Patrick Hand

Minimum Garb Standards

138 posts in this topic

I am enjoying this thread and do suggest that those who have done the period research put your heads together and reach a consenses on what would be a minimum kit for GAOP. An article in Pirates magazine would be great for the new people who are just starting out (and older pirates who just want to make certain that they are period respectful).

I'd also love to see the same thing done for the Buccaneer time frame (Mr. Hand?).

Lastly, while I can imagine that all pirates are welcome in garb at certain events perhaps a list of those who strive to keep history the focus would be great. That way if you feel like doing the Jack Sparrow thing at your local Ren Faire but want to try a historical appraoch you can change your garb to suit.

Thanks!

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Honestly it really depends on what you mean by calicoes.. in our time frame Calico usually refers to Indian calicoes which were cotton, not linen, and were outlawed twice in England during our frame... now if you were in the colonies you could have them... now the problem being... the cotton you get in the local "joann's" most likely has nothing to do with what cotton was like in the GaoP... even today Indian cottons have little resemblance to the $1.89 cottons we sell regularly over here...

Oh, very true, Sterling. The Calicos ye find at today's Fabric stores are not like the Calicos from back then. But, someone who does their research they MIGHT - on a very rare occassion - will find something in the store, not necessarily in the Calicos section. But the key is research to find out what is proper to the era.

Aye, Jib... ye have it there. Course as often as we all chatter about attire tis hard not to catch what is proper attire.:)

~Lady B

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am I understanding then, that it is your belief that the images i posted above from the Blackbeard nat Geo special is probably a costumer's touch as opposed to a documented style?

Thanks!

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I, personally, highly recommend not going by what you see on tv or in the movies... for instance, just because tis National Geographic production doesn't mean they have it right... for example their artwork for the Whydah exhibit is horrible...especially their get up for Black Sam...they had the ability to get it spot on to what is known, using Reconstruction History's expertise and products, then went and destroyed all their hard work and added bucket boots as well... ugh....

Always stick to primary sources... find us evidence of dark shirts and stripes from sources original to the time frame and you will be safe to use it... not only that but you will be able to better judge if what you are using is common or rare... I personally have not looked for striped shirts from the time nor have come across any as of yet... does that mean they didn't exist? Odds are someone had a striped shirt, but honestly, I have never noticed one, but then I was not looking...who knows without some solid documentation... but then why try wearing something questionable when we know they had checked shirts and plain "white" linen ones... ?

Go check out Foxe's picture library on sailors.... see what he has... the link should be on his profile page...

Edited by Capt. Sterling

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Cool. Thanks for the link. i'll take a look at that. I did just now find some reference to shirts "other than white". On Reconstructing History's Shirt pattern, it mention an inventory taken of Joeseph Haycock's slop shop in London in 1699. It mentions "blew" shirts, "strip't" shirts, "shirts of several sorts" as well as of course "white".

That's sad about the artwork for the Whydah exhibit....

You're question of " why try wearing something questionable when we know they had checked shirts and plain "white" linen ones?" Is a good one. I certainly wouldn't want to be wearing something wrong, but at the same time, in the limited research I've done, I am not seeing that everyone wore the same sailor short coat, white shirt and slops. I have that kit and love it, but I am looking for other options that are correct.

Thanks so much for your time in discussing this with me.

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Cool. Thanks for the link. i'll take a look at that. I did just now find some reference to shirts "other than white". On Reconstructing History's Shirt pattern, it mention an inventory taken of Joeseph Haycock's slop shop in London in 1699. It mentions "blew" shirts, "strip't" shirts, "shirts of several sorts" as well as of course "white".

There ye go, if Kass has it listed... all the better...

That's sad about the artwork for the Whydah exhibit....

You're question of " why try wearing something questionable when we know they had checked shirts and plain "white" linen ones?" Is a good one. I certainly wouldn't want to be wearing something wrong, but at the same time, in the limited research I've done, I am not seeing that everyone wore the same sailor short coat, white shirt and slops. I have that kit and love it, but I am looking for other options that are correct.

Thanks so much for your time in discussing this with me.

Sure thing... just trying to get some minimum ideas down here for newbies.. nothing more really, so if you want to go a step further and create a look more personal, my hat is off to you...

