What Boys Wore

From Visit-Gettysburg.com

“Farm boys or town apprentices wore heavy, coarse, durable fabrics that could withstand the hard daily labor. Jackets and pants were made from denim or canvas. Children during the Civil War also wore cotton shirts, woolen vests (in cool weather), and suspenders (not belts) to hold up their pants. Wide-brimmed straw hats protected outdoor laborers from the sun. 

Country boys typically went barefoot in summer, but in the city, boys wore low cut leather boots. In poor rural areas, a boy might not receive his first pair of boots until he was old enough for his feet to stop growing.

Wealthy young men, or any male trying to dress up for a special event like the delivery of the Gettysburg Address, wore loose dark suits over white dress shirts with broad bow ties. Male children in the Civil War era basically dressed the same as father, but their jackets were waist-length and only buttoned near the top.

In warm weather, boys wore knickerbockers or short pants instead of long trousers, but this was only allowed until a boy reached his teenage years.

All males were expected to have neatly cut hair. Men wore tall silk or beaver fur hats, such as the famous stovepipe hat that Lincoln liked to wear, but young men only wore soft caps with short visors.” from Visit-Gettysburg.com

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