Author: Justine De Young

1570-1579

Women in the 1570s believed more was more, loved intense decorative effects, and adopted some influences from menswear. Men’s dress was quite curvilinear, with a padded belly, small waist, and large bulbous melon hose at the thighs.

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1560-1569

The stiff formality of 1560s womenswear, achieved through boning and high ruffs, was met by equally high collars on men, who also wore increasing pumpkin-sized melon hose and doublets with padding at the front belly.

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1550-1559

Spanish fashion was ascendant in the 1550s, from the loose women’s gown—the ropa—and the Spanish farthingale in women’s dress to the narrow-cut jerkins and tight sleeves of Philip II and the must-have men’s outerwear piece, the Spanish cape.

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1540-1549

In the 1540s men’s doublets begin to emerge from under to outerwear and their hose increase in volume, beginning to assume a melon shape. Womenswear becomes increasing rigid with stiffened bodices flattening the torso and breasts.

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1530-1539

Men’s fashion of the 1530s was dominated by the broad-shouldered silhouettes made iconic by King Henry VIII. Women’s fashion showed greater regional variation, with Italian women establishing trends that would soon spread to the rest of Europe in the second half of the century.

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1520-1529

In 1520-1529, men and women both began to wear shirts with high standing collars ending in a frill at the neck and cuff, which would later evolve into the ruff. Dark colors continued to grow in popularity, as did everything oversize, among them: codpieces, gown sleeves, and elaborate headdresses.

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1510-1519

The second decade of the 16th century featured broad-shouldered silhouettes for men and women, paired with immense sleeves (except for women in Germany, who retained narrow sleeves). Slashing, pinking, paning and other decorative fabric treatments like blackwork embroidery were increasingly common.

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1500-1509

Fashion in the first decade of the sixteenth century largely continued the trends of the 1490s, but with a growing Italian influence on men’s and womenswear producing a broader silhouette, as well as an increasing presence of slashing on men’s garments.

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