elizabethan-era

anonymous asked:

I have this headcanon that england was super into neck ruffs, but france thought that they were gaudy, so it was the only time england was ever more fashionable than france ( this isn't historically accurate obviously, but when has hetalia ever cared about that?) bonus points for elizabeth I and england bonding over neck ruffs, also england with poofy pants (you know the ones I'm talking about )

- At meetings -

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It’s FRIDAY FASHION FACT! Normally in these posts, I focus on a specific fashion trend. But today I’m taking a step back and discussing an era as a whole. Elizabethan fashion is incredibly distinct and iconic. When you mention fashion history to someone, Elizabethan dress is often one of the first things they think of. This is thanks in no small part to the infamous monarch herself and thriving empire she ruled, and, of course, Shakespeare. But how did such a unique fashion come into existence? Let’s break it down piece by piece.

First of all, it is important to note that all the trends I discuss today were popular for both men and women. It will come as no shock when I tell you that just about every piece of Elizabethan fashion developed out of a desire to show off personal wealth and status. Just like nearly every other fashion trend throughout history (particularly pre-20th Century.) The most iconic piece of Elizabethan fashion is without a doubt the ruff, but since I did a separate post on that a while back (read here) I’m going to skip over it today. 

The base of the opulent Elizabethan look was the fabric itself. Heavy silk brocades and velvets were the preferred style, and by far the most expensive. Silk, which was expensive to start with because of how it is made, had an added expense in England because it had to be imported. In fact, the queen complained that too much money was leaving the land to purchase fine fabrics abroad. Velvet needed more silk to create it due to it’s pile (thickness) adding more to its cost. To make these already expensive fabrics even more costly, they were often covered in intricate embroidery, all done by hand, often using precious metal thread. Further embellishment was added with beading, for which using real pearls was highly desired. 

These luxurious fabrics and elaborations needed a vast canvas to be displayed upon. Sleeves became larger, skirts became wider, hose (men’s trousers) became fuller. Additionally, layers of clothing became fashionable, meaning even more fine fabrics. This brings us to the next major trend in Elizabethan fashion- slashing. As I have mentioned in past posts, due to the high cost of textiles, clothing would often be altered and remade over and over to save on costs. However, if only small strips of fabric were left, they could not be remade. Sleeves and hose would commonly be made out of narrow panels, while petticoats and doublets would be decoratively cut and slashed, almost perforated. This rendered the fabric difficult to reuse, showing that the wearer was wealthy enough to always purchase new. Additionally, all of these gaps in garments allowed for the fabric beneath to be shown off.

The final iconic aspect of Elizabethan dress was padding. Women would wear padded rolls at their shoulders. These prominent accents would be bedecked in embellishments such as ribbons, beading, and even jewels. More padding was added around their hips, offsetting their long, conical bodices. Even men got in on the padding trend, adding thickness to their stomachs in a style known as the peascod belly. That’s right, Elizabethans were way ahead of the dad-bod trend (of course, in this instance it was more about showing that they had the ability to eat well.) All of this was in addition to the puffed-out sleeves.

This extreme fullness and the incredibly heavy fashions would fade out of fashion over the next several decades, however showing off wealth remained just as popular. It was merely done in a more delicate manor. Yet it is that bold, heavy look which makes Elizabethan fashion so iconic.

Have a question about fashion history that you want answered in the next FRIDAY FASHION FACT? Just click the ASK button at the top of the page!

If anyone tries to tell you that Shakespeare is stuffy or boring or highbrow, just remember that the word “nothing” was used in Elizabethan era slang as a euphemism for “vagina”. 

Shakespeare has a play called “Much Ado About Nothing”, which you could basically read in modern slang as “Freaking Out Over Pussy”. And that’s pretty much exactly what happens in the play. 

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On this day in history, November 17th, in the year 1558, a weak and ill Mary I died at St James’s Palace. She had experienced at least two false pregnancies, but left behind no child to rule after her.

Instead, her half sister Elizabeth succeeded her to the throne, and would go on to rule England for nearly 45 years, giving her name to an era and becoming one of the most famous and influential monarchs in British history.

Extrapolating the progression of Shakespeare’s work from the Elizabethan era to the modern day, I must say that I’m really excited for the 25th century when high schoolers begrudgingly go on field trips to their community theatre to see dry, stuffy, humorless productions of Die Hard and Mean Girls

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4,000 Houses for 4,000 Followers: No. 73:

Gawthorpe Hall, Lanchashire, England. 

A majority of the house dates from the Elizabethan period, although there are some later additions. 

It is now run by the National Trust. 

YOU spotted snakes, with double tongue,
Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen;
Newts and blind-worms do no wrong,
Come not near our fairy Queen!

Weaving spiders, come not here;
Hence, you long-legg’d spinners, hence!
Beetles black, approach not near;
Worm nor snail, do no offence. 

Philomel, with melody
Sing in our sweet lullaby;
Lulla, lulla, lullaby, Lulla, lulla, lullaby:
Never harm
Nor spell nor charm
Come our lovely lady nigh:
So, Good Night, with lullaby.

Songs from Shakespeare

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This ring was created around 1575 by Elizabeth I’s personal jeweler. It is solid gold, covered with mother of pearl and encrusted with precious jewels. A hidden clasp opens the locket ring to reveal a portrait of Anne Boleyn on one side and Elizabeth herself on the other.

The ring was given to the Home family by King James I, the family donated it to the Trustees of Chequers house, the country residence of the Prime Minister. Recently the ring was on display at the Greenwich Museum, which was its first public display.