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Why did pilgrims hats have buckles on the front?


Why did the pilgrims wear such funny clothes? Why did their hats have buckles?

3501 day(s) ago

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bjones
To be historically accurate, the Pilgrims who came across the Atlantic from England to settle in Plymouth never wore the stereotypical clothing in which they are depicted today. We’ve all seen the paintings, drawings, and other artistic works depicting the Pilgrims in black and white clothing with buckled hats and shoes. Women are depicted a little more accurately except for the presence of colored dresses and bonnets. These representations make the pilgrims look as if they are wearing some sort of ridiculous uniform. In fact, the Pilgrims, more accurately called the Separatist Puritans, or Puritans for short, wore standard clothing that was popular at the time and they were free to dress as they saw fit.

We know that the Puritans who came to America on the Mayflower wore a variety of colors, including shades of red, blue, green, brown, violet, and gray. Upon a Puritans death, an inventory was taken of all their possessions and written in a manifest that included the color of each piece of clothing. We also know that buckles did not become fashionable in Europe until the end of the 17th century, long after most of the original Puritans were already dead. The buckles on the hats that became popular later had two functions. The first was for fashion. Buckles became a fashion statement at the time and were worn by those of the wealthy upper class. Secondly, the buckles were as functional as they are for belts today. The buckle was attached to a strap around the hat and adjustable for different sized heads. The same holds true for the buckles that would later appear on shoes.

The reason why the Pilgrims were depicted with the black and white, buckled clothing is because artists confused them with sects of Puritans that came later or branched off from the original Pilgrims. These later Puritans were much more conservative. Those who wanted to be regarded as highly pious, wore clothing more similar to how the Pilgrims were depicted, but it was still not as common as we are led to believe.


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