Tudor clothes are an exquisite lot for those who really know how to appreciate fashion in its time and era. Women during the Tudor era were well dressed especially the nobility.
Ladies were dressed exquisitely with their conical silhouette while men are fashioned more squarely and wide for a more macho image.
Tudor fabrics are considered luxurious and elegant with a rich texture and feel from the finest silks, satins, linens and velvets.
Dressing Up During Tudor Times
Every Tudor garment was worn with the best of elements to form a complete ensemble. There may be excessive layers in Tudor fashion, but each layer offers an intricate formation of the style and elegance of the wearer and fashion of that time.
Tudor ladies would have some headwear regardless of their social status. Such headwear was elaborately decorated for the affluent while simple linen coifs adorned the heads of commoners. The 16th century Tudor gown proved the skills of excellent craftsmen and artisans in a joint collaboration to bring on the best of fashion for that era. A simple Tudor gown would involve the skills of weavers, tailors, seamstresses, embroiderers and milliners before reaching the merchants to supply to consumers.
However, finishing touches on the gown could involve the goldsmith for an elaborate gown fit for the nobility and royalty. It was common to see jewels and pearls in gold settings decking the gowns or as pendants and choker necklaces to complete the outfit. Intricately designed brooches were placed prominently on the bodice, sleeves and hoods for a sophisticated look.
Different Pieces of Tudor Garments
It was common to have a Tudor garment comprising at least four layers: the smock, petticoat, kirtle and gown. Other eras may include the farthingale, partlet and forepart as well as the headwear.
Tudor smocks were usually made from very fine white linen with necklines and cuffs in exquisite embroidery. The neckline for Tudor smocks was usually square in shape with a flow according to the bodice. The Elizabethan era brought forth the high-necked smock with a small standing collar that is exquisitely edged with a frill. This was the signature ruff of that era. Tudor smock sleeves were designed with a small cuff and frill.
Another Tudor garment for ladies is the petticoat which means little coat in French. The petticoat for Tudor ladies was a skirt that was usually made of red fabric for greater vibrancy in colour.
A petticoat could be an unbleached linen bodice with an underlining and fine weight buckram to interline the bodice. It could also be supported by cane bones with laces for fastening. The petticoat could be doubled up as a kirtle which was another exquisite garment for ladies.
Another fashionable Tudor petticoat could be designed with a bare bodice minimum and a deep U neckline. However, the back could sport a deep V shape neckline. The silk dupion skirt is lined with itself and cotton wadding lining for extra weight and fluff.
The kirtle was famously used as a garment to support the bust for the sensuous silhouette that was considered fashionable in the Tudor era. It was usually worn over the petticoat or farthingale. The kirtle bodice was normally fastened with buckram for a stiff look like the Victorian corset but using different materials.
Many Tudor ladies wore the kirtle beneath the over-gown for a firmer bodice silhouette that compliments the wearer.
The Tudor gown was known as the Tudor Dress which was commonly viewed by the public, whereas the smock and petticoat were considered undergarment clothes. As a public displayed garment, the Tudor gown must be impressive to make a visual impact. Hence, there is no sparing of exquisite fabrics to be used in designing elegant Tudor dresses. The preferred choices would include velvet, cloth of Gold and damasks.
The Tudor headwear would complete the Tudor garment with either a French hood or the English Gable Hood. Such garment pieces added a touch of mystery and elegance to the lady wearer with different styles and elements in various types of fabric.
Wealthy ladies did not hesitate in putting on a Tudor headwear which reflect their sophistication in society for a more demure and elegant presentation in public.
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