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Fashion in the Elizabethan and Jacobean era

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Published: Wed, 17 May 2017

Similarities and differences between Elizabethan and Jacobean Era fashion.

The Elizabethan and Jacobean Era fashion had a lot of similarities along with many differences. They both had a unique way of fashion whereby fashion to them brought great and better organize and proper foundation. The Elizabeth era were more into the v shape clothing whereby the clothes were more to fit the shape and body structure. While during the Jacobean era more of the “U” shaped clothing was worn. The Jacobean Era came up to be so enticed by ruffs, where clothing made from shiny, smooth silk satins and play of light on these fine fabrics. But the French or “wheel” farthingale from the Elizabethan Era had be replaced with a softer mode of kilting the gown skirts. The open jacket and gown shaped like the letter “U” were now being worn over the abdomen. They both on the other hand, used clothing as a way to distinguish and set standards, differential their time and build a society of more civilized and great power.

The Elizabethan Era was into being quite elegant and classy .It was just another fashion conscious era, in which the way to show their personality and individuality was through their way of style and fashion. They were more known on fashion ideas and the way people found self-expression through it. In the beginning of the Elizabethan Era, women dressed casual and formal and The Elizabethan Era simply refers to a period, which was under the reign of Queen Elizabeth. The Elizabethan Era is also known as the Golden Age in History. This was the time when one saw the great new formation of English literature. It was also a brief period, which saw some amount of internal peace between the English Reformation and the clashes between other communities.

Clothing in the Elizabethan Era also saw an influence of geometric shapes. They took time and effort in showing of the natural shape and structure of their individual bodies. They decorated their body with fine materials that was quite great in amount, size and quality. They did this so to perceive an impression of a small waist. And this was not only shown in women but men as well, where they also wanted really thin body so to show their masculinity.

One would also need to note that the Elizabethan Era was one such period, which saw a proper division of class. With it, fashion was a way to distinguish great class and status. The Sumptuary Laws were passed that stated the kind of clothing one would have to wear.

Fashion also saw many changes and in the beginning of the Elizabethan Era, one can notice that the Elizabethan clothing was styled to cover every part of a woman’s body. Elizabethan clothing was also characterized by the kind of class one belonged to. People who belonged to the lower strata of society wore clothing made from materials like wool, sheepskin and even linen. People who belonged to this category were not allowed to wear materials in silk or even have velvet trimmings.

Men’s clothing in the Elizabethan Era also witnessed quite a few changes. Men wore ‘jerkins’ which were shirts with buttons down in the front. Men who belonged to the upper class also wore fine silk hats with a single feather. Shoes were always made of fine quality leather. Long, flowing cloaks and tall hats were also added to the kind of clothing worn in the Elizabethan Era.

These laws were passed by Queen Elizabeth and were also known as Statutes of Apparel. It was basically done to clearly demarcate the social structure existing in the Elizabethan Era. The Queen herself and only her relations were allowed to wear clothing that used gold or gold tissue as an embellishment.

In the Jacobean Era, as the ruff grew in size and ornamentation, the rest of the clothing became more simple and elegant but if one was to look carefully, one will notice clothing made from shiny, smooth silk satins and painters who reveled in the play of light on these fine fabrics. The drape of these glorious textiles was emphasized by the arrangement of the fabric over the hips.

Another style exists about the same time. Open-front jackets or gowns reveal brightly colored brocade stomachers shaped in a low U over the abdomen. The style is best portrayed in Ruben’s Portrait of himself, where his first wife, Isabella Brant.

Most of the portraits of women drawn of the Jacobean Era, they featured women wearing the ornate stomachers, whish are usually in only bit of color in an outfit of the rest of which is shockingly black. This stomachers seems to be the Dutchwoman’s outlet for panache.

The bodice is still quite structured, varying from a shockingly low necking to a high collar, but the gown skirts or petticoats have become softer and no longer appear to be worn with a farthingale. The ornate decoration of the Elizabethan period also seems to be subsiding. It is being replaced by the sumptuous silks and minimal trim that so clearly mark the Stuart fashions to come

The Fashion in the Elizabethan Era and Jacobean Era both gave way to a new era o fashion and clothing. They brought out some of the ideas in which are still present in today’s dressing. It is quite obvious that they centered on fashion and many other things, but with it they brought great changes to the world as a whole. The changes and influence they had and still have on the world is quite enormous. The doors they open for us and the eyes they widened are those that let us all to build our own way and new way of STYLE.


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