Wikipedia writes of fashion during this time:

“In the early years of the new century, fashionable bodices had high necklines or extremely low, rounded necklines, and short wings at the shoulders. Separate closed cartwheel ruffs were sometimes worn, with the standing collar, supported by a small wire frame or supportasse used for more casual wear and becoming more common later. Long sleeves were worn with deep cuffs to match the ruff.”

María de Médici, Reina de Francia

Fig. 1 - Frans Pourbus the Younger (Flemish, 1569-1622). María de Médici, Reina de Francia, 1607. Oil on canvas; 214 x 124 cm (84.3 x 48.8 in). Bilbao: Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, 84/86. Legated by Lorenzo Hurtado de Saracho, 1984. Source: Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

Portrait of Margherita Gonzaga

Fig. 2 - Frans Pourbus the younger (Flemish, 1569-1622). Portrait of Margherita Gonzaga, 1606. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Source: Wikimedia

Portrait of Doña Ana de Velasco y Girón

Fig. 3 - Juan Pantoja de la Cruz (Spanish, 1553-1608). Portrait of Doña Ana de Velasco y Girón, 1603. Paris: Musée Jacquemart-André. Collection of Alicia Koplowitz - Grupo Omega Capital. Source: Peacock Plume - The American University of Paris

Dual portrait of Sir Reginald And Lady Mohun

Fig. 4 - Artist unknown. Dual portrait of Sir Reginald And Lady Mohun, 1603/4. Oil on panel; 190.5 x 111.4 cm (75 x 44 1/4 in). Private Collection. Source: Pinterest


Wikipedia writes of fashion during this time:

“Linen shirts had deep cuffs. Shirt sleeves became fuller throughout the period. To the 1620s, a collar wired to stick out horizontally, called a whisk, was popular. Other styles included an unstarched ruff-like collar and, later, a rectangular falling band lying on the shoulders. Pointed Van Dyke beards, named after the painter Anthony van Dyck, were fashionable, and men often grew a large, wide moustache, as well. Doublets were pointed and fitted close to the body, with tight sleeves, to about 1615. Gradually waistlines rose and sleeves became fuller, and both body and upper sleeves might be slashed to show the shirt beneath. Sleeveless leather jerkins were worn by soldiers and are seen in portraits, but otherwise the jerkin rapidly fell out of fashion for indoor wear.”

James VI and I

Fig. 1 - John de Critz the elder (Flemish, 1551-1642). James VI and I, 1606. Oil on canvas; 200.5 x 129.5 cm (78.9 x 50.9 cm in). London: Dulwich Picture Gallery, DPG548. Gift of Henry Yates Thompson, 1898. Source: Dulwich Picture Gallery

Portrait of Kaspar Scioppius

Fig. 2 - Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577-1640). Portrait of Kaspar Scioppius, ca. 1606. Oil on canvas; 116 x 88 cm (45.7 x 34.6 in). Florence: Pitti Palace. Source: Web Gallery of Art

Portrait of Nicolas de Droullin

Fig. 3 - Charles Martin. Portrait of Nicolas de Droullin, 1600. Oil on canvas; 106 × 88 cm (41.7 × 34.6 in). Warsaw: National Museum in Warsaw, M.Ob.2325 (131040). Source: Wikimedia


Princess Elizabeth, Later Queen of Bohemia

Fig. 1 - Robert Peake the Elder (British, 1551-1619). Princess Elizabeth, Later Queen of Bohemia, 1606. Oil on canvas; 154.3 x 79.4 cm (60 3/4 x 31 1/4 in). New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 51.194.1. Gift of Kate T. Davison, in memory of her husband, Henry Pomeroy Davison, 1951. Source: The Met

Portrait of Eleonora of Mantua as a Child

Fig. 2 - Frans Pourbus the Younger (Flemish, 1569-1622). Portrait of Eleonora of Mantua as a Child, ca. 1605. Oil on canvas; 64 x 49 cm (25.2 x 19.3 in). Florence: Pitti Palace. Source: Wikimedia

Maria Anna, Infanta of Spain, Later Archduchess of Austria, Queen of Hungary and Empress, as a Child

