Gangs of New York: Clothing Worn

Just finished watching it last night and wondered:

New York City can be very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter. Ideal 68-72 degree weather appears mainly in the fall and spring.
So the clothes worn in the movie, long overcoats and long sleeve shirts, seem like they’d be just way too uncomfortable to wear in the summer and just not warm enough in the winter.

Was this typical clothing during that time period? Did people not dress according to the weather? Especially when air conditioning did not exsist.

I haven’t seen the movie, what is the period? 1870-ish? If so, people—rich and poor alike—wore a lot more clothing than we do, including underclothes we’d consider to be a bit much for outerwear.

Men wore long-sleeved shirts with detachable collar and cuffs; long pants; socks; shoes; and—almost always—a hat. In the winter they added long underwear and an overcoat (often fur-lined).

Women wore corsets, corset-covers, petticoats, two-piece dresses (usually made to look one-piece); and always, always, hat and gloves. They, too, added heavier undies and outerwear in the winter (as well as muffs—no wisecracks, now!).

People did faint from the heat more than they do now. But they were also used to it, wore 100% natural, breathable fabrics, and they knew to drink a lot of water, pace themselves and stay out of the direct sun if they could.

If we went back in time, most of us wouldn’t last five minutes, we’re so used to our ultra-casual, comfortable and damned ugly clothing.