I'm not sure where to post this but think it might work here.
*I am a complete novice at research and that which I have done is very limited and am posting get the input of those of you who are more experienced.
As I have been reading about pioneers I have discovered there were two basic groups during the 1850's and 1860's. Those who came to Oregon or California or other points west looking for land, wealth, freedom etc. The other group being Mormon Pioneers. As I have been reading, I realized that the differences between the dress/appearance of the two groups seem rather large and I'm curious to why that is.
In several sources I have been reading, for the life of me I can't remember which ones (Lesson #1 for future research- document your sources better
) there are references to the plain Mormon women and the dark/drab dresses. I understood this to mean that they were significantly different than the other "trail" dresses. Thus the need to mention the appearance of their clothing.
But why would they be so different? Nauvoo was a very prosperous town prior to the Mormon's departure with a lot of river traffic. With this in mind, one would think that access to dress goods and styles would be fairly current. Nauvoo and later Salt Lake had a rich history of social events and theater so there would definitely be a reason for stylish apparel. I can't imagine that everyone would say, "Oh here we go into the wilds so lets all make dark boring dresses that are so out of fashion that we will be noticed as plain, fashion misfits."
Understandably all trail clothing was much more work appropriate and plain than the fancy dress of the southern bells or trendy Philadelphia socialites but the Mormon clothing must have been more dramatic than the norm.
Just wondering about the whole idea. Hope this made sense.