Fashion In Elizabethan England

917 Words4 Pages
The phrase, don’t judge a book by its cover, is commonly used in modern society when discussing the treatment of others. Yet in Elizabethan England, this phrase did not apply among the people. In fact, the population was encouraged to criticize others based on their appearance and the clothing they wore. Citizens of all genders were evaluated based on the complexity and material of their clothes, as well as the colors. The government also supported class clothing distinction by creating laws. Fashion within the Elizabethan era varied among the social classes, within each gender, and were influenced by government laws. Female fashion in the Elizabethan era consisted of traditional clothing that varied depending on social status. Females…show more content…
Men of the working class wore breeches that were knee-length and baggy along with a simple doublet. Upper class males wore complex doublets with puffed sleeves as well as tight breeches called hose. Wealthy men had large wardrobes that were filled with complex garments, “But whether a man was wealthy or poor he was not allowed to wear whatever he liked... He could be richer than a Duke but if he did not have an equivalent title he was not allowed to wear clothes made of the same fabric or even of the same color” (Alchin 1). Social class heavily dictated what a man could wear because even the most wealthy males could only wear certain materials and clothing items due to their social standing. On the other hand, men of royalty could wear whatever item of clothing they wished, but they were only seen in the most complex, grand garments. Kings often wore “Deep collars of ermine covering the upper arm and sometimes cut out with a scalloped edge were worn by both kings and queens” (Brooke 99). Ermine was a rare material that only royalty could afford and wear, so it was a distinctive material among upper classes. Men of royalty also often wore long cloaks lined with other expensive materials as well as embroidered gloves, jewels, and intricate pins. Men’s fashion was a statement of class ranking, and it often was controlled by their wealth and government laws enforced…show more content…
In these times, individuals were judged based on their clothing and how they were allowed to present themself. A gaze upon someone could reveal their social standing, which ranged from peasants to kings. The actions of citizens during this era do not reflect the common phrase don’t judge a book by its cover. Even though it is widely broadcasted, today’s society does not follow it either. People are still evaluated based on the clothing they

More about Fashion In Elizabethan England

Open Document