pioneer trek

 Pioneer Clothing


Dressing in pioneer clothing can have a tremendous impact on the spirit of the trek.  The following is a short description of how pioneers dressed and it is our hope that the youth will dress likewise for the trek. 

Each Ward will have a Clothing Specialist called who will help all their youth get their clothing together.  The Ward Clothing Specialist will work with the Stake Clothing Specialist to make sure everyone has the clothes they need for the trek. 

Menís clothing

Menís shirts worn loose.  Plain colors were common, but stripes or plaids were also used.  Light colors will be coolest.  Choose something larger than a regular fit, with long sleeves. 

Pants were also worn loose.  Wool or linen were used.  Corduroy, twill and canvas pants are good choices.  Trekker in our day find that wool is to hot but that cotton work great.  Colors include blue, black, gray, browns, especially beige and tan.  Choose rather loose fitting through the crotch and thigh area to add comfort In walking. 

Suspenders; Menís pants were held up by suspenders that were buttoned on the outside of the waistband, and crossed in the back. 

Hats:  Menís everyday hats ranged from pilot caps, straw hats, wide brimmed low felt hats, or round crowned hat.  No ball caps allowed. 

Ties; Usually vests/ties were worn only on Sunday or when attending a meeting or social event.  Ties were small, black and silky.  Wrapped around the neck one and tied in the front with a square knot. 


Womenís clothing:  

**Pricing:  The Stake Clothing Specialist purchased enough material to make an apron, bonnet, and skirt.  The total cost in the end was only $7.00 to make them all.  (That did not include thread.)

Dresses:  Womenís basic dresses were floor length.  It could be plain or have many ruffles.  The sleeves were full, and long, with buttons or bands at the writs.  Necklines were usually high, with buttons up the front.  Fabrics were cotton in solid colors or small print.  Bright colors were popular (especially bright yellow)  Blouses and long skirts or jumpers could be used.  Pioneer trekkers now have found that dresses and skirts should be mid-calf or above top of a hiking boot in length (so the girls do not trip over their skirts while pulling). 

Aprons; The standard apron was six to twelve inches shorter than the skirt length.  It gathered at the waist and tied.  The  bib attached at the waist and was pinned to the dress bodice at the top two corners.  Hence, the name pinafore (Pinned at two of the for corners).  Daytime aprons were made of calico remnants.  Sunday aprons were made from white fabric and did not have a bib.  For trekking today, large deep pockets are important to be able to carry different items along the trial.   Here's a pattern you can use:

Bonnets; Women wore bonnets whenever they were outside.  They were made of cotton with a deep stiffened brim and back ruffle to protect the neck.  They could be white, plain colors or a print, but they never matched the fabric of the dress.  Today, bonnets or straw hats for the girls are important, they need to have something they will wear to protect them from the sun. 

Bonnet Patterns (PDF-243KB) 

Here's another Pioneer Bonnet Pattern: click here to enlarge

Pantaloons were worn underneath the dress and were normally white.  Reached between knee and mid calf.  Could use scrubs or pajama pants hemmed shorter.  Wearing pantaloons helps maintain modesty in trekking situations.  (Although the young women often wear denim jeans, on the trek they should be discouraged because they are too tight, hot and donít breathe.)  Here's a pattern:

Shoes; For both  women and men, shoes need not be ďperiodĒ style.  Comfort is most important.  Do not wear new hiking boots unless you have taken at least two months to break them in.  Bring two pair, so if one gets wet or cause blisters, the other pair can be worn. 

Socks;  Pack clean socks for each day. 


Clothing Sources:  2nd hand stores or borrowed clothing.  A Trek Clothing Specialist will be available to work with each ward to ensure proper clothing is assembled for each youth on the trek.  Sewing workshops will be arranged to accomplish the clothing preparation task.  Authentic patterns can be obtained from also look under 1840-1850ís .  The Stake Youth Conference Specialists will provide a basic pattern for the womenís clothing.


What NOT TO Wear
Blue jeans, baseball caps, tank tops, t shirts, tight/short dresses, brand new shoes.

Clothing Patterns

Womenís Simplicity Patterns Ė 5041 & 5375
Menís Simplicity Patterns Ė 5023 & 5035

Womenís Butterick Patterns Ė 4570 & 3992
Menís Butterick Pattern Ė 3896

Womenís McCall Patterns Ė 3669 & 4548

The Historical Pattern Company:
Various menís and womenís patterns are shown on this website.

If you want to buy custom made high quality authentic pioneer clothes, visit:   Very extensive selection.  The older ladies behind that site (there are 4 little elderly  ladies who sew the clothes) are very nice, very good at what they do, efficient,  and skilled, but brace yourself for steep pricing, because they use only period materials and materials like that don't come cheap!


Mormon Handicraft  also has some pioneer clothes you can buy (a little cheaper than


Questions Ė call
Greg or Susie Phillips 652-1444
Doreen Finley 673-8675


Womenís Simplicity Patterns
5041 & 5375


Womenís Butterick Patterns
4570 & 3992

Womenís McCall Patterns
3669 & 4548



Menís Simplicity Patterns
5023 & 5035

Menís Butterick Pattern


This site is not an official Church website and should be used only as a resource for Trek preparation and information.

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 Handcart Trek Slide Show

Hand Carts  



Finding Your Ancestors

Conditioning Your Feet

Pioneer Stories

Contact Us


Prep Tip:

Start preparing for the trek NOW by taking daily walks.  Start by walking 15 minutes 3 times a week.  After a month, increase your walks to 30 minutes 3 times per week.  Be sure to use the "Monthly Events" Calendar as your guide.  For tips on preventing blisters, CLICK HERE