Tudor Clothes consisted of many layers and the underwear required was dictated by the requirements of Tudor fashion. The reign of King Henry VIII included the item of underwear called the Codpiece. The Codpiece was an over sized, padded and boned item of underwear which went out of fashion when Henry VIII died. The reign of Queen Elizabeth I saw fashion which was influenced by geometric shapes which were achieved by tight underwear, the corset and worn by both women and men!
Tudor Underwear - The Geometric shape
When Queen Elizabeth ascended the throne in 1558 and she dictated many of the fashions of men became more feminized and fashion was influenced by geometric shapes rather than the natural shape of the body. To achieve these geometric shapes padding (bombast) and quilting, together with the use of whalebone or buckram for stiffening purposes, were used to gain this geometric effect and dress fashion. Corsets were worn by both men and women to give a flattened and triangular shape.
List of Tudor Underwear for Women
Tudor Clothing for women consisted of many layers and the underwear for women would have included many of the following garments. Each item of Tudor underwear for women is named and described as follows:
- Definition and Description of Tudor Underwear for women
- Smock or shift, also called a chemise made of linen - The chemise was a short slip or garment designed to wear under dresses without shaping
- Stockings or hose - clothing for the legs
- Corset - The corset is a fitted garment usually with boning designed to cinch the waist and lift the breasts
- Bodice - The bodice is a sleeveless vest tightly laced in front that covers the upper part of a woman's body
- Farthingale - A farthingale is a linen petticoat containing whalebone hoops
- A Roll or Rowle - A roll was tied around the waist enabling the skirt to extend horizontally
- Stomacher - A triangular shaped front panel of rich fabric which ended in a point at the waist used to hold the gown together and worn on top of the bodice. The stomacher could be made with the same fabric of the dress, or of contrasting fabric and therefore interchangeable with different gowns.
- Petticoat - The petticoat was a long flared draw-string skirt which hung from the waist
- Kirtle - The Kirtle was the underskirt
- Forepart - A forepart was a highly decorated underskirt which was revealed through the inverted 'V' opening in the front of a skirt. As in “Forepart of a kirtle.”
- Partlet - A partlet was a high necked chemise designed to cover a low necked dress
List of Tudor Costumes, Fashion and Clothing for Men
Tudor Clothing for men consisted of various layers and the underwear for men would have included the following garments. Each item of Tudor underwear for men is named and described as follows:
- Definition and Description of Tudor Underclothes for men
- Shirt - The shirt was worn as a man's undergarment, covering the body from neck to knee
- Hose - clothing for the legs and lower body
- The Codpiece - an inverted triangular section of cloth sewn into the hose around a man's groin
- Corset or Girdle - The corset or girdle was worn by Tudor men as a fitted garment usually with boning designed to cinch the waist achieving the geometric shape which was the height of fashion during the Elizabethan era
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