Buckskin Dresses and Pumpkin Breeches

Colonial Fashions from the 1580s to the 1760s

From the Series Dressing a Nation: The History of U.S. Fashion

  • Interest Level: Grade 5 - Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 6

What would you have worn if you lived during the Colonial era? It depends on who you were! For example, many Native American women made skirts or dresses out of deerskin, and they completed the look with jewelry crafted from metal, shells, stones, pearls, or animal bones. But in European settlements, women of fashion dressed in many layers. One of the first layers was a stay—a corset-like garment made of whalebone that tied or laced around the chest. On top of that, they put on a bodice, a waistcoat or a jacket, and several heavy petticoats. Read more about Colonial fashions—from wigs to beaver-pelt hats and linen caps—in this fascinating book!

Format Your Price Add
Interest Level Grade 5 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 6
Genre Social Studies
Copyright 2012
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Twenty-First Century Books ™
Language English
Number of Pages 64
Publication Date 2011-08-01
BISACS JNF025190, JNF059000, JNF006030
Dewey 391.00973
Graphics 1-color illustrations, Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 8 x 10
Features Bibliography/further reading, Glossary, Index, Reviewed, Sidebars, Source notes, Table of contents, Timeline, Websites, and eSource


School Library Journal, Series Made Simple

“These well-written and appealing books place clothing and fashion, from underwear to headgear, in the larger context of American history, emphasizing that for most of our past, clothing signified status and reinforced societal roles, especially for women….. This series is certain to draw both researchers and browsers.” —School Library Journal, Series Made Simple

Author: Kate Havelin

Kate Havelin has written more than a dozen books for young people, including biographies of Queen Elizabeth I, Ulysses Grant, and Che Guevara. The Amelia Bloomer Project included her Victoria Woodhull: Fearless Feminist in its recommended list of books. Havelin has also written two trail guidebooks for adults, Minnesota Running Trails: Dirt, Gravel, Rocks & Roots and Best Hikes of the Twin Cities, both of which received awards from the Midwest Book Awards. When she's not writing, she likes to read, run, hike, kayak, ski, or snowshoe. Havelin lives in St. Paul with her husband and two teenage sons.

Lerner eSource™ offers free digital teaching and learning resources, including Common Core State Standards (CCSS) teaching guides. These guides, created by classroom teachers, offer short lessons and writing exercises that give students specific instruction and practice using Common Core skills and strategies. Lerner eSource also provides additional resources including online activities, downloadable/printable graphic organizers, and additional educational materials that would also support Common Core instruction. Download, share, pin, print, and save as many of these free resources as you like!

Dressing a Nation: The History of U.S. Fashion

What was it like to wear pumpkin breeches in colonial times? Or hoopskirts during the Civil War era? Find out in this fascinating series that covers American fashions through many historical time periods. Each volume shows the trends and influences on clothing designs, hairstyles, and… View available downloads →