Period Costumes
Historic Costumes for Stage, Pageants, Festivals, Masquerades and Holiday Fun

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The 1600's in Fashion - a time of transition

The 17th century marked a transition between the flamboyant styles of the Renaissance period and the more subdued outfits of the 1700's. This is especially marked in mens' clothing, where the hose and capes of the preceding centuries gave way to waistcoats and breeches.

Overall, collars got smaller, sleeves got bigger (for a while). Waistlines rose, capes got shorter, and sleeves and doublets were slashed to reveal colors from the layer below. Embroidered and ornate garb worn in court and by the rich, especially in the early half of the century, contrasted sharply with the simple dress of the Puritans.

The attire of the Pilgrims was distinctive in its black and white simplicity - tall, buckled hats for men, black dresses with white aprons and bonnets for women.

Learn More: Two excellent, illustrated articles showing various forms of dress in the early 1600's and in the late 17th century.

See also Renaissance , 18th century and pirate costumes.