Fig. 3 - Bartolomé González y Serrano (Spanish, 1564-1627). Maria Anna, Infanta of Spain, Later Archduchess of Austria, Queen of Hungary and Empress, as a Child, ca. 1608/1610. Oil on canvas; 106.5 x 75 cm (41.9 x 29.5 in). Cliveden: National Trust, 766121. presented to the National Trust with the house and grounds by Waldorf, 2nd Viscount Astor, 1942. Source: Art UK


Historical Context

Wikipedia: 1610-1619

 Map of Europe, 1595. Source: Wikimedia Commons

  • 1600 – The East India Company is granted a Royal Charter in the Kingdom of England for trade with Asia.
  • 1601 – Possible first performance of William Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet.
  • 1603 – James I is crowned as King of England in Westminster Abbey.
  • 1605 – Guy Fawkes is arrested for trying to kill King James I of England, AKA. The Gunpowder Plot of November 5th.
  • 1605 – Hemlines go up to show feet, following the introduction of heeled shoes for the rich, hence the expression “well heeled.”
  • 1606 – Jamestown, Virginia, is established as the first permanent English settlement in North America.
  • 1609 – Galileo Galilei demonstrates his first telescope to Venetian officials.
  • 1600s – In lady’s wear, the short jacket is introduced. These are initially closed with ribbons, later with metal hooks and eyes. They are worn by all stations of society but the materials depend on rank. Boned bodices cinch in waist and lift the barely covered breasts.
  • Primary/Period Sources

    Resources for Fashion History Research

    To discover primary/period sources, explore the categories below.
    Have a primary source to suggest?  Or a newly digitized periodical/book to announce?  Contact us!

    Primary/Period Sources

    Castiglione, Baldassarre, and Thomas Hoby. The Courtier of Counte Baldessar Castilio: Diuided into Foure Bookes. Verie Necessarie and Profitable for Young Gentlemen and Gentlewomen, Abiding in Court, Palace, or Place. Translated into English by Tho. Hobby. London: Printed by Thomas Creede, 1603. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/606505970.
    Courtin, Antoine de. Nouveau traité de la civilité qui se pratique en France parmi les honnestes gens. Paris: H. Josset, 1681. https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/000179974.
    Peacham, Henry. Peacham’s Compleat Gentleman, 1634. CIHM/ICMH Microfiche Series = CIHM/ICMH Collection de Microfiches ;No. 98995. Oxford ; Toronto: Clarendon Press, 1906. https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/100309353.
    Pibrac, Guy du Faur. La civilité qui se pratique en France parmi les honnêtes gens, pour l’éducation de la jeunesse, avec une méthode facile pour apprendre à bien lire, prononcer les mots & les écrire. Tours: Billault jeune, [16-?]. https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/001921297.

    Secondary Sources

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


    Watt, Melinda. “English Embroidery of the Late Tudor and Stuart Eras.” The Met’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, n.d. https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/broi/hd_broi.htm.
    Breiding, Dirk H. “Fashion in European Armor.” The Met’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, n.d. https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/afas/hd_afas.htm.
    Breiding, Dirk H. “Fashion in European Armor, 1600–1700.” The Met’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, n.d. https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/afas17/hd_afas17.htm.
    Victoria and Albert Museum. “Fashion up to the 17th Century Reading List,” January 13, 2011. http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/f/reading-list-fashion-up-to-the-17th-century/.
    “Recreating 16th and 17th Century Clothing: The Renaissance Tailor,” n.d. http://www.renaissancetailor.com/research_vocabulary.htm.
    Watt, Melinda. “Textile Production in Europe: Silk, 1600–1800.” The Met’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, n.d. https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/txt_s/hd_txt_s.htm.
    Breiding, Dirk H. “The Decoration of European Armor.” The Met’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, n.d. https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/deca/hd_deca.htm.