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Having now looked at the Slop Contracts patterns and finishing up an outfit based (in cut only, not color) on that pattern, I feel it's a great starting point for new comers into the time period. I feel it really nails down the fit and cut of the period. You can't go wrong basing your pattern off of that one. Besides we are talking about a minimum garb standard. Not absolutely the only thing we find acceptable. Once you get the feel for that you can expand and move on to other, fancier treatments to the outfit. Perhaps a different pattern, although I think the Slops contract has it down pretty good.

Just my 2 cents anyways and we're not in twill. So I digress.

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Good stuff. I really do appreciate all the help. Can't wait to hopefully meet all of you at Blackbeard's festival in a couple of weeks! I'll be the guy with the strip't shirt on. B)

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I'd also love to see the same thing done for the Buccaneer time frame (Mr. Hand?).

Unfortunately, there really aren't really many referenced to what Buccaneers wore, So there is a lot of speculation....

"Hey.... is he even wearing breaches in that picture, or is he bare legged...?"

About the only bit of garb that "screams" Buccaneer.... is an untucked, belted shirt..... B)

On Checked, striped, or just white shirts.....

I made a blue checked shirt after reading that sailors liked blue checks.... But you've found a reference to striped, and if that is what you want to make, I don't think anyone would tell you that you can't wear it at an event.

For Minimum Garb Standards, The idea was to let people know what is period to wear, and acceptable for most (Historical) Pyrate events. A shirt with duckies or skulls printed on it,..... even if it is made from a period pattern, just isn't going to work.... B)

A red or black satin shirt may be fun for Halloween, or at a Renn. Faire, At Nor. Cal. or Ojai, or a Pyrate Festaval... but it's not something that Pyrates would have really worn.....

Also, how many people go up to another Pyrate and check closely to see if their shirt is linen or cotton? Yeah... a linen shirt is much more period, (and comfortable), and it doesn't cost that much more.... I don't know about the Hampton Blackbeard Festival, but at PiP no one is going to kick you outta the Authentic Camps if your shirt is cotton (we'll just keep telling you how much more comfortable linen is.... B) )

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On shirts: apart from the aforementioned striped shirts in the Haycock inventory, blue shirts are also not uncommon in probate accounts, and there's at least one reference to pirates being supplied with "speckled" shirts.

On the slop contracts, have I missed the part where any kind of consensus was reached on their cut? AFAIK we know what materials they used, what garments they consisted of, how many pockets and buttons they had, even what colour thread they used on the button holes. What we don't know is what they actually looked like. That we can only make educated guesses at by cross reference to the 1730s slop contract specs which give dimensions and period artwork of seamen. The Admiralty slop instructions only applied to ships of the Royal Navy, not merchantmen or privateers. The point about the widespread nature of Admiralty slops is that seamen were transient and moved from service to service, so it is perfectly probable that ASC spec clothes were being worn by many merchant seamen who had been in the RN earlier in the career.

On slops (wide kneed breeches). There are a few period depictions of slops, but they are also mentioned in the Haycock inventory (IIRC he had 10 pairs), Ned Ward's Wooden World Dissected (he describes a typical seaman as wearing 'wide kneed breeches'), and other works whose names escape me.

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On shirts: apart from the aforementioned striped shirts in the Haycock inventory, blue shirts are also not uncommon in probate accounts, and there's at least one reference to pirates being supplied with "speckled" shirts.

On the slop contracts, have I missed the part where any kind of consensus was reached on their cut?

No actually you haven't as, I agree, no one knows exactly what they looked like, although rumor had it that you may have stumbled across a set a year or so ago, but folks never heard anything more on that, so I am assuming that turned out to be a false lead... for "cut", and hang me for not placing that term in quotes as I did style in my previous post...I refer to the basic sewing term regarding the cut of a garment such as breeches, weskit, shirt, jacket etc..we know they had the basic cuts, because they are listed in the contracts in that fashion...

Since we have no clear cut/detailed description of each cut, we can only safely state for our time frame, that it still leaves such things open for discussion and it always had, as evidenced in Twill over the years...

We all understand, at least I hope we do, that what you appear wearing on GoF's sight and GoF's drawings are strictly an educated guess based on common cuts/styles of the time frame, period and truly nothing more. For example, even the term "checked" has various meanings for the time...

