Fashion During the Elizabethan Era Essay

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Have you ever wondered what people in the Elizabethan Era wore? Fashion was just as important in those days as it is to some people today. What people were wearing mattered to others, and even the government. During the Elizabethan Era clothing, accessories, and cosmetics were all a part of daily life. During the Elizabethan Era, there were a set of rules controlling which classes could wear which clothing called the Sumptuary Laws. The Sumptuary Laws controlled the colors and types of clothing a person could wear. This allowed an easy and immediate way to identify rank and privilege (Elizabethan Era | Clothing). Those found dressed in inappropriate clothing could be fined, lose property, lose rank, and even be killed (Elizabethan Dress…show more content…
Clothing followed her tastes throughout her reign. Her hair and makeup, which you will read about later, were also highly influential. Many people aspired to resemble or look like Queen Elizabeth I. Clothing was also an important part in men's lives. The Sumptuary laws implied to not only the women, but to the men too. Men also wore many layers, some similar to the women. According to Linda Alchin, "The fashions were designed to give the impression of a small waist-especially desired by the women but also emulated by men" (Elizabethan Upper Class Fashion). They wore most of the following under layers: a shirt, stockings, a codpiece, and a corset. Then, most of the following over layers: a doublet, separate sleeves, breeches, a belt, a ruff, a cloak, and boots or flat shoes. Men's clothing fashions were related to those of women's due to the similar, and many layers. Costumes during theatre were to be realistic. Permits were issued to allow actors to dress in necessary clothing if their character was of a different social class. Females were not permitted to act in the theatre at the time. Because of this, men were also dressed to play female characters in the theatre. Costumes played an important part in theatre. The meaning of colors and materials were the main rules set by the Sumptuary laws. Elizabethan England was divided into three social classes. The upper class included the monarch, nobility,
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