Six Into One Goes- Tudor Fashion

For dedicated followers of fashion, mix and match is not new. The Tudors were at it 500 years ago. On Monday 1st of August Fran Saltmarsh entertained us with Tudor court fashion illustrated by the different mix and match outfits for each of Henry VIII wives. At the same time we were given a history lesson surrounding the various Queens, but because there was the distraction of dressing the tailors dummy and explaining the different outfits it did not seem like a lesson. The main undergarment was a linen long sleeved shift/smock (no knickers) and the gown (kirtle) on top not quite wrapped around and with cup sleeves. This allowed the change of skirt, pinned or taped on, and change of sleeve also pinned on. The gown was the most important item and was made from the most expensive and usually heavy cloth to show wealth. A girdle (chain/belt) was made of precious metal or silk adorned with precious stones and was essential to attach various religious items. A partlet was worn to cover the neck and upper chest to provide modest cover and protection from the sun. Pearls and other precious stones were worn and could be attached with pins to the skirt or gown allowing more mix and match.. A variety of headdresses, mostly shown in the various portraits of court ladies of the time, were worn. The hair was always covered and the headdress (English Gable or French Hood.) showed status. In winter fur or wool lining of the gown or skirt and the principle of layers to cope with the cold was needed. The clothing was designed to show wealth – the more extravagant the wealthier the wearer and her household. 

A very enjoyable, entertaining and educational evening. 

Next meetings
Monday 5th September Roger Mould will review the 10 years of the Warboys Archaeological Group and their findings in Ramsey and Warboys
Monday 3rd October Chris Carr will tell us what the Romans did for us in the kitchen with demonstration and tasting. Not to be missed.

Brian Lake

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