Wikipedia summarizes fashion from 1550-1600 in Western Europe overall, writing:
“Western European clothing was characterized by increased opulence. Contrasting fabrics, slashes, embroidery, applied trims, and other forms of surface ornamentation remained prominent. The wide silhouette, conical for women with breadth at the hips and broadly square for men with width at the shoulders had reached its peak in the 1530s, and by mid-century a tall, narrow line with a V-shaped waist was back in fashion. Sleeves and women’s skirts then began to widen again, with emphasis at the shoulder that would continue into the next century. The characteristic garment of the period was the ruff, which began as a modest ruffle attached to the neckband of a shirt or smock and grew into a separate garment of fine linen, trimmed with lace, cutwork or embroidery, and shaped into crisp, precise folds with starch and heated irons.”
Wikipedia summarizes 1580s womenswear, writing:
“Women’s outer clothing generally consisted of a loose or fitted gown worn over a kirtle or petticoat (or both). An alternative to the gown was a short jacket or a doublet cut with a high neckline. The slashing technique evolved into single or double rows of loops at the shoulder with contrasting linings. By the 1580s these had been adapted in England as padded and jeweled shoulder rolls.
The common upper garment was a gown, called in Spanish ropa, in French robe, and in English either gown or frock. Gowns were made in a variety of styles: Loose or fitted (called in England a French gown); with short half sleeves or long sleeves; and floor length (a round gowns) or with a trailing train (clothing).
The fashion for wearing or carrying the pelt of a sable or marten spread from continental Europe into England in this period; costume historians call these accessories zibellini or “flea furs”. The most expensive zibellini had faces and paws of goldsmith’s work with jeweled eyes. Queen Elizabeth received one as a New Years gift in 1584. Gloves of perfumed leather featured embroidered cuffs. Folding fans appeared late in the period, replacing flat fans of ostrich feathers.
Jewelry was also popular among those that could afford it. Necklaces were beaded gold or silver chains and worn in concentric circles reaching as far down as the waist. Ruffs also had a jewelry attachment such as glass beads, embroidery, gems, brooches or flowers. Belts were a surprising necessity: used either for fashion or more practical purposes. Lower classes wore them almost as tool belts with the upper classes using them as another place to add jewels and gems alike. Scarves, although not often mentioned, had a significant impact on the Elizabethan style by being a multipurpose piece of clothing. They could be worn on the head to protect desirable pale skin from the sun, warm the neck on a colder day, and accentuate the color scheme of a gown or whole outfit. The upper class had silken scarves of every color to brighten up an outfit with the gold thread and tassels hanging off of it.”
Wikipedia summarizes 1580s menswear, writing:
“Men’s fashionable clothing consisted of a linen shirt with collar or ruff and matching wrist ruffs, which were laundered with starch to be kept stiff and bright. Over the shirt men wore a doublet with long sleeves sewn or laced in place. Doublets were stiff, heavy garments, and were often reinforced with boning. Optionally, a jerkin, usually sleeveless and often made of leather, was worn over the doublet. During this time the doublet and jerkin became increasingly more colorful and highly decorated. Waistlines dipped V-shape in front, and were padded to hold their shape.
Men wore stockings or netherstocks and flat shoes with rounded toes, with slashes early in the period and ties over the instep later. Boots were worn for riding.
Short cloaks or capes, usually hip-length, often with sleeves, or a military jacket like a mandilion, were fashionable. Long cloaks were worn for inclement weather. Gowns were increasingly old-fashioned, and were worn by older men for warmth indoors and out. In this period robes began their transition from general garments to traditional clothing of specific occupations, such as scholars.”
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