VIEWS: 200 PAGES: 6 CATEGORY: World History POSTED ON: 9/17/2011
The Elizabethan era in fashion, from 1558 - 1603, is named after Britain's Queen Elizabeth I. Garments made of wool and linen were heavy and of a striking design and include such fashion icons as the ruff and the farthingale.
16/09/2011 20:37 doloresmonet.hubpages.com by Research Analyst Women’s Clothing in Elizabethan England rate or flag this pageTweet from Catherine of Aragon. During those difficult times, the idea of freedom of religion was not on T he Elizabethan period in costume design re- anyone’s mind. Religion was a state establishment fers to that time encompassed by the reign of so the fight was over which religion would be the Queen Elizabeth I (from 1558 - 1603) during state religion. the Renaissance. The daughter of King Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn, Elizabeth became one of the world’s England, at the time, was still basically a feudal most famous monarchs. The style of clothing and society. Most people lived in the country. In Eliza- fashions of the Elizabethan era are distinctive and bethan family based culture, the nuclear family, striking, and easily recognizable today and popular servants, and apprentices lived and worked in close with designers of historic costume. proximity. While women were subservient to men and performed the usual household chores, their As in the Middle Ages, the fabrics used to create work also included the care of livestock and kitchen garments of the Elizabethans were wool and linen. garden; assistance at harvest; the making of cheese, Clothing of the upper classes also included silk, cot- butter, candles, and soap. Women commonly had ton, and other imported fabrics. Fashions worn by basic medical skills, spun wool, and knit. the elite inspired the dress of lower classes and rural women, though the fabric, weave, and embellish- Employment opportunities included domestic ser- ments improved with economic status. vice, laundry and seamstress work. The wife of a craftsman might assist in the shop, the running of The clothing worn by Elizabethans look heavy a business, or take over the business if widowed. and over done to many of us today. But weather Women earned money by selling produce, eggs, but- in England during the period was cool and wet as ter, spun wool, and other items made or produced northern Europe shivered in the grip of a mini Ice at home. Age. So the heaviness of Elizabethan fashion was out of necessity, yet is remembered as romantic and beautiful, and still popular as seen at the Re- The population exploded during Elizabeth’s naissance Festivals of modern times. reign despite widespread disease including seve- ral outbursts of plague. Irish troubles, war with Elizabethan England - Historical Spain,and a growing underclass of unemployed Background poor added to Elizabeth’s challenges. But in a time when women were subservient to men, a woman Elizabeth Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII and Ann ruled a great and powerful nation. Her personality, joliprint Boleyn ascended to the thrown of England after the intelligence, and style are recognisable and admi- death of her half sister Mary (daughter of Henry VIII rable to us today. and Catherine of Aragon). Henry VIII had assumed the role as leader of the Church in England when the Printed with Catholic Pope refused to grant Henry an annulment http://doloresmonet.hubpages.com/hub/Renaissance-Fashion-Womens-Clothing-in-Elizabethan-England Page 1 16/09/2011 20:37 doloresmonet.hubpages.com Women’s Clothing in Elizabethan England Elizabethan Clothing - Textiles faded, so even richly colored garments became muted over time. Brown and gray, Linen and wool were the most common fabrics used cheaper dyes, were the obvious choice of during the Elizabethan era. As in the Middle Ages, the lower classes. Blue, another somewhat people wore linen undergarments next to the skin. inexpensive dye is associated with servants Linen, made from the flax plant is comfortable, cool, and apprentices. Blue fades easily, so a light and easy to launder. In a time when people rarely shade was predominant. washed their clothes, linen could be washed and • Black, an expensive, fashionable shade, and became softer with use. a Spanish influence, shows up often in royal portraits of Elizabethan England, especially • Wool keeps the body warm in cold weather, for men. and cool in warm weather. Wool produces • Two shades of red occur frequently in Eli- long lasting fabrics, takes dyes well, and zabethan clothing. A russet red, made from does not absorb moisture. the plant called madder created a warm, • Fulled wool, or heavily felted wool is tough homey hue, while a brighter crimson red, and durable. Felted wool, that is wool that made from imported dyes was reserved for is washed to shrink, was often so dense that royalty. it did not need hemming as it would not unravel. Elizabethan Style - Layers • Both wool and linen appeared in finer weaves for the upper classes. Linen, im- Undergarments made of linen were easy to wash ported from France and the Low Countries, and often the only garments that were laundered. appeared in heavy or finer weaves with Both men and women wore similar under shirts, Lawn being the finest weave. much like the under tunics of the Middles Ages. • Imported cotton was used to create fabrics Women’s under-gowns, or smocks, reached the knee and blended with linen to make Fustian. or fell full