One of the most unique things about pioneer trek is the clothing. It's an important part of trek for many reasons. First, it gets the group out of an everyday mentality and prepares them for something different and special to happen. Second, it removes all of the superficial differences created by brands, trends and styles, and reminds us that we are all the same. And third, it brings to life the stories, experiences, and lives of the pioneers in a way that makes it clear that we really are just like the pioneers.

For ideas, patterns or sources see the information below:

Young Women and Women

  • DRESSES: Women’s basic dresses were floor length.  They could be plain or have many ruffles.  The sleeves were full, and long, with buttons or bands at the wrist.  Necklines were usually high, with buttons up the front.  The skirt would be full.  Fabrics were cotton in solid colors or small print.  Bright colors were popular (especially bright yellow.)
  • SKIRTS: While skirts would not have had elastic back then, it is fine to make a skirt with elastic to use for trek.  It is, however, also very easy to make a skirt with buttons.  The length needs to be mid-calf to floor length, and should be quite full.  There really shouldn’t be any skirts with slits.  The skirt itself should be full enough to allow free movement.
  • SHIRTS: The shirts should be blouses that button up the front with long sleeves, and a high neckline.
  • BONNET: Making a bonnet is a fun project.  Here is a link to an easy pattern.  Every girl/woman needs to have a bonnet/straw-type hat.
  • APRON: Making an apron can also be a lot of fun, and would make a great mutual activity.  It is VERY important that your apron have large pockets for carrying things you will need.  If you find an apron you love that doesn’t have pockets, pockets are really easy to add.
  • BLOOMERS: A really easy pattern is posted under patterns below.  Alternately, you could wear capri length pants or sweat pants for pantaloons.  These do not need to be as strictly “pioneerish”… have fun.  We made ours out of a toy story sheet.
  • NIGHTGOWN: Ideally this will be a flannel nightgown.  Think of Red Riding Hood’s grandma.   This blog has lots of links to patterns.

Young Men and Men

  • PANTS: The pants were worn loose.  Wool or linen was used.  Corduroy, twill and canvas pants are good choices.  Trekkers in our day find that wool is too hot but that cotton works great.  Colors include blue, black, gray, and browns - especially beige and tan.  Choose rather loose fitting through the crotch and thigh area to add comfort in walking. Shorts, jeans, and sweats are not acceptable.
  • SHIRTS: Men’s shirts were worn loose.  Plain colors were common, but stripes or plaids were also used.  Light colors will be coolest.  Choose something larger than a regular fit, with long sleeves.
  • HAT: Men’s everyday hats ranged from pilot caps, straw hats, wide brimmed low felt hats, or round crowned hat.  Baseball caps are not acceptable.  Newsboy type hats are acceptable.  Here is a link to a pattern to sew one.
  • SUSPENDERS: Button-on suspenders were used to hold pants up.  Belts can be used instead, or any type of suspender.  Button-on suspenders can easily be made by simple adding buttons to the pants and making long enough strips of fabric with button holes on either end of the strips.  They would be buttoned onto the front and back of the pants, crossing in the back.
  • VEST: Vests were typically only used on Sundays or special occasions, so it is not at all necessary to bring one.

Other Men's and Women's Patterns