In the period when Shakespeare's plays were written, fashion was often very restrictive over the body (while sometimes changing to looser styles) and very ornamented/decorated, particularly for the nobility.
"...men's doublets and women's bodices were worn tight and stiffened with rigid stays or padding...the garments of both sexes were laden with ornamentation, from jewellery to lace to the showiness of multiple contrasting fabrics."
After the 1620's trends focused more on the loose and comfortable clothing; waistlines rose higher for comfort and ease of movement. "Men's breeches lost their bagginess and became slimmer and easier to move in."
Rich and decorative designs/materials were still valued however the rigid formality of clothing was somewhat lost. The large, stiff ruffs disappeared and gave way to broad lace/linen and flatter collars.
- French influence; materials such as silk, lace and brocade
- French fashions still ornate
- emphasis on the vertical lines of the body to make the figures look taller and slimmer
- In the 18th century stomachers were a large part of fashion (emphasising vertical slimmer lines)
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