The 1700s were a century packed with social change, revolution and war. The American colonists fought the British for independence, the French overthrew their monarchy, and the Industrial Revolution began. Catherine the Great ruled Russia, three King Georges ruled England, George Washington led the Americans, and Queen Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI ... well, they didn't fare too well in the French Revolution.
Throughout the 18th century, the details of fashions changed, but the basic wardrobe stayed the same. Typical colonial men wore an oversized linen shirt underneath a waistcoat (vest) and a coat made of wool or linen (with wealthier men sporting coats of silk or cotton), with a pair of knee-lenght pants called breeches or knickers. They accessorized with a casual neck kerchief or formal lace jabot; leather shoes, usually black and fastened with buckles; a wig made of human or horse hair; and a hat turned up on two or three sides, with the three-sided tricorne hat being the most fashionable.
Typical colonial women wore lots of layers. They usually wore at least two petticoats (a nicer one meant to be seen, and a more basic one underneath as a slip), a pocket pouch tied around the waist under their skirts, a chemise, and boned stays (also known as a corset). On top of all that, they wore a long gown made of wool or linen for the poorer folks and cotton or silk for the wealthier ones, a stomacher (a piece that fitted down the front of the bodice to hide the stays and change up the look), an apron for work or decorative purposes, a neck kerchief, a cap to protect the hair from dirt, a wide-brimmed straw hat tied over the cap if they went outdoors, over-the-knee stockings held up with garters, and leather or silk shoes fastened with buckles.