Home / History / Costume Component for Women in Seventeenth Century (1660-1680)

Costume Component for Women in Seventeenth Century (1660-1680)

Costume for Men During the Period 1650-1680

Shirina Sultana
Dept. of Fashion Design
KCC Women’s College (Affiliated by Khulna University),
Khulna, Bangladesh
Email: shirinasultanalubna@gmail.com

Costume Component for Women in Seventeenth Century (1660-1680):

Under Garments :

These consisted of chemise, under petticoats ( not to be confused with visible, decorative, outer petticoats or skirts), and drawers which though worn for some time on the continent were not worn in England at this period. Chemises usually slightly at the neck. Line and the edge of sleeves.

Corset (1660-1680)
Corset (1660-1680)

a) Petticoats:

But wearing petticoats was usually done to keep in fashion, especially in the seventeenth century. There were several reasons for wearing petticoats. One reason was practical: Petticoat sadded body to the skirt and kept the women who wore them warm. But wearing petticoats was usually done to keep in fashion.

b) Skirts :

Some skirts fell straight to the floor and were closed all round and others were split at the front and pulled back into puffs or looped up, over the hips. Decorations for gowns often consisted of a row of ruffles down the front or lines of  jeweled  decoration or braid placed on top of seam construction line.

Gowns :

Silhouette and shaping changed somewhat Bodices lengthened and narrowed, becoming long- waist-ed and more slender with an extended V-shaped point at the front. Heavy satin fabrics seem to have been fashionable for formal dresses. Pastel colors predominate in painting, But actual fabrics of the period are also brightly colored.

Gowns (1660-1680)
Gowns (1660-1680)

a) Necklines : Frequently edged by a wide lace collar or band of linen called a whisk, necks tended to be low, wide and horizontal or oval in shape.

b) Sleeves : Most sleeves were set low on the shoulder, opening into a full puff that ended below the elbow.

Outdoor garments:


The waistcoat has been one of the standard pieces of formal dress in the West since the late sixteenth century, and it has gone through several changes over time. From the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries, men’s waistcoats were long-sleeved garments worn as middle layers of clothing, over a shirt but underneath a topcoat or just aucorps. Some men’s waistcoats extended only to the waist, hence their name, while others continued several inches lower. Generally, they grew shorter as time passed. Waistcoats were buttoned down the front, and featured collars and pockets.Women sometimes wore waistcoats between their outer-wear and underwear. Some were sleeved but most were sleeveless. The first waistcoats for both sexes were usually made of linen. They were padded and textured like quilts and featured ornate silk embroidery, known as white work. This is more fashionable costume component for women.

Waistcoat (1660-1680)
Waistcoat (1660-1680)

Falling and Standing Bands :

Neck-wear was an important component of dress for women in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and they devised many ways to decorate the neck. By the mid-seventeenth century, when clothing styles were more subtle and understated, the band was more popular and it came in two primary styles: the standing band and the falling band. Both bands were forms of collars and were either part of a shirt or bodice, or attached to the shirt or bodice with small ties. A band was tied at the neck with band strings


a) Boots :

Boots were worn by women in 17th century.These were large, floppy-topped, high-heeled leather boots. The boots’ tops were shaped like a funnel and could reach twenty inches in diameter.

Footwear (1660-1680)
Footwear (1660-1680)

b) High-Heeled Shoes :

Height was a central feature of seventeenth-century fashion. People accentuated their height with tall hairstyles, long flowing gowns, long straight jackets, and high-heeled shoes. The heel of seventeenth-century shoes developed into an arched sole with a large square-based heel.

High-Heeled Shoes  (1660-1680)
High-Heeled Shoes (1660-1680)

Hair styles and hats:

The majority of women did not wear hats, except occasionally a small black taffeta hood or a small lace bonnet when they went out. The favoured hair style of early Stuart fashion was that adopted by Charles I’s French wife, Henrietta Maria. It was parted in the middle, flattened on top, then frizzed and curled each side of the head. Sometimes the hair at the crown or nape was coiled round into a bun. Ribbons were often used in the hair, and there was a fashion for love-locks, which were curls of hair worn at the temples, sides of the face or at the nape of the neck . Later, towards the end of the 17th century a fashion was introduced from France of a headdress that grew to become very large. Puritan women wore their hair shorter and neatly tucked away under a plain black, or dark colored bonnet.

Hair styles and hats (1660-1680)
Hair styles and hats (1660-1680)

Accessories for women in 17th century:

Accessories of dress, use of  cosmetics, and grooming practices are not easily separated into the same time periods as clothing. Also, many of these items were used by both men and women. For this reason the following section summarizes the major trends in accessories, etc. For the 17th century for the women:-

  • Gloves worn by men and women and sometimes scented with perfume.
  • Handkerchief & purses carried by women.
  • Purses might be made of beaded leather or embroidered.
  • Fashionable fans for women, made of feathers or of the folding types.
  • Muffs made of silk, velvet, or satin, fur, or fur trimmed fabrics were carried by ladies.
  • Face masks worn by ladies who wanted to protect their faces against, the weather or to engage in flirtations without being recognized.
  • Aprons : The practical cotton or linen varieties were  worn to protect the garment beneath as women went about their household tasks; decorative ones made of silk or lace and lavishly embroidered worn as an attractive accessory to fashionable dress.



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