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History of Men Costumes in Seventeenth Century (1680-1710)

History of Men Costumes in Seventeenth Century (1680-1710)

Rumana Aqtar
Dept. of Fashion Design
KCC Women’s College (Affiliated by Khulna University),
Khulna, Bangladesh


The major powers in 17th century Europe were France, England, and Spain. Italy remains divided into small political units dominated by other countries. Holland had become not only independent of Spain, but wealthy and prosperous. The German princes, technically within the Holy Roman Empire, were sovereign powers, independent; free to make war or peace. The head of the Austrian Hapsburgs still had the title, Holy Roman Emperor, an illusionary honor. In reality the Austrian Hapsburgs had only their hereditary lands in Eastern Europe. Men worn of that period varieties fashionable men costumes around the western world.

Costume Components for men (1680-1710)
Costume Components for men

Costume Components for men (1680-1710):


These were little changed from the forms worn earlier in the century. It is the main component of men costumes of that period. Cravats long, narrow, scarf-like pieces separate from the shirt were worn instead of collars.

Shirts for men (1680-1710)
Shirts for men


Knee-length coats replaced doublets as outer garments. Called sellouts or just corps by the French and cassocks by the English, such garments had fitted straight sleeves with turned back cuffs, and buttoned down the front. They completely covered the breeches and waistcoat.

Coats for men (1680-1710)
Coats for men


By the late 17th century the terms vest and waistcoat were being used interchangeably. These garments were being used interchangeably. These garments were cut along the same lines as outer coats, but slightly shorter and less full. Before 1700 most were sleeved later some were made without sleeves.

Waistcoats for men (1680-1710)
Waistcoats for men


Cut with less fullness than in earlier periods, breeches ended at the knee.

Breeches for men (1680-1710)
Breeches for men

Hair and headdress:

Wigs grew larger, the hair built-up somewhat on the top of the head. Some wigs were dusted with powder to make white, but most were worn in natural colors.

Hair and headdress for men (1680-1710)
Hair and headdress for men


Hats were somewhat superfluous given the large scale of wigs and were more often carried under the arm than worn. Flat hats with brims turned r “cocked” up at one or more points were often seen, especially or the brim turned up at three points to form a triangle.

Hats for men (1680-1710)
Hats for men


Styles were similar to those from earlier in the century. Shoes were preferred for general wear over boots. Shoe knuckles, which could be quite costly, were made to transfer from one pair of shoes to another. High, rigid boots made of heavy leather and called jack boots were worn for horseback riding in the latter 1600s.

Footwear for men (1680-1710)
Footwear for men


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 these reasons the following section summarizes the major trends in accessories, etc, for the 17th century for both men and women. Among the more widely used accessories were:

  • Gloves worn by men and women and sometimes scented with perfume.
  • Handkerchiefs and purses carried by men and women.
  • Purses might be made of beaded leather or embroidered
  • Fans for women, made of feathers or of the folding types.
  • Muffs made of silk, velvet, or stain, fur, or of fur trimmed fabrics were carried by ladies.
    Accessories for men (1680-1710)
    Accessories for men

Jewelry for men:

Popular items of jewelry for men included neck chains, pendants, lockets, rings, and, in the first parts of the century, earrings.

Jewelry for men (1680-1710)
Jewelry for men



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    history of french period costumes with their accessories of men and women;

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