We all do the best we can, but no one gets it perfect. Your eyeglasses, the watches folks forget to take off, the machine that sewed your clothes, the machines used to bore your rifle, the milled lumber for your tent poles. The buildings we hold some events in that are up to modern code with electric lights, or the cars we take to events. And let’s not forget modern medical and dental care.
The question is not what breaks it, but how much effort we take to do the best we can. The research we do, the way we present our impression of a period person and how well we can carry that on because we have learned how people lived, current events for the time and place, the hardships as much as the joys. To stand in the best garb you can muster, you can be more period by knowing where you would fit in the society, what hardships they would have overcome. Knowing the politics of your area, the state of the nation and have an opinion your impression would have, what fears do they have, what hopes? What joys do they look forward to, and what foods that are local and what that are rare do they enjoy?
We may not have the ability to be perfectly period, but we can keep reaching for it, and the easiest way is learning about the time we are portraying.
Try this. Thinking as your persona how do goods from a distance get to you (rail, horse and wagon), how often do these things come in, how do you order something special (letter, post, pay wait times). Think of how special something that is not locally made would be, how prized it would be, how every time you touched it you would remember that effort.
How can you bring that into your impression? I can tell you it is worth the effort, and it’s part of this “hobby” that never ends, but grows in depth and it also helps us reflect on our modern life