costume

Seventeenth-Century Costume

The early 17th-century English costume was less formal, with a softer line created by satin and silk materials. The period of the Cavalier and Puritan is captured in the court paintings of Van Dyck and in the early work of Rembrandt. Men characteristically wore pantaloon breeches (full trunk hose), high boots, a broad, falling lace or linen collar and cuffs, and a full cloak. In women's costume, the arms began to be displayed and necklines were lower. The bodice was finished with a wide, round collar, or bertha, at the neck, and a flared, pleated, or ruffled skirtlike section, or peplum, was added at the waist. The apron was often a permanent part of the skirt.

In England after 1660 the dress of the Restoration period became extravagantly decorative, using ribbons, flounces, and feathers. The dandies of the period wore petticoat breeches, full-sleeved cambric shirts, and bolerolike doublets. Sir Peter Lely's court paintings show excellent examples of such costume.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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