Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Dressing the 1580s

I've been missing the sixteenth century quite a bit lately. Not that I am the least bit fed up with my Dura studies, there is still so much to learn there, but I've heard about a couple of 16th century in-persona events recently which have really made me pine for that time period. One thing holding me back from going though is a complete lack of wardrobe which set me looking at images of late 16th century dress in preparation for making more.

I've been looking especially at several engravings of captains from the early 1580s and today had some revelations about fit and construction, ones that were hiding from me in plain sight.

1. The doublet needs to be made first because all the rest of the ensemble hangs off of it.
2. The hose need to be built to suspend from the doublet. The attachment can't be an afterthought.
3. In the 1580s everything was a unit, no separates!
4. Everything is rather larger than one's actual body size. I've been making my outfits pretty close fitting previously, but because it is all attached to each other as a unit it needs to have more ease. The suit is built around one but I've been making things just too close.

It probably seems self evident but it felt like I had a revelation in terms of viewing the suit as a unit not separate garments.

These are the two captains who set me musing. Note how much underpinning both the doublet and Venetians have and that they are suspended as a unit. The legs of the Venetians are just the correct length, they do not droop, and they are interlined to hell and gone as evidenced by the fact that the sword belt is not being pressed in to the fabric very far. Ditto for the interlinings on the doublet. If we had x-ray glasses and could see their bodies inside, I think we would be surprised to see how slenderly built they were, not fat, but also not heavily muscled either. You wouldn't realize that from their outward appearance!

So those are my thoughts, now I need to get sewing!

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