Clothing became simpler by the 18th century.
My group and I wanted to fuse the 17th and 18th century styles to create costumes for King Lear and the Fool in order to explore the claim of Shakespeare's timelessness and also the costumes of these time periods.
"On their upper bodies wealthy men wore white linen or cotton shirts with a lace-edged jabot, or tie, topped with sleeveless waistcoats and a long-sleeved justaucorps, long overcoats. Below they wore satin knee breeches and silk hose held at the knee with garters. Working men wore much simpler, less well-made clothes of wool or cotton. By the middle of the century, wealthy men wore the same clothing, but the fit and decoration of these styles had changed quite a bit. The skirts of waistcoats stuck out away from the man's hips with padding or boned supports, and knee breeches fit very tightly against the leg. The fabric for men's clothes was bright and often elaborately embroidered with flowers or curving lines. Men's clothes at the end of the century, however, were very different. Most men wore dark clothes with little decoration. With the rejection of decoration, the difference between a working man's clothes and a wealthy man's became noticeable only from the cut and the quality of the fabric."
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