Colonial Williamsburg: Costuming Inspiration

When Mark and I went to Williamsburg for Christmas, I came away with one big thing – costuming inspiration! I have long been a fan of historical costuming. I dream of wearing a huge gown with layers of petticoats/hoops/whatever. I don’t have any real need to wear these – the closest I’ve ever come to being a reenactor is one week at an SCA event with my high school best friends, and I don’t have any historical or really old characters.

But I love historical styles, and I love costumes in general. I’m not a stickler for perfect historical accuracy, though. I like the old fashioned feel of things. If I make myself something, it may or may not be “accurate.” My goal is simply to enjoy whatever I make. Hopefully I won’t make serious reenactors cringe with that, but I make costumes because I love them, and for no other reason.

By the time the weekend was done, my souvenirs were two patterns, a book on costuming at Williamsburg, and an annual pass to the historical area. So maybe, if I do ever make myself a gown, I’ll find some reason to wear it.

We spent a long time in the Millener's Shop, talking to one of the interpreters. She was making a gown while she spoke to us, and was wearing it the next day. It was fun to talk to someone who was really into the fashions of the time. Here are a few gowns on display, and stays hanging above.


There were men about in costume, too. This gentleman is getting ready to participate in the firing of the Christmas guns.

"I'm a maid in the Governor's household."

Here's some more "everyday" clothes, worn by the "household servant" who was our tourguide to the Governor's mansion.


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