Clothing in the Restoration expressed the
suppressed feelings of freedom during the Puritan
period. The frivolities of courtiers had been stifled
for eleven years and the Restoration is the period
that everything that had been stifled is cut loose.
Curls, ribbons puff, flounces and feathers returned
to clothing wherever they could be attached.
Masculine and feminine dress began to take on the
stiffness and smart elegance that had been abandoned
with James I's death.
Gentlemen wore wigs that had curls all over it and
they shaved their heads. The faces were shaved at
first then only a thread of a mustache if any. The
hat moved to a high-crown, stiffer and a little
narrower-brimmed hat and it was cocked to side. All
men tried to wear cravats around the neck rather than
the huge collars.
Women wore ringlets clustered in the back of the
hair with smaller tendrils waved around the face
which replaced the earlier dense frizzle. Rich women
would weave pearls into their hair and put nosegays
in their buns, however, the common people wore
simpler hair. In the Old and New World they continued
to wear caps, especially in the Colonial scene.
Collars were higher but wider across the shoulders
and necklines were low, wide and dropped on the
shoulders. Most women wore under dress with another
garment on top and if the she could afford it the
bodice and skirt would be attached. If she was poorer
the skirts and bodices were of different colors. In
this period the apron became very popular and in fact
it could be classed with the skirt rather than an
accessory. Skirts were a tad bit shorter and peasant
women shortened their dresses to the instep, while
court women shortened their skirts just to show the
The court used deep-toned velvet and light colored
satin and colors at Versailles were subdued. The
Colonial fashion was not subdued and bright-hued
garments prevailed. Red, blue, yellow and green were
popular and fearlessly combined. Men often wore red
coats and women's petticoats were also red but in
flowered silks. Hats and shoes were black and
stockings were light colored.
Notable Restoration Costume History
|PeriwigWig that gained favor
during the period of Louis XIV; hair at this time was
worn shoulder length and in flowing curls. The head
was then regularly shaved, the wig taking the place
of the man's own hair. At first it was made to look
like natural hair, but eventually an artificial
effect was cultivated. Masses of ringlets fell over
the shoulders and down the back. By 1660 wig-making
in France reached such a stage of perfection that
French periwig was in demand all over Europe.
BraSince hats were required at French
court and women could not wear hats on their high
wigs, they created this arm hat to wear.
of Cravat, with vertically pleated front fall.
frill on the shirt front that might accompany the rabat.
CoatBetween 1650 and 1670 the doublet
of Charles I reign was sometimes lengthened and
almost to the knee. Like its Predecessor it could be
worn either belted or beltless, but following the new
trend it had a lower waist line; its skirts flared
slightly. Except for length, it was essentially like
the modern clerical cassock.
of ribbon loops affixed at the knee, worn between
1660 and 1670.
small jacket often with rounded corners on the front.
formal female gown of the period of Louis XIV. The
overskirt was looped back and held by ribbon bows.
The looped-up folds were often bunched in back over
an underskirt of taffeta; the train, the length of
which was determined by the lady's social position.
The train was carried over the left arm, except in
the presence of royalty, when it trailed on the
standard three-cornered hat worn by gentle-men of the
type of neck dressing other than a collar. Of various
types through several periods. Her the rabat, or lace
falling band, with round corners became broad and
long, and the jabot, or frill on the shirt front,
frequently appeared with it. By the end of the 1670's
the ends of the cravat became full lace tabs, tied
under the chin with a cravat string of ribbon or
scarf of lace or lawn, loosely tied with the ends
casually twisted into the vest or shirt front or
drawn through a buttonhole or ring. Black silk
steinkirks were introduced in the 1690s and were
named after the Battle of Steinkirk, where the
hurriedly garbed French, unable to tie their cravats,
twisted the ends through buttonholes in their coats.
BreechesFull breeches, ending in deep
ruffles or canons. There were two styles of petticoat
breechesone which resembled a kilt, the other a
divided skirt. By about 1660 the breeches were so
wide that it is not always easy to distinguish
between Rhinegrave breeches and s short skirt.
Sometimes the legs of these garments attained a width
of six feet.
1680 the Duchess de Fontanges, having her hat blown
off at a royal hunting party, tied her curls in place
with her garter, arranging a bow with ends in front.
From that incident a new fashion evolveda cap
of tier of upstanding wired and pleated ruffles of
lawn, lace, and ribbons. The hair dressed in that
fashion was called coif-fure a la Fontanges, and the
cap with its narrow rising front was known as le
bonnet a la Fontanges. The cap often had two floating
pieces of ribbon or lace in back, and over the whole
arrangement was often worn a black silk hood or
kerchief. In 1691 the headdress was reduced to two
tiers of pleats and became known as the commode.
sleeveless vest that was worn under a coat and was
the same length as the coat.
diagonal sash that went across the body that would
hold the sword, display metals and show status.