Home / Our Stock / 16th Century

16th Century

16th Century

16th Century

The 16th-century women’s wardrobe was characterized by its elegance, complexity, and the display of wealth through fabric and design. The silhouette of the period was dominated by a fitted bodice, often with a square neckline, designed to accentuate a slender waist, achieved through the use of corsets. The skirts were voluminous, supported by farthingales in Spain or the more conical Spanish farthingale in England, creating a distinctive shape that was both regal and imposing.

Sleeves were an important aspect of fashion, varying in style from puffed to slashed, allowing the fabric of the undergarment to show through. Ruffs, elaborate and stiffened collars, framed the face and were a status symbol of the time. Over-garments like the robe or gown were richly decorated with embroidery, lace, and jewels, reflecting the wearer’s social status.

The use of luxurious fabrics such as silk, velvet, and brocade was common among the nobility, while the lower classes wore garments made from wool and linen. Fashion also included a variety of headwear, from simple coifs to elaborate headdresses, often complemented by veils.

The 16th-century men’s wardrobe is a vivid illustration of Renaissance fashion, encapsulating the era’s opulence and societal structure. This period saw a remarkable evolution in menswear, characterized by rich fabrics, structured silhouettes, and intricate embellishments, reflecting the wearer’s social status and wealth.

Key components of the 16th-century male attire included the doublet, a tailored, often padded jacket that underscored the era’s preference for a defined silhouette. Accompanying the doublet were tight hose or breeches, essential elements that highlighted the legs, made from luxurious fabrics for the elite. The jerkin, a decorative, sleeveless jacket worn over the doublet, added another layer of sophistication and was frequently adorned with lavish decorations.

The iconic ruff collar became a symbol of 16th-century fashion, with its size and complexity growing throughout the century, showcasing the wearer’s affluence. Outerwear choices, such as capes and cloaks, were made from sumptuous materials, often fur-lined, indicating both style and social hierarchy.

For outerwear, capes and cloaks were fashioned from luxurious materials, often lined with fur for the winter months, serving both practical and aesthetic purposes. Hats varied widely in shape and decoration, from the simple flat cap to more elaborate designs, often featuring feathers, brooches, or both, signaling the wearer’s social standing.

16-century commoners’ attire was utilitarian and sturdy, made from durable fabrics without embellishment, designed to withstand daily labor and reflect the simplicity of everyday life away from the opulence of the nobility..

Join Our Mailing List....