As to wide knee breeches, again, if I recall the discussion on that ages ago, there seems to be little solid detailed evidence on those either, with a number of folks questioning as to whether they were common or not... there was the questionable picture by Picart and that was a Dutch sailor (I believe that was the artist)... and, if I recall, Kass had a totally different spin on them...at one point saying wide knee could very possible be what we also refer to as open knee breeches... feel free to correct me if I remember that incorrectly, you always do...

Edited by Capt. Sterling

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plate6medium.jpg

Picart's Dutch sailor... upper right hand corner...

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...rumor had it that you may have stumbled across a set a year or so ago, but folks never heard anything more on that, so I am assuming that turned out to be a false lead...

No such luck! I did find the pocket flap from HMS Stirling Castle a while back which got a few hopes up, but nothing more than that.

We all understand, at least I hope we do, that what you appear wearing on GoF's sight and GoF's drawings are strictly an educated guess based on common cuts/styles of the time frame, period and truly nothing more. For example, even the term "checked" has various meanings for the time...

Absolutely! The pictures are from an old set of cigarette cards IIRC so I don't know how educated the guessing was there. My outfit fit exactly all of the details from the 1706 set, with the cut somewhat influenced by the details in the 1730s set, but is otherwise ed-guess.

As to wide knee breeches, again, if I recall the discussion on that ages ago, there seems to be little solid detailed evidence on those either, with a number of folks questioning as to whether they were common or not... there was the questionable picture by Picart and that was a Dutch sailor (I believe that was the artist)... and, if I recall, Kass had a totally different spin on them...at one point saying wide knee could very possible be what we also refer to as open knee breeches... feel free to correct me if I remember that incorrectly, you always do...

I don't think there's enough evidence to suggest they were predominant, but there's certainly enough to suggest their commonality IMLTHO. How common were open knee breeches outside the maritime community in the GAoP?

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No such luck! I did find the pocket flap from HMS Stirling Castle a while back which got a few hopes up, but nothing more than that.

Dang, that is disappointing as that would have been a wonderful find....and Yes, I "stole" a copy of the picture you posted on that pocket flap... btw, thank you...

Absolutely! The pictures are from an old set of cigarette cards IIRC so I don't know how educated the guessing was there. My outfit fit exactly all of the details from the 1706 set, with the cut somewhat influenced by the details in the 1730s set, but is otherwise ed-guess..

Personally, at this point its all we can truly do and teach at events, that what we show is truly just ed guess as far as some of the clothes, especially the contracts items... although I do like Gof's and your interpretation... makes sense to me from what we do know about some of the English clothing of the time...

I don't think there's enough evidence to suggest they were predominant, but there's certainly enough to suggest their commonality IMLTHO. How common were open knee breeches outside the maritime community in the GAoP?

IMLTHO... don't be so humble Foxe... we all know or at least believe you work very hard researching all this stuff and have access to things that we here, don't...so we here are truly very grateful for all that you share with us...

Common is a good point, I have a few, maybe two plates from earlier on in the GAoP, depending on when a body dates it, that show wide/open knee breeches, but two, if that, doesn't say much regarding common (and these aren't sailors)... the problem being the fashion of wearing stockings up over the knee... one can only guess what they are actually covering...

Now that one frontpiece frontplate...not sure what they call that part of the book, showing the two sailors in jackets and striped (?) breeches... trying to recall without actually going over to look..., shows pretty wide breeches, very wide in fact... circa 1699 I think...

Edited by Capt. Sterling

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I strongly suspect, though I cannot prove, three things about slops. Firstly that they were made mostly by seamen themselves; secondly that they were very much in the nature of 'work' clothes and so escaped the attentions of many shore-side artists; and third, that if I'm right about the first two points then we have no way of knowing how common they were, except to say that they were definitely around in number.

A roundup of some evidence: Pictorial.

88583420.jpg

This picture, which I freely grant is an undetailed sketch from 1664, shows what I believe to be slops. Despite the poor quality this sketch, and others in the same series, are vitally significant because they were drawn from life by van de Velde, who spent much time at sea in Dutch and English ships.

87454467.jpg

This picture is a little OOP, 1740, but illustrates 'the sign of the jolly sailor', so we can surmise that by 1740 slops were widely associated with seamen. If we step a little outside of the GAoP then it's worth noting that slops appear several times being worn by seamen in Hogarth's work (see 'Chairing the Member' for example)

85757965.jpg

Is this the one you were referring to Hector? 1693. Again, this is important because the author of the book was a very experienced RN captain, George St. Lo, and although he probably didn't draw the picture himself the presence of a fid-hammer in the top right of the cartouche suggests that the artist had a familiarity with seafaring.

