Wikipedia writes of 1620s womenswear:

“By the mid-1620s, styles were relaxing. Ruffs were discarded in favor of wired collars which were called rebatos in continental Europe and, later, wide, flat collars.”

The Family of Jan Brueghel the Elder

Fig. 1 - Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577-1640). The Family of Jan Brueghel the Elder, 1620. Oil on panel; 125.1 x 95.2 cm (49.25 x 37.48 in). London: The Courtauld Gallery. Source: The Courtauld Gallery

Portrait of a Woman and Child

Fig. 2 - Anthony van Dyck (Flemish, 1599-1641). Portrait of a Woman and Child, ca. 1623-25. Oil on canvas. Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Portrait of Lady Shirley

Fig. 3 - Anthony van Dyck (Flemish, 1599-1641). Portrait of Lady Shirley, 1622. Oil on canvas. Petworth: Petworth House - HM Treasury and The National Trust. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Portrait of Anne of Austria, Queen of France

Fig. 4 - Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577-1640). Portrait of Anne of Austria, Queen of France, ca. 1622-25. Oil on canvas; 120 x 96.8 cm (47-1/4 x 38-1/8 in). Pasadena: Norton Simon Museum, F.1965.1.059.P. The Norton Simon Foundation. Source: The Norton Simon Foundation

Pair of gloves

Fig. 4 - Designer unknown (British or Dutch). Pair of gloves, 1620-40. Leather; silk worked with silk and metal thread, spangles; long-and-short, satin, knots, and couching stitches; metal bobbin lace; 31.8 x 14.6 cm (l. 12 1/2 x w. 5 3/4 in). New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 28.220.3, .4. Gift of Mrs. Edward S. Harkness, 1928. Source: The Met


Wikipedia writes of 1620s menswear:

“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. Slops or galligaskins, loose hose reaching just below the knee, replaced all other styles of hose by the 1620s, and were now generally called breeches. Breeches might be fastened up the outer leg with buttons or buckles over a full lining.”

Esther before Ahasuerus

Fig. 1 - Artemisia Gentileschi (Italian, 1593-1653). Esther before Ahasuerus, 1628-1635. Oil on canvas; 208.3 × 273.7 cm (82 × 107.8 in). New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 69.281. Gift of Elinor Dorrance Ingersoll, 1969. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Portrait of Willem van Heythuysen

Fig. 2 - Frans Franchoisz Hals (Dutch, 1582-1666). Portrait of Willem van Heythuysen, 1625-1630. Oil on canvas; 204.5 × 134.5 cm (80.5 × 53 in). Munich: Alte Pinakothek, 14101. Source: Wikimedia

French doublet

Fig. 3 - Designer unknown (French, 1620). French doublet, 1620s. Silk. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1989.196. The Costume Institute Fund, in memory of Polaire Weissman, 1989. Source: The Met

Portions of an armor garniture

Fig. 4 - Maker unknown (Italian, Bresca, 1620-30). Portions of an armor garniture, 1620s. Steel, velvet, leather, gold thread; wt. of helmet 4 lb. 10 oz. (2097.9 g) cm. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 14.25.694a–d, g, i, j. Gift of William H. Riggs, 1913. Source: The Met


Portrait of a Woman and Child

Fig. 1 - Anthony van Dyck (Flemish, 1599-1641). Portrait of a Woman and Child, ca. 1623-25. Oil on canvas. Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art. Source: Wikimedia Commons


Historical Context

Wikipedia: 1620-1629

Carte de l’Europe, 1627. Source: Wikimedia Commons

  • 1620 – Pilgrims landed in America, establish themselves in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Somber colors and tall, black captain hats are worn; lacings and jewelry are forbidden by Puritans. Colored stockings, especially red ones, become popular. The newer style of latchet- closing shoe shows off the hose underneath, and embroidery at the ankle. Surface ornamentation of fabrics is replaced by bright, solid-color satins decorated with rosettes, wide bows, and looped trims.
  • 1625 – Fashionable married women abandon the wearing of a cap and wear their hair elaborately styled, uncovered, or with a hat.

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.
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, 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.
“1600-1699 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/.
“1620-1629 Portraits of Men.” Pinterest, 1620s. https://www.pinterest.com/pocketmuseum/1620-1629-portraits-of-men/.
“1620-1629 Portraits of Women.” Pinterest, 1620s. https://www.pinterest.com/pocketmuseum/1620-1629-portraits-of-women/.
“History of Fashion: XVII C.” Pinterest, 1600s. https://www.pinterest.com/luthienef/history-of-fashion-xvii-c/.