In popular culture, the Pilgrims are generally shown wearing solely black and white clothes, with big golden buckles on their shoes, caps, and long white collars. This is a reference to the original outfit of the colonists: black leather boots, pants, and coats with white cotton shirts and bonnets.
The first printed account we have of the Pilgrims was written by William Bradford in 1647. He described them as "all well dressed in black broadcloth." We know that this is what they wore because several years later an official from the Virginia Company visited the colony and reported back to London that the colonists were still wearing black clothing. We also know that some of the colonists were not fully dressed in black because afterward others joined them who were not originally part of the group that settled Plymouth. These new immigrants usually came from more prosperous families and they brought with them fine clothes made of silk and wool that were not available in the colony at that time.
Bradford also wrote that the colonists had many horses but only enough food for themselves. This means they must have sold some of their horses for money with which to buy food. It is possible that some of these sales took place while the Pilgrims were still in England looking for a place to settle down.
The Pilgrims did not dress in all black and white with buckled top hats. Buckles were both pricey and out of style at the time. They just tied their shoes and held up their slacks with their considerably cheaper leather laces. Buckles subsequently gained popularity in England due to their cost and as a fashion statement.
In fact, the only thing that separates them from us today is the color of their clothes. Everything else about them is true to life. Even their names are the same as those of the real-life pioneers. There are Ellis and there are Amadas. There are Maytons and Mathers. And there is Dickinsons and Dicksons. All of these people were involved in the settlement of Massachusetts.
In conclusion, the Pilgrims were very much like us today. Their clothes weren't expensive but they used what money they had so as not to be dressed by someone else. Also, they held many meetings to discuss how to live together in one place which shows that they were just like us.
According to an article by Simon Worrall in Smithsonian Magazine, the Mayflower pilgrims wore a range of colors, despite the fact that they are commonly pictured wearing solely black and white clothing: "We do know that they did not dress in black and white and wear stovepipe caps as the Puritans did." Instead, they dressed in red, blue, yellow, green, and white. They also wore silk hats, jewelry, and lace collars.
In addition, the pilgrims made use of British clothes styles at that time. For example, men wore long coats with wide lapels and skirts with petticoats. Women wore full gowns with tight-fitting bodices and high heels.
Finally, some scholars have suggested that the images of early American settlers that we see in paintings and photographs may have been influenced by the fact that most people back then were rich enough to own several sets of clothes. The poor would have had only one set which they would have worn until it no longer fit them, at which point they would have had to find something new.
In conclusion, yes, the Pilgrims and later settlers wore black and white because that was all that they could afford. However, this does not mean that they were pure at heart. It means that they faced many challenges on their journey which forced them to be practical.