OVERVIEW

Womenswear

Wikipedia summarizes Western European fashion of 1600-1650 as:

“characterized by the disappearance of the ruff in favour of broad lace or linen collars. Waistlines rose through the period for both men and women. Other notable fashions included full, slashed sleeves and tall or broad hats with brims. For men, hose disappeared in favour of breeches.

The silhouette, which was essentially close to the body with tight sleeves and a low, pointed waist to around 1615, gradually softened and broadened.

In the early decades of the century, a trend among poets and artists to adopt a fashionable pose of melancholia is reflected in fashion, where the characteristic touches are dark colours, open collars, unbuttoned robes or doublets, and a generally disheveled appearance, accompanied in portraits by world-weary poses and sad expressions….

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. The cartwheel ruff disappeared in fashionable England by 1613….

To about 1613, hair was worn feathered high over the forehead. Married women wore their hair in a linen coif or cap, often with lace trim. Tall hats like those worn by men were adopted for outdoor wear.”

Ansegisus and Saint Bega

Fig. 1 - Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577-1640). Ansegisus and Saint Bega, ca. 1612-1615. Oil on canvas; 94 × 76 cm (37 × 29.9 in). Vienna: The Museum of Fine Arts, GG_521. Source: Kunsthistorisches Museum

Lady Catherine Smythe Scott

Fig. 2 - Anonymous. Lady Catherine Smythe Scott, 1610. Oil on canvas; 206.5 x 127.0 cm (81 5/16 x 50 in). Raleigh: North Carolina Museum of Art, GL.67.13.6. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James MacLamroc. Source: Grand Ladies

Ceremonial dress of Magdalena Sibylla of Prussia, Electress of Saxony

Fig. 3 - Designer unknown. Ceremonial dress of Magdalena Sibylla of Prussia, Electress of Saxony, 1610-20. Dresden: The Staatliche Kunstsammlungen. Source: Pinterest

Menswear

[To come…]

Portrait of Sir John Penruddock

Fig. 1 - Circle of Robert Peake the Elder (British, 1551–1619). Portrait of Sir John Penruddock, 1616. Oil on panel; 59.8 x 44.5 cm (23.5 x 17.5 in). Private Collection. Source: Artnet

Prunkkleid von Johann Georg I

Fig. 2 - Designer unknown. Prunkkleid von Johann Georg I, 1617. Dresden: Private Collection. Source: Pinterest

Saint Jerome as Scholar

Fig. 3 - El Greco (Greek, 1540/41–1614). Saint Jerome as Scholar, ca. 1610. Oil on canvas; 108 x 89 cm (42 1/2 x 35 1/16 in). New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1975.1.146. Robert Lehman Collection, 1975. Source: The Met

Portrait of Albert

Fig. 4 - Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577–1640). Portrait of Albert, 1615. Engraving; 42.3 x 30.0 cm. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 22.42.1. Rogers Fund, 1922. Source: The Met

CHILDREN’S WEAR

Portrait of a girl from the de Ligne family

Fig. 1 - Marcus Gheeraerts (English, 1561-1635). Portrait of a girl from the de Ligne family, 1616. Oil on canvas. London: Private collection. Johnny Van Haeften Ltd. Source: PBS Learning Media

Merrymakers at Shrovetide

Fig. 2 - Frans Hals (Dutch, 1582/83–1666). Merrymakers at Shrovetide, ca. 1616–17. Oil on canvas; 131.4 x 99.7 cm (51 3/4 x 39 1/4 in). New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 14.40.605. Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913. Source: The Met

References:

Historical Context

Wikipedia: 1610-1619
Rulers:

Map of Europe in 1619. Source: Wikimedia

Events:
  • 1616 – Death of Cervantes and Shakespeare

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