length. • For thick, dense fabrics, canvas was made of hemp. A kirtle was a long, slightly fitted dress without a defined waistline, a simple garment similar to those The luxurious fashions depicted in Elizabethan art worn during the Middle Ages. On top of this, a wo- work most often reflect the clothing worn by royalty, man wore a bodice, several layers of petti-coats (or the nobility, and the elite. The upper classes wore skirts), and a cloak. garments made of silk, satin, velvet, damask, and taffeta, in addition to wool and linen. Finer linens Layers were needed for comfort in the chilly, damp were bleached in the sun, embroidered, or block climate of Elizabethan England. printed. Fashionable embellishments included brai- ding, borders, embroidery, lace, guarding (ribbon The Elizabethan Bodice trim), and gems or pearls sewn onto the fabric. joliprint A bodice is a close fitting garment for the upper • Leather was used to make shoes, gloves, body. Elizabethan bodices were quite stiff, severe, hats, belts, and men’s doublets and and almost masculine in a shape that presented breeches. wide shoulders, and a small waist like an inverted Printed with • Colors came from natural dyes that often http://doloresmonet.hubpages.com/hub/Renaissance-Fashion-Womens-Clothing-in-Elizabethan-England Page 2 16/09/2011 20:37 doloresmonet.hubpages.com Women’s Clothing in Elizabethan England triangle. Some bodices drew into a narrow V shape shoulder loops, pads, and the elaborate shoulder at the waist as pictured on the right. rolls of the 1580’s. Necklines changed over the years. While low nec- False sleeves created an elegant style when elonga- klines were popular at the beginning and toward ted at the back to drape down to the floor. the end of Elizabeth’s reign, necklines were high in the middle years. The Ruff - An Elizabethan Collar Young, unmarried women wore lower bodice nec- One of the most distinctive elements of Elizabethan klines. Often, a high necked smock, worn with a fashion is the exaggerated collar called a ruff. low necked bodice, created an interesting contrast between the heavy bodice fabric and the lighter Early on, a gathered neckline produced a simple muslin or linen of the smock. ruffle at the neck. Later, a separate piece of deta- chable ruffle could be tied around the neck. The Bodices often featured decorative tabs called picka- ruff became more elaborate and eventually took on dills at the waist. Also, with embellishment by rolls the gargantuan proportions that framed the face. or wings at the armholes, the same bodice could appear quite different with detachable sleeves for In 1565, the addition of starch created the ability to variety. increase the size and height of the ruff. By 1580, ruffs became so massive, they required a wire framework The fashionable elite used whale bone (baleen) for support. Ruffs were made of fine muslin or lace, stiffening, willow wood, or steel in their bodices. or muslin trimmed with lace and often paired with A busk was an extra piece used for stiffening and matching cuffs at the wrist. was made from wood, bone, or ivory, and attached by a ribbon at the top. The tiny ribbon often seen Late Elizabethan fashions included a falling band today at the top center of a bra is a last reminder which was a separate, detachable collar made of of the busk. lace or embroidered linen. The flattened bosom and stiffened upper torso res- Common women and country women often wore tricted upper body movement so was limited to the a chin cloth to protect their faces and skn from the idle elite. Working women and commoners would sun and wind. They also wore a kerchief over their have been unable to function with such restriction. shoulders. Front laced bodices (so popular with Renaissance Fair attendees) were worn by working and common Elizabethan Skirts and the women. Back laced bodices were limited to women Farthingale with servants. Bodices were fastened by lacing or with hook and eye. Elizabethan style demanded a tight upper body pai- red with a voluminous lower body. A heavy outer joliprint Detachable sleeves added pizazz and variety to skirt split open into an A-line shape in the center, a bodice (as mentioned above). The wide, cuffed revealed an attractive under-skirt or petti-coat. So- trumpet shaped sleeves of the 1540’s - 1550’s gave metimes the exposed under-skirt or forepart was way to a narrower Spanish style sleeve. A high, wide paired with matching bodice sleeves. Printed with appearance with slashed upper sleeves evolved int http://doloresmonet.hubpages.com/hub/Renaissance-Fashion-Womens-Clothing-in-Elizabethan-England Page 3 16/09/2011 20:37 doloresmonet.hubpages.com Women’s Clothing in Elizabethan England While cool weather created the need to wear several wood lifted the foot up away from debris or dirt in layers of petti-coats for warmth, skirt size became work places, on roads, or in the street. an extreme fashion trend. The Renaissance introduced the wearing of high The Farthingale was the hoop skirt of Renaissance heels for vanity and style. Mary Tudor (1/2 sister of costume. Beginning as a padded roll to extend the Queen Elizabeth) wore high heels to improve her width of the the top of the skirt, it evolved into a stature and appear more regal. hoop skirt - circular strips of whale bone (baleen), wood, or steel were inserted horizontally into the fabric of an under skirt. Elizabethan Hair, Hats, and Face Originating in Spain to create a dome shaped skirt, Women