“Canadiens on the warpath or traveling for the fur trade adopted the breechclout of the Natives very early on to replace the cumbersome breeches… The shirt being quite long, the breechclout would completely disappear under it. Which may explain the fuss made by Bishop Saint-Vallier in 1719. Answering a complaint from local priests as he was just returning from France, Saint-Vallier was upset that his flock was going to work in the fields <<with only their shirts on, wearing no breeches and no underpants during the summer in order to alleviate the heat.>>.” -Gousse, Costume in New France

“Those who go to war receive a capot, two cotton shirts, one breechclout, one pair of leggings, on blanket, one pair of souliers de boeuf, a wood-handled knife, a worm and a musket when they do not bring any. The breechclout is a piece of broadcloth draped between the thighs in the Native manner and with the two ends held by a belt. One wears it without breeches to walk more easily in the woods.” - d’Aleyrac, 1755-60

“(do not) let any militiaman come [to a religious procession] wearing only a mantelet and a tuque, when they are certain that these people have capots and hats at home.”
- orders to milita capatians by Monsieur de Noyan at the request of  the parish priest of Varennes, 1756

“Many nations imitate the French customs; yet I observed, on the contrary, that the French in Canada, in many respects, follow the customs of the Indians, with whom they converse everyday. They make use of the tobacco pipes, shoes, garters, and girdles of the Indians.” -Peter Kalm, 1749

“During their travels across Canada, the French [canadiens] dress as the Indians; they do not wear breeches.” - Peter Kalm, 1749

“It is not uncommon to see a Frenchman with Indian shoes and stockings, without breeches, wearing a strip of woolen cloth to cover what decency requires him to conceal.” - Jonathan Carver in Detroit,. 1766

“To this end, I laid aside my English clothes, and covered myself only with a cloth, passed about the middle; a shirt, hanging loose; a molleton , or blanket coat; and a large, red, milled worsted cap.”
Henry leaving native captivity, “Being now no longer in the society of Indians, I laid aside the dress, putting on that of a Canadian: A molton or blanket coat, over my shirt; and a handkerchief about my head, hats being very little worn in this country.”
-Alexander Henry, 1761

“…& about sixty militiamen with a kerchief on their heads and wearing shirts and their backsides bare in the Canadian style.” - Pierre Pouchot (1755-60)

Clothing of the Canadiens and the Milice
My Documention     Historical Images
The clothing of the milice was in many ways similar to the clothing of the average habitant in New France as the quotes below illustrate.