This is a photo of an actual 17th century justaucorps. If costume designers are thinking about designing costumes for a film or play set in the late 17th to early 18th century, this is a great reference. I seen some shitty film costumes, especially for the Canal+ TV series “Versailles”.
The justaucorps gained inspiration from a coat called the żupan, which is of Turkish origin. France was an ally to the Ottoman Empire, so many of the stuff in France was influenced by the Ottomans and Turks, including their clothing. In the late 1600s, Louis XIV of France saw the żupan and was in immediate awe, due to it’s exotic appearance and simplicity. Here’s a picture of a żupan if you guys are curious:
However, Louis’ coats had a mix of both Ottoman and European fashion, so they still had the European inspiration from the fashions before. But the style of the coat was of Ottoman fashion. Louis himself was a man who loved all different cultures, especially Islamic cultures. Here’s some more inspiration the man got from Islamic clothing:
#1. The heels he wore were from the Persians and the Mughals, who used them so their feet can stay on their stirrups without slipping.
#2. The cravat, or a lace collar, was inspired from the neckties of the Croatian mercenaries, who have worked under the Ottoman Empire. The word ‘cravat’ was a French way to describe a Croat.
#3. The embroidery on Louis’ clothes were inspired from Ottoman Turkish/Persian embroidery.
In the 1660′s, when the fashion of these items first flourished, the coats were short. Here’s a picture of French male attire during this decade:
Well, let me tell you this. These coats are of a different story, but they all come from the same origin. You know the inspiration? Let me show you:
The petticoat breeches and the short coats were inspired from Ottoman military uniforms. Because Louis was wearing these clothes, the other men did too. Anything that Louis wore, the men wore. However, don’t think that Louis turned to Ottoman fashion entirely. Many of the European elements stayed too, including Venetian lace, ribbons, stockings + garters, and styles of cuts within the fabric. Men resumed with the European norm of wearing plumed hats, growing their hair out, and having Van Dyke moustaches.
Lastly, sleepwear. During sleep, Louis wore a banyan (Arabic: بنيان), which was a coat worn all throughout the Islamic world, from the Middle East to India. When the style came to France, Louis called it the ‘robe de chambre’, which means ‘chamber dress’. Whenever he took off his wig, he wore a nightcap equivalent to that of a turban. Because Louis wore it, all the other men started wearing it, so every man in France wore a banyan and a turban to sleep.
Now, people will start asking me, “How about the women?” Well, women’s fashion stayed the same throughout because they had no inspiration. When Louis came out wearing new fashion, all the men started wearing it. But women couldn’t dress like Louis because clothes like that were designed for men during those periods, so they stayed in their European style dresses. Sucks for us, doesn’t it?