    Ashelford, Jane, and Andreas Einsiedel. The Art of Dress: Clothes and Society, 1500-1914. London: National Trust, 1996. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/759883168.
    Boucher, François. 20,000 Years of Fashion: The History of Costume and Personal Adornment. Expanded ed. New York: H.N. Abrams, 1987. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/979316852.
    Braun, Melanie, and Luca Costigliolo. 17th-Century Men’s Dress Patterns, 1600-1630. London: Thames & Hudson, 2016. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/990588024.
    Brown, Susan, ed. Fashion: The Definitive History of Costume and Style. New York: DK Publishing, 2012. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/840417029.
    Cumming, Valerie. A Visual History of Costume: The Seventeenth Century. 3. London: Batsford, 1984. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/9761398.
    Edwards, Lydia. How to Read a Dress: A Guide to Changing Fashion from the 16th to the 20th Century. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2017. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/988370049.
    Griffey, Erin. On Display: Henrietta Maria and the Materials of Magnificence at the Stuart Court. London: Yale University Press, 2015. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/949809624.
    Hart, Avril, and Susan North. Historical Fashion in Detail: The 17th and 18th Centuries. London: V&A Publications, 1998. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/170891633.
    Hart, Avril, Susan North, Richard Davis, and Leonie Davis. Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century Fashion in Detail. London: V&A Publications, 2009. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/846177973.
    Hill, Daniel Delis. History of World Costume and Fashion. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2011. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/768100950.
    Reynolds, Graham. Costume of the Western World: Elizabethan and Jacobean, 1558-1625. Harrap, 1951. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/30198326.
    Reynolds, Anna. In Fine Style: The Art of Tudor and Stuart Fashion. London: Royal Collection Trust, 2013. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/824726826.
    Ribeiro, Aileen. Clothing Art: The Visual Culture of Fashion, 1600-1914. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/150348469.
    Ribeiro, Aileen. Fashion and Fiction: Dress in Art and Literature in Stuart England. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/630130965.
    Richardson, Catherine. Clothing Culture, 1350-1650. New York: Routledge, 2017. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/976442537.
    Rodini, Elizabeth, Elissa Weaver, and Kristen Ina Grimes. A Well-Fashioned Image: Clothing and Costume in European Art, 1500-1850. Chicago: The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, 2002. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/694844989.
    Tortora, Phyllis G., and Sara B. Marcketti. Survey of Historic Costume. Sixth edition. New York: Fairchild Books, 2015. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/972500782.
    Vincent, Susan J., and Elizabeth Currie, eds. A Cultural History of Dress and Fashion: The Renaissance (1450-1650). London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2017. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/967107605.
    Waugh, Norah. The Cut of Men’s Clothes, 1600-1900. New York: Theatre Arts Books, 1964. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/927414537.
    Waugh, Norah, and Margaret Woodward. The Cut of Women’s Clothes, 1600-1930. New York: Theatre Arts Books, 1968. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/894728161.
    Welch, Evelyn S., ed. Fashioning the Early Modern: Dress, Textiles, and Innovation in Europe, 1500-1800. Pasold Studies in Textile History 18. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1004187054.
    “1600-1609 Portraits of Men.” Pinterest, 1600s. https://www.pinterest.com/pocketmuseum/1600-1609-portraits-of-men/.
    “1600-1609 Portraits of Women.” Pinterest, 1600s. https://www.pinterest.com/pocketmuseum/1600-1609-portraits-of-women/.
    “1600-1699 Accessories.” Pinterest, 1600s. https://www.pinterest.com/pocketmuseum/1600-1699-accessories/.
    “1600-1699 Children’s Clothing.” Pinterest, 1600s. https://www.pinterest.com/pocketmuseum/1600-1699-childrens-clothing/.
    “1600-1699 Fabrics & Textiles.” Pinterest, 1600s. https://www.pinterest.com/pocketmuseum/1600-1699-fabrics-textiles/.
    “1600-1699 Jewelry.” Pinterest, 1600s. https://www.pinterest.com/pocketmuseum/1600-1699-jewelry/.
    “1600-1699 Men’s Extant Garments.” Pinterest, 1600s. https://www.pinterest.com/pocketmuseum/1600-1699-mens-extant-garments/.
    “1600-1699 Undated Portraits of Men.” Pinterest, 1600s. https://www.pinterest.com/pocketmuseum/1600-1699-undated-portraits-of-men/.
    “1600-1699 Undated Portraits of Women.” Pinterest, 1600s. https://www.pinterest.com/pocketmuseum/1600-1699-undated-portraits-of-women/.
    “1600-1699 Women’s Extant Garments.” Pinterest, 1600s. https://www.pinterest.com/pocketmuseum/1600-1699-womens-extant-garments/.
    “1600s Clothing.” Pinterest, 1600s. https://www.pinterest.com/brazen_irish_hu/1600s-clothing/.
    “History of Fashion: XVII C.” Pinterest, 1600s. https://www.pinterest.com/luthienef/history-of-fashion-xvii-c/.