up the stockings well. Tied knee bands were common on leather breeches, or for cheaper breeches for the lower sort. Button-closing knee bands were less common but are documented and acceptable. Hand-stitched, well-fitted trousers of linen or hemp canvas or period-appropriate checked linen for lower sort impression. Trousers may be worn over breeches. Overall snug fit for breeches and trousers, except the baggy seat (to allow ease of movement). Knee band fitted snugly just below the knee to hold up the stockings.

Exceeds Standard: Detailed above, entirely hand-sewn in wool with buckled knee bands.

Unacceptable: Baggy breeches. Calf-length breeches. Fringed suede frontier-style trousers. Synthetic fabrics. Modern pants, modified or not.

  

Standard:  Machine-made, with or without a center back seam, with or without a common heel, with or without garter-stitched opening –otherwise as detailed above. Vertically ribbed stockings (all one color), otherwise as detailed above. Wool tape garters must be hidden, but better to tighten the fit of the knee band to hold up the stockings. On smaller boys, tights in cotton or wool may be preferable because they stay up better.  White or black only. 
 

Exceeds Standard:  Stockings with breeches.  Socks with trousers. Frame-knit wool, linen, or cotton stockings or socks made flat to shape and stitched up the center back to form a visible seam.  Hand-knit wool, linen, or cotton stockings or socks made with a faux seam up the center back to imitate the frame-knit stockings.  Common heel.  Garter-stitched opening (no ribbing). White/cream, natural, blue, brown, or gray.  Stockings length is above the knee.  Stockings should be held up by the knee band of the breeches.  

Unacceptable:  Red, yellow, or green stockings or socks. Striped stockings, synthetic stockings, athletic socks.  Buckled leather garters (these were military issue). Visible garters of any kind. 

Standard: Machine or hand-stitched, well-fitted spatterdashes (also called half-gaiters) of black, brown, or drab wool, black leather, or black, brown or drap cotton or linen canvas. No spatterdashes are necessary over appropriately-styled shoes. Spatterdashes were intended to protect the shoes and stockings from dirt and excessive wear.

Exceeds standard: Hand-stitched, well-fitted spatterdashes, of black, brown, or drab wool, black leather. Otherwise as detailed above.

Unacceptable: baggy or droopy spatterdashes. Wool leggings, Indian leggings. Tall, knee-length F&I style gaiters.

Standard: Hand or machine-constructed, appropriately styled shoes with period-style buckles and black or red leather uppers. [Currently unavailable at the time of this writing.] Any simply-styled modern black leather shoes with a distinct heel and a smooth toe may be worn, modified to be closed with ties (one on each side) or covered with well-fitted spatterdashes (see “Spatterdashes”).

There are ways to adapt modern shoes to make them as passable as possible. We refer you to Irina Huynh’s useful videos on how to do this. https://youtu.be/vu3RaSXWc2khttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ipe6WDqoVmw&feature=player_embedded

Unacceptable: Obviously modern shoes such as hiking boots, sneakers, lug soles, etc. Shoes that lace up with more than one hole on each side. Obviously fake buckles. Moccasins. Civil War bootees.

Standard: Natural shoulder-length hair or long hair tied back in a queue with a black silk ribbon. Short-cropped hair in a modest, current style, covered with a hat or cap.

Unacceptable: Hair dyed in a color that is not a natural hair color.

Best: No jewelry.

Unacceptable: Any jewelry, including piercings.

Standard: Reproduction period-appropriate glasses with round lenses. Subtly styled modern glasses.

Unacceptable: Modern sunglasses

Standard: Storing personal items in the pockets of your jacket or breeches. So-called “market” wallets (usually unbleached linen). Linen pillow cases (white linen, unbleached linen, or linen ticking). Handkerchief bundles (made with period-appropriate handkerchiefs). Bags and bundles are optional.

Unacceptable: Haversacks. Knapsacks. So-called “snapsacks” (linen tubes with a drawstring at one end and one strap).

Standard: Long underwear, especially silk because it is thin and warm, worn under clothing so it is not visible. Machine-knit woolen or leather fingerless mitts, mittens, or gloves.

Exceeds Standard: Layer on extra waistcoats, jackets, and handkerchiefs. Wool and silk are warmer than linen and cotton. Wear thin silk stockings under heavier wool stockings. Wear a shirt made from wool flannel. Waterproofed period-appropriate shoes for rain or snow. A handkerchief worn over or under your hat and tied under your chin, especially in windy weather. Wool spatterdashes.

Unacceptable: Modern garments and accessories that are visible. Modern scarves. Long strips of wool that look like modern scarves (layer on the handkerchiefs instead).

Standard: Games that can be documented to the 18th century, including sack races, grinning matches, blind man’s bluff, building houses of cards, blowing bubbles (through a clay pipe or reed straw), tea parties, leap-frog, hoop & hide (hide & seek), playing catch, and hop-scotch. Good reproductions of toys documented to the 18th century, including trundling hoop (“hula hoop”-sized) and stick, marbles, simple dolls, tops, whizzer/buzz-saw, ball-and-cup, playing cards, toy drums and recorders, all-wood toy guns and swords, dice, and knucklebones.

NB: Most 18th century children had few toys, and therefore played games more often. And most toys in the 18th century were gendered.

Unacceptable: Cap guns. Graces. Jacob’s Ladder. (If you find documentation to the 18th century for these toys, please share!)

See full list of toys and games by Ruth Hodges in the Addendum.

Standard: Produce that is seasonally appropriate to 18th century New England (for example, fresh apples only in the fall). Food wrapped in linen cloth. Food that would have been available in the 1775 Boston area. Wooden, pewter, or tin bowl or plate. Tin, pewter, or redware mug. Horn or pewter eating utensils. Food wrapped in parchment paper. Suggestions: bakery-style bread, cheese, hard sausage, hard-boiled eggs, dried apples.

Unacceptable: Modern packaged food. Plastic containers. Plastic wrap and foil. Food that is not seasonal or appropriate to 1775 New England.

Last updated: December 6, 2023

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