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How to Look Like a Gold Miner

Jeanne Studio/Demand Media

The year 1848 brought many visitors to California. However, the visitors were not in California to enjoy the Pacific Ocean. Each male, female and child came to strike gold hidden in the mountains and rivers of northern California. Mining for gold was difficult and required clothes that were rugged and resilient enough to withstand rough terrain in the California mines. Dress like the gold miners that visited California during the gold rush with clothes found in your closet or from a thrift store. Wear the costume for a class presentation or play about the California gold rush at school.

Things You'll Need:

  • Long-Sleeved Thermal Shirt
  • Long-Sleeved Cotton Button Shirt
  • Suspenders
  • Cotton Vest
  • Canvas Work Pants
  • Black Boots
  • Bandana
  • Tube Socks
  • Denim Pants
  • Floppy Cowboy Hat
  • Cotton Rope
  • Brown Leather Belt
Jeanne Studio/Demand Media

Select a plain long-sleeved button shirt to initiate the gold mining costume. A long-sleeved thermal shirt will also work, since gold miners wore thermal tops to keep themselves warm. Place a cotton vest over the long-sleeved or thermal shirt to give the costume more authenticity.

Jeanne Studio/Demand Media

Put an old pair of denim pants or canvas works pants on and tuck the long-sleeved button or thermal shirt into the pants. Put on a plain brown leather belt or use a cotton rope to keep the pants in place. Clip the suspenders onto the pant’s waistband in the front and back of the pants.

Jeanne Studio/Demand Media

Slip the tube socks onto your feet and put the pair of black boots on. Boots that are worn and tattered will make the costume appear more realistic than new boots. Keep the top of the boots hidden under the pants.

Jeanne Studio/Demand Media

Fold a bandana diagonally in half and wrap the bandana around your neck, allowing the bandana’s corners to hang in front of your chest. Tie a knot in the back of your neck to keep the bandana secure. Draw a fake mustache and stubble on your face if you're a child or allow the facial hair to grow out if you're an adult male. Put on a soft brimmed hat to complete the costume.


Wear a canvas jacket over your shirt to enhance the appearance of the costume.

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