CW & Pop Culture: Wearing The Civil War?

Is apparel a form of history in pop-culture? I’m going to argue: yes! When I wear my historic 1839 and castled walls emblazed V.M.I. T-Shirt or my favorite Boston Lighthouse swag, I’m proclaiming my love of history to the entire grocery store. Right?

Most historic sites have T-Shirts and other wearables for sale, and in the last few years, I’ve spotted garments with Civil War history showing in classy, odd, grotesque, and humorous logos, portraits, and wording. Now, to be honest, the historical themed T-Shirts in my closet are on the conservative side—maybe even a little boring when compared to some of the edgier stuff also on the market.

So…I decided to do a little internet browsing and see what fantastic apparel is for sale. Commentary for entertainment purposes only, and no offense intended to designers or wearers.

On sale for just $47.99 (regularly $79.96), this sweatershirt will turn heads at your local library and get you kicked out of the ranks at the next reenactment…

And for the Jackson fan club, there’s this unique version of Stonewall looking something like an iconic saint. Inspirational quote included.

There are a bunch of great shirts and phrasing jokes involving Lincoln, but this one takes the cake for creativity on my score sheet. Yikes!

For those who are obsessed with infographs or the details of facial hair during the Civil War—I guess there’s a shirt for that?

When you want to wear something with dead and wounded soldiers on it, here’s the next addition for your wardrobe.

Now, this a shirt I probably should have. But can I design it with a recognizable general?

And don’t forget to dress the baby in a onesie with Chamberlain on the front?

Well, this could be interpreted several ways?

No humor here. Moving on.

Well, I’m not sure I’ll be updating my closet with these finds, but it’s good to know there’s a plethora of options for the historically fashion-forward among us! Do you have a favorite wearable with a historical theme?

About Sarah Kay Bierle

I’m Sarah Kay Bierle, historian, editor, and historical fiction writer. When sharing history, I try to keep the facts interesting and understandable. History is about real people, real actions, real effects and it should inspire us today.
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3 Responses to CW & Pop Culture: Wearing The Civil War?

  1. LOL! These are all epic! Especially the baby onesie. I try to avoid apparel that has a theme or conversation-starter on it. And if I do have them, I wear them strictly at home. That being said, though, I was caught at Shiloh without a hat and I couldn’t visit the Hornet’s Nest without something covering my head. I broke down and got a ballcap from the gift shop and wore it ONCE. Now it’s a memento in my office to remind me to pack smarter next time.

  2. I love the Lincoln shirt, very funny. The Union blue hoodie is great too!

  3. Douglas Pauly says:

    I made a comment when this showed up on my Facebook page. I think these items are great. BUT, I will stand by my comment on there about wondering how ‘triggered’ some people will automatically become when viewing a garment with images of icons like Stonewall Jackson or RE Lee or others on them? Some will view them like they view the false narrative of what ‘MAGA’ hats have become..

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