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Clothing in Elizabethan Era

Clothing in the Elizabethan Era:
This was another such highly fashion conscious era and it was also all about elaborate and stylized clothing. The dresses that women wore in the Elizabethan Era were definitely not made of one single garment as is seen now-a-days. In fact, the many garments worn altogether were called a dress.
As mentioned before, fashion at the beginning of the Elizabethan Era was a modest affair and ladies that belonged to the upper class wore a fitted bodice that helped to accentuate the small waist. A ruffled yoke was also a characteristic of women who belonged to the upper class.
Clothing in the Elizabethan Era also saw an influence of geometric shapes. Here, it was not about maintaining or showcasing the natural body structure. Methods such as padding and quilting were used to stiffen the fabric so that it could retain the shape with an emphasis on the shoulder and the hip area. Basically, the main motive behind this kind of concept in clothing was utilized to give an impression of a small waist. This does not mean only women desired to have small waists, men also made use of certain types of clothing such as the girdles to give a really thin look to the body.

The people who belonged to the higher strata of society also wore clothing that was heavily ornamented with brocades; heavy cut velvets, lace and even gold and silver embroidery. Apart from buttons, cords or ribbons were also used to fasten the clothing. Generally, clothing in the Elizabethan Era saw people indulging in gold and silver buttons that were even set with gemstones.
Snoods also gained popularity during the Elizabethan era. This was a kind of a headdress, which saw different versions along the way and also saw resurgence in the fashion circuit in the past few years.
One would also need to note that the Elizabethan Era was one such period, which saw a proper division of class. The Sumptuary Laws were passed that stated the kind of clothing one would have to wear. These laws were passed by Queen Elizabeth and were also known as Statutes of Apparel. It was basically done to clearly demarcate the social structure existing in the Elizabethan Era. The Queen herself and only her relations were allowed to wear clothing that used gold or gold tissue as an embellishment.
The upper class also used a wide variety of fabrics. Elizabethan clothing saw the use of velvets, silks, furs and even taffeta. These exotic materials were imported from different areas from all over the world. A somewhat strange factor for women in that era was also that women often emulated the fashion styles of men. The frilled collar was short as far as men were concerned and long and feminine for women.
Another strange factor was the slashing of the clothes. Clothing in the Elizabethan Era was even slashed to reveal the garments worn below; this was also done to showcase the contrasting colors.
Doublets were worn by men as well as by women. This laid an emphasis on the shoulder and the hip area.
Robes in bright colors were very much sought after in the Elizabethan Era. Such bright colors were also expensive to purchase. For example, one can take a look at one of the earlier portraits of Queen Elizabeth, which would show her in a deep crimson robe. This deep red color was actually obtained from an insect, which was found only in the Mediterranean. Therefore such dyes were expensive to purchase.
People who belonged to the lower strata of society wore clothing made from materials like wool, sheepskin and even linen. People who belonged to this category were not allowed to wear materials in silk or even have velvet trimmings.