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American West Costumes (1870's)


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Newby to costume design and need help!

For a theatrical stage show am looking for 1870's American Old West costume designs, mostly for women.

I have tried searchng using the usual wild west, old west, cowboys, wild bill hickock etc... but what would general townsfolk be wearing?

I know I can use 'theatrical licence' but would like to have an idea of authentic costumes as well.

Any help gratefully received. Thanks in advance.

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(just found that, idle googling!)


You could also look to see what other companies who've done your show have done- depending on the show, you will have to adapt what they 'would' have worn to what the actors can reasonably dance/move in. We did Oklahoma! last year and costumed it in traditional style and not in the twee 'gingham dresses and cowboy shirts' thing that you often get; however the one thing we didn't do that would have been lovely was put the girls in corsets, but to be fair we'd never have managed the dancing in corsets!


I'm guessing that if you're looking at what folk would have worn, you're not wanting to make it twee but more realistic, which is good. In which case, look at details- shoes, hats, accessories, tights!! are important. We had white wool tights for Okla, yep it was hot as anything but looked better onstage. w/robe is right about the cuts of things not being the same but you can disguise this if you use decoration etc judiciously.

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