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17th Century

17th Century

17th Century

17th-century wardrobe is distinguished by its opulence, luxury, and the complexity of its designs, a testament to the era’s fashion sophistication. Key characteristics include the extensive use of luxurious fabrics such as silk and velvet, embellished with intricate lace and detailed embroidery, showcasing the period’s affinity for decorative arts.

Ruffs and Collars: Ruffs, elaborate collared pieces made of stiffened linen, became a significant element of fashion. They grew in size and complexity as the century progressed, requiring support from wire frames or starch.


The use of dark fabrics richly adorned with gold embroidery and the fur trim is an item for someone of high status

The striking red velvet used for the majority of the garment is reminiscent of the luxurious fabrics favored by the European aristocracy of the time. The decorative panels on the front, with their intricate patterns and gold detailing, are typical of the Renaissance period, when textile art reached a high level of craftsmanship

The doublet, which is the jacket-like garment, is padded and quilted, featuring the distinctive slashing where the fabric underneath is pulled through to create puffs of contrasting color. This was a popular style to display wealth, as it showed that the wearer could afford to cut into fine fabric merely for decoration.

The sleeves are voluminous and slashed, a typical style of the mid to late 16th century. The ruffled collar, known as a ruff, is another hallmark of this era, particularly in the latter half, and would have been stiffened with starch to keep its shape.

Women wore linen chemises under dresses or skirts with bodices, often layered with aprons for added functionality and modesty. Footwear was made from leather, suited for rough village paths, while accessories like belts and kerchiefs served practical uses. The choice of fabric and color—predominantly natural dyes in blues, greens, and browns—indicated the wearer’s economic status within the village’s modest means.

Men typically wore a basic ensemble consisting of breeches, a shirt, and a doublet. The breeches were knee-length and could be quite voluminous, secured at the waist with a tie or a belt. Made from linen or wool, depending on the region and climate, these breeches allowed for the necessary mobility in daily labor. The shirt, often the only undergarment worn by men, was also linen, long-sleeved, and reached down to mid-thigh, serving dual purposes for modesty and as a sleeping garment.


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