What Did People Wear in the Olden Days?

The olden days are considered to be simpler times, and people living in that era wore simple clothes such as work pants and shirts for men and dresses for women. This is a broad statement, however, as clothing style changes depending on era and geographical location.

In the United States, some may consider the “olden days” to be the 1950s while others believe it to reference pioneer days, which lasted from the late 1700s through the mid-1800s. Regardless of era, clothing from any particular time period reflects the economy and lifestyle of the people.

The 1950s marked an end of rationing and the beginning of excess. With the end of World War II, rationing ended and different types of fabrics became available. This meant women’s dresses blossomed into bright patterns and colors, all with flouncy skirts. Men went back to work in the office and dressed in suits with classic, clean lines.

If, however, one considers the pioneer era to be the olden days, clothing from that time is quite different. Hard labor was required from nearly everyone, and the clothes reflected that. Men wore loose, long-sleeved shirts, loose pants and suspenders. They often wore straw hats while working outside. Women wore long, full dresses with long sleeves and high collars. An apron was worn to protect the dress while doing household chores.