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17th Century Trends for Men

Menswear in the early 17th century also continued with the trends from the late 16th century. Queen Elizabeth had distinct preferences for her fashion and for the fashion of the men in her court. Doublets, the jackets that men wore, were tight fitted. Their pants were often short- although the longer Venetian style was becoming more common in England- and were stuffed to create a voluminous effect. You can see this style at Agecroft Hall in our portrait of Master Dauntesey. Men’s clothing was also extensively embroidered.

Men and young boy dressed in 17th century clothing in front of a red cloth background
Artist unknown. Sir Walter Ralegh (Raleigh); Walter Ralegh, 1602. Oil on canvas; 199.4 x 127.3 cm (78 1/2 x 50 1/8 in). London: National Portrait Gallery, NPG 3914. Given by the Lennard family, 1954.

Midcentury, men’s clothing had become much more streamlined. But this doesn’t mean that it was didn't have any flourishes. For example, in the portrait below, you can see decorative trim on the breeches. The sleeves of men’s doublets had the same slit style as the women’s sleeves. The ongoing English Civil War also had an effect on style. Buff coats, which were doublets made of leather, became popular as they were more durable under armor.

Abraham Wuchters (Danish, 1610 - 1682). Ulrik Christian Gyldenløve, son of Christian IV and Vibeke Kruse, 1645. Oil on canvas; 208 x 123 cm (81.8 x 48.4 in). Copenhagen: Statens Museum for Kunst, KMS617. Kleivenfeldts auktion 1777, nr. 137 (kaldet Valdemar Christian)

Maker unknown (English). Buff leather coat with silver-gilt braid trimming, 1640-1650. Leather, with whalebone stiffening in the collar and silver-gilt braids; height: 103 cm, width: 68 cm skirt, width: 45 cm shoulders, width: 61 cm elbow to elbow. London: Victoria and Albert Museum

Source: Fashion History Timeline, Fashion Institute of Technology





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