What Clothing Did African Americans Wear?

Although a few high-quality fashion photographs depict the fashions of Black women during this time period, the vast majority are of men. These images demonstrate that men and women wore different clothing for different social occasions. During the early 1900s, Black people wore separate outfits for different social occasions, such as weddings and social gatherings. During the struggle for women’s suffrage, some women wore similar outfits to their male counterparts, including shirts and ties. They wore darker neutral colours and some wore skirts. Two-piece fashions became popular during the 1920s when men and females were required to be in the same place.

What did African slaves wear?

Field slaves wore simple clothes, often made from cotton. They wore one-piece frocks with a slip of coarse “Negro Cloth.” Cotton dresses, for instance, were handwoven and worn by the slaves in summer and winter. During the Civil War, clothing distributions included brogan shoes, turbans, handkerchiefs, and palmetto hats.

The black community adopted new styles, such as baggy shirts over fitted pants. Some wore long earrings. The era of the blues brought about changes in clothing for the black community. Teenagers adopted a new style and started wearing rolled-up Capri-length jeans, pointed bras, and sneakers. However, despite the drastic change, they maintained the same style and sex. These styles of clothing reflected the era’s social and cultural changes.

Edwardian era

In the Edwardian era, black fashion was more modest and more conservative, and it was worn by the middle and upper classes. Many of the photographs were taken by the photographer John Johnson, who took hundreds of pictures of African Americans and immigrants during this time. These photographs show the styles and the social status of black people, including the racial differences between women and men. It is important to remember that the fashions of the period are not the same today.

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In the nineteenth century, black fashions were more extravagant and complex. This period saw the introduction of jeans and other western-style clothing. This was the transition between traditional clothing and modern dress. By the end of the twentieth century, most African Americans were wearing T-shirts and trousers and other Western-style outfits. They also wore headwraps and frock coats. The first-century photographs of the era show black fashions from the nineteenth century and the mid-century.


The black community was very different during the nineteenth century. It was often influenced by the era of the blues. During this time, women began to wear Capri-length pants and baggy shirts over fitted pants. The era was also marked by the use of colourful floral dresses. This style of clothes was later adopted by whites. It became increasingly fashionable, and whites started following suiting blacks in the 1970s.

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