In an effort to show how expensive clothing was in colonial America, it is occasionally said that a journeyman (a man who worked for wages, from the French for day: journée) had to spend an entire year’s wages to buy one suit of clothes. Well, maybe if he had an audience with the king . . . Clothing was expensive and even the well-to-do owned only a few outfits. Gentry women often re-made their dresses by sending them out to be dyed and then attaching different trimmings. The “middling sort” may have had only one of two changes of clothing; the poor may have had only what was on their backs. But clothing was available, new and used, at a very wide range of prices. William Carlin, a tailor in Alexandria who made clothes for field hands as well as the planter elite, charged £3-5 for an ordinary wool suit and £15 for a silk brocade suit. Meanwhile, a journeyman’s wages around the time of the Revolution averaged £30-35, about half of which went toward housing.