OVERVIEW

Womenswear

Wikipedia summarizes women’s fashion of the 1690s, writing:

“The wide, high-waisted look of the previous period was gradually superseded by a long vertical line, with horizontal emphasis at the shoulder. Full, loose sleeves ended just below the elbow at mid century and became longer and tighter in keeping with the new trend. The body was tightly corseted, with a low, broad neckline and dropped shoulder. In later decades, the overskirt was drawn back and pinned up to display the petticoat, which was heavily decorated. Spanish court fashion remained out of step with the fashions that arose in France and England, and prosperous Holland also retained its own modest fashions, especially in headdress and hairstyles, as it had retained the ruff in the previous period.”

Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici dancing with her husband Johann Wilhelm, Elector Palatine

Fig. 1 - Jan Frans van Douven (Southern Netherlandish, 1656-1727). Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici dancing with her husband Johann Wilhelm, Elector Palatine, 1695. Oil on canvas; dimensions unknown. Private Collection. Source: Pinterest

Elisabeth Charlotte, Duchess d'Orléans

Fig. 2 - Jan Weenix (Dutch, 1640-1719). Elisabeth Charlotte, Duchess d'Orléans, 1697. Private Collection. Source: Pinterest

Reina Maria Luisa Gabriela de Saboya

Fig. 3 - Jacinto Melendez (Spanish). Reina Maria Luisa Gabriela de Saboya, 1690. Private Collection. Source: Pinterest

Marie-Louise Desmatins

Fig. 4 - Berey. Marie-Louise Desmatins, 1690s. French engraving; dimensions unknown. Source: Pinterest

Portrait of a Woman, Possibly Madame Claude Lambert de Thorigny (Marie Marguerite Bontemps, 1668–1701), and an Enslaved Servant

Fig. 5 - Nicolas de Largillierre (French, 1656–1746). Portrait of a Woman, Possibly Madame Claude Lambert de Thorigny (Marie Marguerite Bontemps, 1668–1701), and an Enslaved Servant, 1696. Oil on canvas; 139.7 x 106.7 cm (55 x 42 in). New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 03.37.2. Rogers Fund, 1903. Source: The Met

Menswear

Wikipedia summarizes men’s fashion of the 1690s, writing:
“Fashion in the period 1660–1700 in Western European clothing is characterised by rapid change. Following the end of the Thirty Years’ War and the Restoration of England’s Charles II, military influences in men’s clothing were replaced by a brief period of decorative exuberance which then sobered into the coat, waistcoat and breeches costume that would reign for the next century and a half. In the normal cycle of fashion, the broad, high-waisted silhouette of the previous period was replaced by a long, lean line with a low waist for both men and women. This period also marked the rise of the periwig as an essential item of men’s fashion.”
Henry Davenport III as a Young Man

Fig. 1 - Jan van der Vaart (1647–1721/1727). Henry Davenport III as a Young Man, 1699. Chippenham: National Trust, Lacock Abbey, Fox Talbot Museum and Village. Source: Pinterest

Gentleman

Fig. 2 - Artist unknown (French). Gentleman, 1695. Private Collection. Source: Pinterest

Charles Beauclerk (1670–1726), Duke of St. Albans

Fig. 3 - Sir Godfrey Kneller (German, 1646–1723). Charles Beauclerk (1670–1726), Duke of St. Albans, ca. 1690–95. Oil on canvas; 126.7 x 102.9 cm (49 7/8 x 40 1/2 in). New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 39.65.8. Bequest of Jacob Ruppert, 1939. Source: The Met

CHILDREN’S WEAR

Wikipedia summarizes children’s fashion of the 1690s, writing:

“Young boys wore skirts with doublets or back-fastening bodices until they were breeched at six to eight. They wore smaller versions of men’s hats over coifs or caps. Small children’s clothing featured leading strings at the shoulder.”

Prince James Francis Edward Stuart; Princess Louisa Maria Theresa Stuart

Fig. 1 - Nicolas de Largillière (French, 1656-1746). Prince James Francis Edward Stuart; Princess Louisa Maria Theresa Stuart, 1695. Oil on canvas; 192.8 x 145.7 cm (75 7/8 x 57 3/8 in). London: National Portrait Gallery, 976. Bequeathed by Horatio William Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford, 1895. Source: National Portrait Gallery

References:

Historical Context

Wikipedia: 1690-1699
Rulers:

Map of Europe, 1690. Source: Kunst Museum

Events:
  • 1688-1697 – Nine Years’ War
  • 1691 – The textile factory Barnängens manufaktur is founded in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • 1692 – Following the Battle of Steenkerque between the French and the allied forces under William of Orange, a new, military-style cravat, the “Steinkirk,” becomes popular.
  • 1695 – English manufacturers call for an embargo on Indian cloth, and silk weavers picket the House of Commons of England.
  • Primary/Period Sources

    Resources for Fashion History Research

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    Primary/Period Sources

    Secondary Sources

    Also see the 17th-century overview page for more research sources… or browse our Zotero library.

    Online

    Books/Articles
    Pinterest