wore their hair long when young and un- a farthingale held skirt fabric away from the legs married, often adding headbands or circlets of fresh and offered ease of movement. A lower class wo- flowers. After marriage, women pinned up and co- man might wear a padded roll for fashion as well vered their hair. Fashionable women added hair as convenience. extensions, golden chains, pearls, or feathers int elaborately braided or twisted hair styles. The wheel farthingale produced the exaggerated, huge skirt pictured at the right. A coif was a close fitting cap made of linen, some- times referred to as a Mary Stuart cap (after Mary Skirts often featured hems or borders that could be Queen of Scots) who wore one in a famous portrait. easily replaced if worn out or soiled. A Woman might wear a hat on top of a coif. A belt or ‘girdle’ functioned as a hanger for carrying Early Elizabethen women wore a French hood, a items such as purses and bags for the elite and com- fabric bonnet shaped with wires, a style introduced mon people of both genders. to England by Elizabeth’s mother, Ann Boleyn. The half moon or crescent shaped style was a glorified Elizabethan Shoes and Footwear head-band with a veil attached at the rear. Shoes of the Elizabethan period were generally blunt The Attifet, similar to the French hood, dipped in toed and flat, and made of leather or fabric. Women’s the center to create a heart shape, often decorated dress shoes made of silk, velvet, or brocade were with the addition of lace. often decorated with embellishments. A caul was an attractive hair net or snood, worn Early Elizabethan slip-ons gave way to laced or simply or festooned with decorations such as pearls buckled shoes. or beads. Most shoes of the time were made the same for both Between 1568 - 1574, Sumptuary laws (an old fashio- joliprint feet. After wearing, the leather or fabric molded to ned method of keeping people in their place by re- the shape of the foot. gulating attire) required all women, unless gentle women, the wives of nobility, to cover their hair. Platform or high heeled shoes originated for conve- Printed with nience. Pattens were tie-on over shoes that held the A kercher or kerchief, a triangular piece of muslin foot up off the ground, protecting the shoe from dirt, tied around the head and was worn under a hat. mud, or debris. Similarly, chopines made of cork or http://doloresmonet.hubpages.com/hub/Renaissance-Fashion-Womens-Clothing-in-Elizabethan-England Page 4 16/09/2011 20:37 doloresmonet.hubpages.com Women’s Clothing in Elizabethan England Women also wore pill box hats, flat hats (like a be- Encyclopedia of the Renaissance; Scribners ret), and small brimmed hats similar to men’s hats. The ideal Elizabethan face was pale and sometimes Elizabethan Costume Design - Click highlighted by the application of cosmetics - rouge to Buy Books or Patterns for the cheeks and a bit of color on the lips. Occa- sionally, eye lids were tinted. Cosmetics were used Patter s of Fashion: The Cut and Construction of by the fashion elite and were lead based products. Clothes for Men and Women C1560-1620 Perfume was popular for both men and women This book had lots of favorable reviews and is of- and almost necessary at a time when bathing was ten called the best of its kind, offering information a rare occurrence. for the advanced seamstress or one who has some understanding of pattern design. (All of the pictures used in this article are from wi- kimedia commons) Amazon Price: $26.29 List Price: $39.95 Patterns of Fashion 4: The Cut and Construction of Linen Shirts, Smocks, Neckwear, Headwear and Accessories for Men and Women C. 1540-1660 (Patterns of Fashion) Another excellent book by Janet Arnold depicting and describing the cut and pattern of smocks, linen shirts, neck wear, and head gear of Elizabethan cos- tume. Amazon Price: $32.85 List Price: $49.95 Patterns of Fashion 1: 1660-1860 Excellent information on Elizabethan costume for anyone interested in the clothing of the day - for students, costume makers, and theater. Books consulted: Amazon Price: $26.19 List Price: $39.95 Simplicity pattern 8881 (Size RR / Costume and Styles: The Evolution of Fashion From 14,16,18,20) *Elizabethan Costume Collection Early Egypt to the Present by Henny Harald Hansen: E.P. Dutton & Co. Elizabethan costume patterns by Simplicity. Eli- zabethan England (Costume and Fashion Source joliprint Daily Life in Elizabethan England, by Jeffrey L. Sing- Books) man; Greenwood Press A costume resource book for young adults Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion; edited by Va- Printed with lerie Steele: Scribner Library Amazon Price: $31.04 List Price: $35.00 Tudor and Elizabethan Fashions (History of Fashion) http://doloresmonet.hubpages.com/hub/Renaissance-Fashion-Womens-Clothing-in-Elizabethan-England Page 5 16/09/2011 20:37 doloresmonet.hubpages.com Women’s Clothing in Elizabethan England Beautiful color illustrations for the younger set 9 - 12 and information on Elizabethan costume of people from all walks of life. Amazon Price: $1.60 List Price: $3.95 Simplicity 2589 Sew Pattern WO- MEN’S ELIZABETHAN COSTUME Plus Size 16-24 An Elizabethan costume pattern for the plus sized. joliprint Printed with http://doloresmonet.hubpages.com/hub/Renaissance-Fashion-Womens-Clothing-in-Elizabethan-England Page 6
Pages to are hidden for
"Renaissance Fashion - Women's Clothing in Elizabethan England"Please download to view full document