Pigtails and Ramillies

The fashion of wearing large, curled wigs in the eighteenth century was impractical for some men. Soldiers developed a unique style that gave them the appearance of long, flowing, curly hair, but allowed them to be active. The style was the pigtail, or queue. Pigtails could be styled in many different ways. Commonly pigtails hung loose from a black ribbon knotted at the back of the head, but they could also be braided, smeared with tar, or completely hidden beneath a tightly wrapped ribbon or fabric pouch. Although the first military pigtails were fashioned from the wearers' own hair, later styles were made of wigs, called campaign wigs. The Ramillies wig, a version of the campaign wig that became a popular style among soldiers throughout the

The Ramillies wig featured a long pigtail tied with black ribbons at its top and bottom. Courtesy of the .
century, was named after a British victory over the French in 1706 during the War of Spanish Succession (1701–14). The Ramillies wig featured a long pigtail tied with a black tie at the top and another at the bottom of the pigtail. Throughout the eighteenth century, pigtails of all sorts were covered in flour or another white powder to create the white hair so popular during the century.


Corson, Richard. Fashions in Hair: The First Five Thousand Years. London, England: Peter Owen, 2001.

Laver, James. Costume and Fashion: A Concise History. 4th ed. London, England: Thames and Hudson, 2002.

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