Fancy Duds in Gold Towns

gold miner When we think of the thousands of gold seekers who swarmed into California in 1849 from all over the globe, we usually imagine gruff-looking individuals with scraggly beards clad in sweat-soaked red flannel shirts. This general image is contradicted by an article published in Sacramento City’s Placer Times on October 27, 1849: FASHIONABLE INDICATIONS – We shall soon have need of tailors, dress makers and milliners in our good city. Young gentlemen are “coming out” with their stand up collars, spring-gaiter pants and extensive displays of broad cloth, while the few ladies we have in town are not behind in the spreading of silks and satins. We shall soon have an “upper ten thousand” and an Opera House, but in the meantime we would advise young gentlemen not to swell too much for fear of a collapse or explosion. The over-dressed man is looked upon as either a fop or a fool, and is probably both.

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