Irish immigrants came to America wearing clothing that was 20 years out of fashion, according to HistoryPlace.com. They wore traditional outfits, with men and boys wearing jackets and trousers or kilts and the women and girls wearing dresses with lace collars.
The Irish immigration began in 1847 and at that time, many Irish immigrants arrived in New York with only the clothes on their backs. Around 52,000 Irish arrived in New York that year, and throughout the entire Irish famine that drove the immigrants from their homes more than 650,000 immigrants found their way to America.
Buying things such as clothing was difficult when they arrived in the U.S.. Work was scarce and many Americans treated the Irish as second-class citizens. By 1850, Irish immigrants made up around 43 percent of the foreign-born United States population. They chose to remain close to big cities, but rent in these cities was always high; without work, many Irish struggled to survive. The Irish immigrants suffered high infant mortality rates and a dramatic rise in crime as the immigrants struggled to provide for their families.
Eventually, through hard work and determination, the Irish immigrants found work, usually performing the kinds of backbreaking jobs no one else wanted, which enabled them to provide more clothing and better food for their families.