Written.

In Phillips (1706), 'slops' are defined as 'a wide sort of Breeches worn by Seamen'. Granted, it doesn't mention whether the knees are open or closed, but it's highly indicative.

The Haycock inventory (1699) lists '5 pair of open kneed breeches' twice (10 pairs in total).

Ned Ward describes the common seaman in 1707 as wearing 'his Tar Jacket, and wide-kneed Trowzers'. It might be argued that he is referring here to ankle length trousers, but I think the use of 'wide-kneed' precludes that.

Based on all of which we can say that although they were not available from the Admiralty slop chests, they were available from private slop sellers like Haycock. They were common enough for Ward to think them typical at the beginning of the GAoP, and for Hogarth to think them typical at the end of it.

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I strongly suspect, though I cannot prove, three things about slops. Firstly that they were made mostly by seamen themselves; secondly that they were very much in the nature of 'work' clothes and so escaped the attentions of many shore-side artists; and third, that if I'm right about the first two points then we have no way of knowing how common they were, except to say that they were definitely around in number.

A roundup of some evidence: Pictorial.

88583420.jpg

This picture, which I freely grant is an undetailed sketch from 1664, shows what I believe to be slops. Despite the poor quality this sketch, and others in the same series, are vitally significant because they were drawn from life by van de Velde, who spent much time at sea in Dutch and English ships.

Agreed with the roughness of the sketch, as one could chose to look at the knee, or slightly above the bent knee and say they could possibly be closed knee breeches as they are drawn so close to the leg...this one is a tough call compared to some of the others...

87454467.jpg

This picture is a little OOP, 1740, but illustrates 'the sign of the jolly sailor', so we can surmise that by 1740 slops were widely associated with seamen. If we step a little outside of the GAoP then it's worth noting that slops appear several times being worn by seamen in Hogarth's work (see 'Chairing the Member' for example)

85757965.jpg

Is this the one you were referring to Hector?

Yes it was...

1693. Again, this is important because the author of the book was a very experienced RN captain, George St. Lo, and although he probably didn't draw the picture himself the presence of a fid-hammer in the top right of the cartouche suggests that the artist had a familiarity with seafaring.

Written.

In Phillips (1706), 'slops' are defined as 'a wide sort of Breeches worn by Seamen'. Granted, it doesn't mention whether the knees are open or closed, but it's highly indicative.

The Haycock inventory (1699) lists '5 pair of open kneed breeches' twice (10 pairs in total).

Ned Ward describes the common seaman in 1707 as wearing 'his Tar Jacket, and wide-kneed Trowzers'. It might be argued that he is referring here to ankle length trousers, but I think the use of 'wide-kneed' precludes that.

Agreed.

Based on all of which we can say that although they were not available from the Admiralty slop chests, they were available from private slop sellers like Haycock. They were common enough for Ward to think them typical at the beginning of the GAoP, and for Hogarth to think them typical at the end of it.

Thank you, the Haycock info is great to have. We have a few pairs in the crew but mostly closed knee breeches and trousers, so hopefully we have a decent balance in numbers...

Edited by Capt. Sterling

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in fact a year or so a couple of guys on the pub

9who I haven't seen around in a while) did their shirts in the more gingham styled checks, and I thought they looked great! I think the guys were in the same group/crew/geographical region... I think one of them may have posted here as CasketChris...

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mp1.jpg

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I just discovered this thread and am amazed that Lady Brower has not put her two cents in, considering that this is her raison d'etre. Here is her post from when we first began the Half Moon Maruaders:

What is the minimum and how accurate are we going for.

Fundamentally, I think a man's kit should include:

1. SHOES (preferably buckle or lace?) and stockings

2. PC linen shirt

3. Breeches or "slops"

4. Hat

5.neckerchief

THEN:

5. Waistcoat

6. Short coat (or maybe a justaucorps)

8. weapon!

Womens' (we're more difficult)

1. Shoes (buckle or ribbon tied... unless you are dressing up as a dude, there really isn't anyway bucket boots are PC, not to mention not fun to wear under skirts....)

