16501700 in Fashion

1650–1700 in Fashion: General Trends

In western countries, fashion during 1650–1700 era, is characterized by swift change.  A short period of decorative enthusiasm replaced the military influence in men’s dresses. Later, the fashion restrained into the coat, waistcoat and breeches outfits that ruled for the hundred years.

For both the genders, the fashion of a long, bent line with a low waist replaced the broad, high-waisted outline of the earlier time.  This time period also witnessed the growth of periwig as an important piece of men's dressing.

1650–1700 in Fashion: Men’s Clothing

Men during 1650–1700 used to wear saggy breeches, short-length coats, and very long ribbons (about hundreds of yards in length). The breeches, at that time, were so baggy that in April 1661, writer Samuel Pepys mentioned in his diary “And among other things, met with Mr.Townsend, who told of his mistake the other day to put both his legs through one of his Knees of his breeches, and so went all day." 

This period witnessed major variation and transitions. By 1680, more reserved uniform-like dress of coat, waistcoat, and breeches was turned out to be the standard for formal dress.

Though boots were used at the time of riding and outdoor activities, shoes were the most fashionable footwear throughout the 1650s. Boothose made of linen with lace cuffs were in fashion even after the boot lost their fame. They were worn over the fine silk stockings.

Shoes from 1650 to 1670 were more squared at toe and seemed to be a little long in look. The shoes were seen tied with ribbon and ornamented with bows. By the 1680s, the shoes turned out to be more fitting. The height of the heel increased during that time.

1650–1700 in Fashion: Women’s Clothing

When we talk about women’s fashion during 1650–1700, a long perpendicular line, with horizontal prominence at the shoulder outdated the high-waisted appearance of the previous period. Full, loose sleeves those came up to the elbow at mid of the century and turned out to be more long and tight to cope up with the new trend. The body of women’s dress was corseted tightly with a low, wide collar and dropped shoulder. Later, the overskirt was pulled back and pinned up so that the heavily decorated petticoat inside would be visible.

During 1680s, a news fashion emerged in the shape of the mantua or manteau. The mantua drooped from the shoulder to the ground resembling female adaptation of the men's Banyan, usually worn for 'undress' wear.

Over the period, it appeared as a decorated and pleated gown and ultimately developed into a gown worn looped and adorned over a complementary petticoat and a stomacher. The new look was reserved and suppressed than previous fashions.

During this period, women also used frills, ribbons and trim, but still women were seen wearing the small string of pearls and pearl earrings that were in fashion since 1630s.

1650–1700 in Fashion: Hairstyles

At the beginning of this period, hair was worn in a chignon at the backside of the head with a bunch of curls outlining the face. The curls became more complicated during the 1650s. During 1680s hair was divided in the center, and by the 1690s hair style saw the rows of curls heaped high over the forehead.

During this period, men used to keep their hair long with graceful curls hanging underneath the shoulders. Hats were very popular among men. Different styles of hats were seen in this era.

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