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Elizabethan Fashion Essay

5273 words - 21 pages

Elizabethan Fashion

The Elizabethan Era was a time that reflect the mood and values of the 16th
century though the use of fashion. It was a period in which a lot of originality
and creativity was evident was used to create new styles of dress (Black &
Garland 16). The Fashion in Elizabethan England at this time reflected the
values and Ideals of the era. It was an Era that based everything on the Great
Chain Of Being; which was a concept that everyone had a position in the
social standings of society that was given to him or her by God (Leed 1). The
citizens in England during the 16th century had their ordered stations in life,
and their clothing reflected who they were in society. Society was broken up
into three major categories; peasants, middle class and nobles. If your
clothing reflected the status of a different class then yours, you would be fined
under Sumptuary Laws (Leed 1). Elizabethan Society was a society very
different from today, but like today, the fashion reflected the mood and
influences on society. The Fashion that was displayed in Elizabethan England
was shaped by the impacts of Queen Elizabeth, the Spanish influence,
Christopher Columbus, their desires for youth and beauty, and the strict
social order. With these five influences the difference of the style of clothing
worn in upper and lower class society stood out. The wealthy were able to
afford the luxurious items the new founding in the world brought with it. The
foreign look was the look that society wanted to achieve during the
Elizabethan era, for it reflected the values of Queen Elizabeth, who happened
to be the ideal women of the era. Things that are not controllable sometimes
have an influence on society that is not expected. One effect that should have
been expected was that Queen Elizabeth would have an impacted on the
society that she gave her name to. The one thing that wasn't expected
however was the extent to which Queen Elizabeth would influence fashion.
Queen Elizabeth was passionate about fashion and she spread her love for it
through out the kingdom. One of Queen Elizabeth's talents was her ability to
use any situation to her political advantage (Boucher 17). She wanted to be
seen as a person with power and capability and she thought rich cloths would
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