Abraham Lincoln is one of the most well recognized presidents in history. Even most school children can accurately identify him. He is most well known for his finesse in leading the country through its greatest internal crisis, the Civil War, which led to the end of slavery. Also noteworthy and unique is his style, known throughout history as classic and conservative. You can dress up like him on President’s Day or the Fourth of July to show your patriotism and appreciation for one of our country’s greatest presidents.
Abraham Lincoln had a very conservative and classy look. To mimic him, you will need a top hat. This is the hat of choice for men of that era. When top hats were first introduced in Europe at the end of the 18th century, they were instantly popular with socialites and workmen alike. Abraham Lincoln was key in popularizing this style in the States. Rumor has it that he kept important documents inside his hat. Make sure that you buy a black hat, as that is the only color that he wore.
Next you will need a black suit jacket, preferably one that is a tailcoat. A tailcoat is technically a skirt, with the front part cut away, leaving only “tails” in the back that fall to below your knees. This was originally done in order to make horseback riding easier. Tailcoats are synonymous with this time period and were the uniform of choice for gentlemen attending evening white tie affairs.
Underneath the jacket, either a white or gray shirt is ideal, to be paired with a vest of the same color. It is even better if the vest has a bit of a metallic sheen to it. As far as pants go, simple black ones will be fine. Then, finish the suit with a black bowtie.
Shoes will need to be simple black dress shoes for men. This should be the easiest part of the outfit since most men already have a pair of black dress shoes. Now that you have your outfit complete, it is time to work on your appearance. To achieve a likeness of Abraham Lincoln, you will need to find a dark wig and dark fake beard. Make sure that you part the wig to the side. You also may have to trim the beard so that it looks similar to the way Honest Abe would wear his.
Abraham Lincoln was a very tall man, measuring up to about 6’4’’. In order to look extremely authentic, walk on some short stilts or wear shoes with platforms to increase your height. If you choose stilts, be sure to practice on them first so that you can get familiar with how they feel when you walk.
The last key point to remember is to keep a very stoic and somber face. Abraham Lincoln was not known for his giddy and upbeat character. Few photographs depict him actually smiling. So no laughing when you are fully dressed!
Enjoy your day as Abraham Lincoln, one of history’s top most interesting men!