Clothing in the Elizabethan era

The great Elizabethan era (1558 – 1603) under the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, during the Tudor period, saw an acultural explosion of the arts in the hands of William Shakespeare who was the most prominent figure of this time. By many historians, the epoch is regarded as the golden age. The kind of renaissance that happened during that time could only possible if there was economic prosperity, peace from religious and political battles, and overall contentment.

Not surprisingly, to date, again and again. designers have turned to the Elizabethan era and its fashions for inspiration. Have you ever wondered what makes these garments significantly more fashionable and interesting than the styling of any other period?

The law related to clothing:

Clothing was not just merely an insignificant thing in the days of Elizabethan England. In fact, fashion was quite significant at that time as there is even an Elizabethan law related to it. These laws stated the colores as well as the type of costume an individual was supposed to but and wear. These laws were called ‘Statutes of Apparel’ and were enforced by the Queen in Greenwich in the year 1574. The objective of this enforcement was to maintain a social distance as well as to keep a firm restrain on the people’s expenditure towards fashion and clothes.

Fashions in the different social status

Elizabethan clothing was indicative of the social order prevalent at that time and symbolizes an individual’s social reputation. The members of the royal family used to use imported materials like velvet, exotic silk, satin, and lace for their clothes while for the lower class basic materials like cotton, wool, and leather were used to make their clothes. The working class had to depend on muted shades like yellow, orange, green, pale blue, pink, and rust.

Royal women used to wear gowns which had many parts and layers. They also had to wear shoulder pads and a farthingale to make their skirts and gowns look extended. Robes were exclusive to the royals and Earls were the only ones who could wear gold or purple silk. Knights or people belong to higher social ranking were allowed to own silk stockings and velvet garments.

In the Elizabethan period, men used to wear a loose-fitting shirt, buttoned-down and cuffed; and for pants, they used to wear short puffy breeches. It is quite surprising that women had to wear tight clothes so that they look slimmer, on the other hand, men’s clothing was quite loose and comfortable.

Accessories for men and women

The clothing accessories Elizabethan women used to use were gowns, underclothing, corsets, hats, ruffs, collars, and shoes. The men used to wear doublets, underclothing, breeches, ruffs, collars hats, and shoes.

Though women often wore fancy jewelry,  for both men and women ruffs were an indispensable item that adds to their elegant look.

Queen Elizabeth was the greatest influencer of fashion during her time. She had an elaborate and ostentatious clothing choice and used to keep a detailed account of the expenditure for her clothing.

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