WOMEN’S CLOTHING FROM THE 16th CENTURY
Elizabeth, wears padded shoulder rolls and an embroidered partlet and sleeves. Her low-necked chemise is just visible above the arched bodice, 1572.
- Fashion in the period 1550-1600 reflected the graded structure of society at the time
- In Elizabethan era, a persons rank, status, or social position dictated his or her living arrangements, diet and dress
Spanish fashion: Elizabeth of Valois, Queen of Spain, wears a black garment with floor-length sleeves lined in white, with the cone-shaped skirts created by the Spanish farthingale, 1565.
Difference between our clothing in 2014 and how it was in 16th century
In the 16th century women would respect themselves a lot more then they do now days, they would wear dresses from the neck to ankles. Their fashion would be not to show any skin. Today in the 21st century, women’s fashion has revolved throughout the years, fashion now days reveal more skin, more colorful, and more fitted. We also wear pants and shirts which is very casual meanwhile in the 16th century they would never, they would only wear dresses and always dress very fancy.
Women’s fashions of the earlier 16th century consisted of:
- A loose or fitted long garment, usually with sleeves, worn over a blouse, with a linen chemise or smock worn next to the skin.
- The high-waisted garment of the late primitive period evolved in several directions in different parts of Europe.
- An alternative to the garment was a short jacket or a doublet cut with a high neckline.
Accessories: Jewelry was also popular among those that could afford it. Necklaces were beaded gold or silver chains and worn in concentric circles reaching as far down as the waist. Ruffs also had a jewelry attachment such as glass beads, embroidery, gems, brooches or flowers. Belts were a surprising necessity: used either for fashion or more practical purposes.
Fabrics and trims
Makeup: The typical makeup worn during Elizabethan times enhanced a white complexion with a bright red lip and cheek. A darker skin tone could be covered with the thick makeup. The pale complexion was associated with wealth and nobility, making it popular among Elizabethan society.
- The general trend toward abundant surface ornamentation in the Elizabethan Era was expressed in clothing, especially amongst the upper class in England.
- Shirts and chemises were knit with blackwork and edged in lace. Heavy cut velvets and lace were further ornamented with applied bobbin lace, gold and silver embroidery, and jewels
Hairstyles: Married and grown women covered their hair, as they had in previous periods. Early in the period, hair was parted in the center and fluffed over the temples; later front hair was curled and puffed high over the forehead. Wigs and false hairpieces were used to extend the hair.A close-fitting linen cap called a coif was worn, alone or under other hats or hoods, especially in the Netherlands and England; many embroidered and bobbin-lace-trimmed English coifs survive from this period.
In the German states and Bohemia:
- Garment remained short-waisted, tight-laced but without corsets.
- The open-fronted garment laced over the blouse or a stomacher or plackard.
- Sleeves were puffed and slashed, or elaborately cuffed.
In France, England, and Flanders:
- The high waistline gradually descended to the natural waist in front (following Spanish fashion) and then to a V-shaped point.
- Cuffs grew larger and were elaborately trimmed.
- Hoop skirts, had appeared in Spain at the very end of the 15th century, and spread to England and France over the next few decades. Corsets (called a pair of bodies) also appeared during this period.
- A variety of hats, caps, hoods, hair nets, and other headdresses were worn, with strong regional variations.Shoes were flat, with broad square toes.
The poor and rich clothe in the 16th century in England
- For rich people fashion was important.
- For the poor clothes had to be tough and practical.
- All classes wore wool. However it varied in quality.
- The rich wore fine quality wool.
- The poor wore coarse wool.
- Linen was used to make shirts. However only the rich could afford cotton and silk.
- Rich people also embroidered their clothes with silk, gold or silver thread.
- Rich women wore silk stockings.
- A woman’s dress was made of two parts, a bodice or corset like garment and a skirt.
- Sleeves were held on with laces and could be detached.
- Workingwomen wore a linen apron.
- In Elizabethan England many women wore a frame made of whale bone or wood under their dress called a farthingale. If they could not afford a farthingale women wore a padded roll around their waist called a bum roll.
- In the 16th century everyone wore hats.
- Poor women often wore a linen cap called a coif.
- In the 16th century buttons were usually for decoration.
- Clothes were often held together with laces or pins.
- Furs in Tudor Times included cat, rabbit, beaver, bear, badger and polecat.