Era of the Renaissance Fashion

The Sixteenth Century (1500s) witnessed great alterations in women's Renaissance fashion trends. While Renaissance fashion movement was diverse in different countries there is some common element between all regions of Western Europe. This article would try to bring to fore the fashion world during the Renaissance era.
| Wednesday, February 11, 2009

One fascinating facet of the Renaissance is fashion. Fashion altered gradually in the medieval period. With the Renaissance, the velocity of fashion accelerated. A very significant component of Renaissance fashion was hosiery. Let's dig into the past to know about the Fashion Trends in the Era of Renaissance.

Fashion in the Era of Renaissance

Since the Renaissance era includes more or less 150 years of history, its fashions altered radically from commencement to end. At the dawn of the Renaissance in 1450, fashion trends were inclined towards Medieval and Gothic patterns, as well as the Italian Renaissance progress in art. Women's fashions adopted a more innate manifestation from their Gothic antecedents.

Early Sixteenth Century Fashion

During early 16thCentury women's garments were very analogous to that of medieval costumes. The technique of an archetypal outfit of an early Renaissance woman included a kirtle and ball gown with a cone shaped skirt and long train. Bodices had square collar, adorned with edgings of excellent laces and jewels. Sleeves were very broad, frequently edged in fur. Waistlines curved in slightly, and overskirts were divided to demonstrate the ornamental kirtle beneath. A distinctive noblewoman's gown was made from thinly woven wool or linen. The affluent may have some clothing made of silk and velvet, although sumptuary laws banned lower classes from wearing such fine material.

Mid Sixteenth Century Fashion

Ever since the the Spanish House of Hapsburg came into supremacy, Spanish trends gained popularity all across Western Europe, starting in the 1550s. Spanish trends look bulky on women. The garments were build up on complex cages of wire, whalebone and cloth, termed as farthingales, and Renaissance women were simply ensnared inside. During this time, renaissance women had to do away with their chemises and the bodice and skirt became split pieces, rather than one garment. Skirts were frequently parted or gathered up at the sides to brag ornately decorated underskirts. This trend is sometimes termed as Leg of Mutton Sleeve. It was trendy with both men and women's fashion. For intricate clothing as this, it would take hours for women to get dressed.

Late Sixteenth Century Fashion

Ruffs became popular by this time. With the invention of starch by a Dutch woman, it was possible to make ruffs stand up to quite a few inches high. By the late 1500s huge standing ruffs, referred to as cartwheel ruffs, became trendy and needed to be wired for sustaining. Spanish fashions paved way for French supremacy. Elizabeth-I favored the French farthingale above the Spanish Farthingale. Other traits of late sixteenth century clothing trends were dipping necklines, and cavernous, v-shaped waists, occasionally called wasp waists. By this time, hems no longer brushed the floor, but lingered at the ankle, exaggerating appealing slippers and shoes decorated with jewels and embroidery.


By the closing stages of the Renaissance in 1600, fashion had arrived at a pinnacle in the Elizabethan period. Elizabethan court clothing styles were profoundly inclined towards Spanish and French trends. Prominent outfits of this era contain the farthingale for women, military trends like for men, and ruffs for both genders. The Elizabethan epoch also witnessed great blossoming of domestic needlework for both garments and furnishings.

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