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Northern European Renaissance Review-Men

Tudor Dress-c. 1515-1550

Henry VIII exemplifies male dress of this period. He wears the following items:

--French Bonnet: a pillbox/beret style hat generally decorated with jewels and a feather plume.

--shirt-formerly known as a chemise. Full through the body with raglan sleeves in the Italian fashion.

--drawers-linen under shorts

--Hose- Henry VIII continues to wear the hose of previous centuries. It is full length (foot to waist) and has a codpiece. It starts to become the trend that hose is actually divided into two pieces--upper and lower sections called the (upper stocks and nether stocks), the two halves being attached together at the knee.

--a rather pronounced codpiece-most certainly padded for emphasis. This has become equally decorative as functional. It would lace into place on the hose or the upper stocks.

--a slash and puffed doublet with bases (a long peplum or "man" skirt) attached. Bases could be a separate garment as well worn with a short doublet.

--chamarre-a wide shouldered overcoat with wide lapels and puffed sleeves. Shown in red here.

--he has an order-a large chain necklace that signifies office and/or political alliance.

--extremely wide shoes called duckbills. These, of course, could be slashed and puffed.

In addition to the wide shouldered, French bonnet wearing silhouette inspired by King Henry VII, this young man wears paned upper stocksThe act of paning was a new and improved slashing and puffing technique that consisted of fabric strips that creating thedesired rounded silhouette of the garment. These were usually lined in white or contrasting silk satin). In the image at left, the upper stocks resemble what will become referred to as breeches/trunk hose begining in the Elizabethan period.

Notice that he still features a codpiece (emphasized). This is the biggest clue that the evolution to breeches is not complete. This garment is still considered part of the hose arrangement--securing the two legs together.

This picture of Francis I (King of France) reveals a coordinating doublet, jerkin (Jerkin becomes the word associated with the the outer most doublet) , and chamarre ensemble. The edges of the jerkin are barely visible--they create an open V neckline framing the doublet front.

He, too, wears a French bonnet.

The sleeves of his chamarre are of the style most often seen in this period: full in the armscye and tapering through elbow and wrist.

This portrait of Henri II of France was painted in 1550. His wife was Catherine de Medici from Italy. She is credited with founding the modern French perfume industry as well as being a major fashion trend setter of the time.

This image shows characteristics of both eras. The cut of his doublet/jerkin (with extra padding through the chest) and his melon shaped upper stocks (with added roundness through the hips) resemble those of the Elizabethan period.

The very pronounced codpiece will fade by the end of the Elizabethan era. His shoulders are still on the wide side, but they are not as pronounced as they had been in previous decades.

He is a good example that fashions evolve through time, and a reminder that it is really hard to put a concrete date on the end of one period and the beginning of the next.


Elizabethan-c. 1550-1600

This image was painted in 1560. The silhouette of his costume seems to be an inversion of the previous period. Wide shoulders become narrow, while hips grow in size. Sleeves narrow, but remain padded, creating sausage-like appendages. It becomes very common for jerkins to be sleeveless, allowing the doublet sleeves to show. The trend now is for tall standing collars. The collar of the shirt shows at the very edge. It becomes common to edge that collar in a ruffle...which is destined to grow in size.

His paned melon hose resemble two large pumpkins balanced upon his hips. By the end of the period, these will transition away from being considered an element of the hose. They will be looked at as a separate garment- trunk hose/breeches. The two legs are sewn together through the "crotch" in the manner of modern pants. The codpiece is rendered obselete and disappears when this happens.

This handsome fellow is wearing a doublet, jerkin, codpiece, slashing (no puffing in this case), ruffled shirt collar: we see them all here as well.

The male silhouette continues to evolve. Notice that the shoulders have narrowed while the hips have widen. Slashing and the codpiece (two trends that disappear during Elizabeth's reign) are still present. This is definitely a transition look.

This courte paume (Tennis) player exhibits some uniquely Elizabethan elements.

The ruffle on the edge of the shirt collar has evolved into a separate garment given the name ruff. It is a creative combination of two previously under exploited inventions of the 15th century--starch and lace. Lace is pleated to a band, the resulting ruff was stiffened greatly with starch. As demonstrated by this picture, they grew in size to modern clown-like widths.

The belly of his doublet is padded heavily creating the effect similar to the puffed out chest of a bird--like a peacock strutting his stuff. It is given the name peascod belly in honor our our magnificently feathered peacock friends.

He is wearing breeches/trunk hose in a style called venetians. These were also heavily padded. They were wide through the hips and tapered into the knee. The shape is reminiscent of the hind quarters of a sheep--a leg of mutton shape.

The use of stockings sees a renaissance of its own. These were knee length, knitted, and were generally laced to the breeches/trunk hose. Notice: no codpiece.

This merchant class fellow follows the fashionable trends of the Elizabethan period. Exceptionally large paned melon hose (AKA pumpkin breeches)paired with a narrow shouldered doublet and shirt with ruffled collar all make up a fashionable ensemble.

The lower classes were generally a bit behind their wealthy superiors in the race to keep up with fashion. Trends of previous periods are often maintained longer amongst the middle and lower classes depending on their resources.

This portrait of Sir Walter Raleigh and his son exemplify cutting edge Elizabethan dress. He wears:

--a shirt and drawers (unseen)

--a ruff

--a doublet with padded sleeves under a sleeveless jerkin. Both of these garments feature a modest dip-front (V) waistline and padded peascod belly.

--His trunk hose/breeches are another variation of melon hose/pumpkin breeches. They contain less stuffing, thus they have a deflated look.

--the extensions below his trunk hose (reaching to the knee) are canions. These would be attached to the breeches.

--stockings. These reach to the knee and are held in place with garters or by attachment to the canions. They could be knitted rather than made from woven fabric. Knitting allowed stockings some elasticity to hug the leg defying gravity a bit. Full length hose would not be worn with the new breeches. Notice the absence of the codpiece.

His son wears clothing very similar to Dad. Noticable differences (which do not relate to his status of being a child at all, but rather provide examples of other acceptable dress combinations) are:

He wears the venetian version of breeches and has a square shirt collar in the place of a ruff.

Both wear rounded toe shoes--a happy middle ground in response to the out of date pointed shoes, and the suddenly fashionable wide square toed duckbills.

This surviving matching doublet and breeches shows intricate slashing techniques.

The trunk hose are unpaned melon hose/pumpkin breeches.

An additional trunk hose variation is not picked here. They are gallygaskins/slops, These are described as: wide and full throughout the leg. They are gathered or pleated into a waistband and have the appearance of tapering out from the waist to fullness concentrated at the low thigh.

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