2. Stays (the foundation garment, I think is VERY important)

3. Chemise

4. Petticoat (s) under and over

5. HAT (really should be non negotiable, we are respectable ladies, not whores) At the minimum this means a linen cap, which should be worn under the hat anyway.

6. Mantua or bodice jacket

I'm sure I'm missing stuff....

Some good links:

www.gentlemanoffortune.com ----GREAT resource for men

www.reconstructing history.com ---Good patterns and ideas, but a bit pricey

www.blockaderunner.com -----------Found a very nice blank for clint's hat for under 20

http://www.esotericcr... ---PC pattern for men's shirt

http://slightly-obses... ---Good blog for 18th century stuff, that is directly to the women's kit

www.fugawee.com ------ AMAZING SHOES!

http://jas-townsend.c... --------- they have some good stuff, but some of it is out of our period so be aware...

I wish I had had this list before I wasted many a dollar buying polyester crap on the internet. Now I almost meet Lady Brower's standards. I must confess, my cravat is not made of period material-- Flog me. BTW, we do not require members to be in kit for our monthly meetings. This way we give people the time they need to assemble PC clothing.

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My dear captain, one reason I have not put in my "two cents" is because my initial standards were developed with the aid of many people here... Do they really need to hear their ideas spouted back? =P

Also, please note that these were from the very beginning and HAVE CHANGED. My crew, please either check our discussion forums or contact me directly if you are confused... Some changes do include my (total) "ban" of bucket boots which will be enforced even with a sword tip to my throat. And no bodice jackets for the ladies, I think they are too early or late for the year we chose.

Oh, it should also be noted (mostly for my crew) that this did not go into the fabrics/ materials, buttons, etc. But is just a list of what they should have, Again, my crew should contact me directly....

I created this list back in oh, January, when I first joined the pub and the crew was trying to get our stuff together. Everyone has been so helpful and I really appreciate it. I've learned a lot and have been guided to learn plenty on my own. Just ask Kate, it's an obsession.

And captain if you could burn (or yea, I guess it would melt) that cravat that would be great.... =P And remember, I did get that whip from Shamus.

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And no bodice jackets for the ladies, I think they are too early or late for the year we chose.

Oh, it should also be noted (mostly for my crew) that this did not go into the fabrics/ materials, buttons, etc. But is just a list of what they should have, Again, my crew should contact me directly....

Bodice Jacket? I am only assuming of course, but do you mean a jacket as on the figure to the left of this photo...this Bizarre jacket is dated 1720 and the stomacher is dated at 1719, the skirt is a reproduction...from the exhibit 4 centuries of women living at Beacon Castle, in Virginia... doesn't make jackets common but certainly doesn't rule them out...

876279842_27a63ae48c_b.jpg

Edited by Capt. Sterling

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yes, that is what I mean. I used the term "bodice" as that is how I had hear them described before. But as we had chosen "1709" as our year, it would make them inappropriate as the examples that I have seen (only in books, mind you) are from later than that. There is also the English Jacket or something like that, which seems to be much earlier (mid-ish 1600's if I am rembering correctly... I'd have to re-look).

Since we have a specific year now, it make the clothing much more specific... In some ways easier, in some ways not. Nothing's perfect (OBVIOUSLY!!!!) but we are working on it...

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Well for what its worth...

Norah Waugh:

"The jacket, or waistcoat, with short basques, was too useful a garment to be discarded and continued to be worn for negligée wear and especially by working women. There were also simple bodices, laced up centre back or perhaps crossing in front and caught together centre front with bows. These were more for casual wear and were habitual for children and young girls. (Cut of Women's Clothes, p,. 66)

1690quilted.jpg

1690quilted.jpg (46675 bytes) Quilted jacket; green and red floral patterns were woven into the fabric prior to quilting. English, c. 1690, from Quilting by Averil Colby

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Yes, I've seen that Norah Waugh description. I wish it was not so vague. Sadly, I do not own that book (too expensive still...) that jacket example goes with it, I assume.

And don't get me wrong, it's not as if I am "outlawing" them completely. It's just something I've taken off my list as even that example isn't for our year. My fear is things change in 20 years. Personally, I would love to have the jacket as part of my kit. And at some point I'm sure I will...

I know it sounds like I am being too picky. But better to start picky with less, with the right stuff than start with a lot that is wrong or inappropriate for is my philosophy.... Again. just my opinion.

Again, I have NOTHING against Jackets.... *sigh*

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