16th century clothing
Rare and fragile survivals telling us about our earlier selves
A Happy Flower
A woman's white linen smock; 1603-1610
A woman's white linen smock decorated with intricate bands of geometric cutwork taken from another object, possibly a cover, and used as insertions on the sleeves, cuffs, collar and upper part of the front. If worn underneath an open-necked gown, the exquisite needlework would have been visible. 1603-10
Collections | Manchester Art Gallery
Date: 1580-1620 Accession Number: 2003.61 © Manchester City Galleries Linen cap, embroidered in black silk and silver gilt thread. Pattern of formal leaves and flowers and acorns within stems, in chain laid and plaited braid stitches, edge whipped with silver gilt thread. Embroidery worked in four sections from centre of crown with plain 3.2cm band of linen below and embroidery worked on reverse to form turn-up brim.
How to Dress Like a Nobleman
Nobleman's ensemble, Spanish, 1533-1566. The capitans of the Spanish treasure fleet wore something similar to this, as did John Hawkins, Sir Francis Drake, and the other privateers who preyed on them. Trunk hose (also known as "slops") were worn during most of the 16th century and the first quarter of the 17th.
Extant Italian dresses
ca. 1560 Italy, Florence. Bodice. Currently in the Museo di Palazzo Reale, Pisa. Believed to be from 1560, this is called the “Red Dress of Pisa.” It is a Florentine gown from the sixteenth century - it was found on a wooden effigy at San Matteo. It is housed at the Palazzo Reale di Pisa (Museum Nazionale). It is made of red velvet with gold couched trim.