Wikipedia writes of 1660s fashion:

“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.”

Portrait of a Patrician Couple

Fig. 1 - Bartholomeus van der Helst (Dutch, 1613-1670). Portrait of a Patrician Couple, 1661. Oil on canvas; 186 x 149 cm (73.2 × 58.7 in). Karlsruhe: Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, 235. Source: The Athenaeum

Woman with a Pink

Fig. 2 - Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) (Dutch, 1606–1669). Woman with a Pink, early 1660s. Oil on canvas; 92.1 x 74.6 cm (36 1/4 x 29 3/8 in). New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 14.40.622. Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913. Source: The Met

Study of a Young Woman

Fig. 3 - Johannes Vermeer (Dutch, 1632–1675). Study of a Young Woman, ca. 1665–67. Oil on canvas; 44.5 x 40 cm (17 1/2 x 15 3/4 in). New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1979.396.1. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, in memory of Theodore Rousseau Jr., 1979. Source: The Met


Wikipedia writes of 1660s men’s fashion:

“With the end of the Thirty Years’ War, the fashions of the 1650s and early 1660s imitated the new peaceful and more relaxed feeling in Europe. The military boots gave way to shoes, and a mania for baggy breeches, short coats, and hundreds of yards of ribbon set the style. The breeches (see Petticoat breeches) became so baggy that Samuel Pepyswrote in his diary ‘And among other things, met with Mr. Townsend, who told of his mistake the other day to put both his legs through one of his Knees of his breeches, and so went all day.’ (April 1661) The wide breeches that made such an error possible were soon being gathered at the knee: Pepys noted, 19 April 1663 ‘this day put on my close-kneed coloured suit, which, with new stockings of the colour, with belt, and new gilt-handled sword, is very handsome.’ This era was also one of great variation and transition. In 1666, Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland, following the earlier example of Louis XIV of France, decreed that at court, men were to wear a long coat, a vest or waistcoat (originally called a petticoat, a term which later became applied solely to women’s dress), a cravat, a periwig or wig, and breeches gathered at the knee, as well as a hat for outdoor wear. By 1680, this more sober uniform-like outfit of coat, waistcoat, and breeches became the norm for formal dress.”

Sentimental Conversation

Fig. 1 - Quirijn van Brekelenkam (Dutch, 1622–ca. 1669). Sentimental Conversation, early 1660s. Oil on wood; 41.3 x 35.2 cm (16 1/4 x 13 7/8 in). New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 32.100.19. The Friedsam Collection, Bequest of Michael Friedsam, 1931. Source: The Met


Wikipedia says of 1660s children’s dress:

“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.”


Historical Context

Wikipedia: 1660-1669

Central Europe 1660 A.D. Source: The University of Texas at Austin

  • 1666 – Charles II introduces the Persian vest and the (a style of long coat) to England.
  • 1666 – Great Fire of London.
  • 1667 – John Milton’s Paradise Lost
  • 1668-1685 – Palace of Versailles built
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