I tired posting this earlier but the picture of my vest was too large and when I clicked the back button it erased what I had typed. Suffice to say that I have a wool vest with the proper style of collar for the 1830's, a linen shirt with a similar collar and light brown fly front trousers for my persona, a part-time trader and lumberman arriving in the East Texas pine woods around 1830. Are there any suggestions as to the kind of hat, coat or other clothing I can add at this point?
Well you are talking about the end of the Regency Era of clothing. Now America was a bit behind Europe, and England in fashion, so you may want to stay with late Napoleonic Era clothing and hats, instead of late Regency..., depending on the socio-economic class that you are portraying.
The Regency started in 1811, and the top hats tapered toward the flat crown, around 1820 this was sorta reversed, with the flat crown being wider in diameter than the band at the head..., what we'd call today the "mad hatter" type top hat. Then the crown returned to the diameter of the hat band, with a taper in the middle as you can see with these Late Regency images (scroll to the bottom of the page and look at the men's images)
The good news is, you could get away with an earlier style top hat with a bit wider brim than in 1812...., and you can make them from current felt, tricorn blanks. You need to wet a standard blank and stretch it over a form..., I used an iron kettle that angled wider from the base to the rim for my Maryland 1812 rifleman's hat.
Hear are some men's hat images. Here are some early Regency fashion images. The previous link also references the most recent production BBC production of Sense and Sensibility as a good visual aid. Now this would be outdated IF you were doing an Englishman visiting America in 1830..., but should be pretty close to doing an American of middle class in 1830.
It's not what you know, it's what you can prove
I'd suggest looking for paintings of the era. Do a Google search on "William Sidney Mount". He was a well known painter of the era and painted a fair number of common man/everyday life scenes. Closest thing to a photography you're apt to find.
You're describing the era (and area) of the Alamo. The famous portrait of Crockett waving his hat might give you some ideas, too.
Good luck, SCL
Here's a health to the King and a lasting Peace. May Faction end and Wealth increase....Old Loyalist Ballad
Great information, thank you very much!
You can get by with clothing from earlier times because they don't seem to adhere as much to style than practicality. Hats, however seem to be a whole 'nuther ball game.
I would recommend that you order a copy of The Alamo and the War of Texan Independence. You can get used copies cheap, and even the new ones don't cost much from this source. There are excellent illustrations. People of all professions, from all walks of life participated in that war in the 1830's, and the illustrations reflect this. You can probably get some good ideas looking at the pictures.
Since you live in Texas, you may also be able to hook up with these folks: Refugio Militia. Browse around on their website, and you'll find an excellent paper they produced on clothing in east Texas in the 1830's.
"Should have kept the old ways just as much as I could, and the tradition that guarded us. Should have rode horses. Kept dogs."
from The Antelope Wife
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