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Shakesperean Clothing Essay

759 words - 3 pages

Have you ever looked at a picture of your parents when they were your age? Or maybe your grandparents from way back when? Well, judging by how much we laugh at their goofy clothes and ridiculous shoes, not to mention the hilarious hairstyles, styles have changed a lot. We?ve gone from high waists to low waists, baggy shirts to shirts that could fit your little sister, from bellbottoms to skin-tight jeans, and from voluminous hair to straight and silky locks. Yes, style can change a lot in a few decades and if you think that's a lot of change, try going back a few centuries, to the times of Shakespeare!
Back then, the women wore a lot more clothes than we do, that?s for sure! The style included a chemise, stockings (hose), a corset or bodice, a hooped skirt called a Farthingale, a roll (rowle), a stomacher, a petticoat (or a few), a kirtle, and a forepart as underclothes. For over-clothes, they wore a gown, separate sleeves, a ruff, a cloak, shoes, and a hat. I never wear that many layers. Can you imagine how warm it would be in those clothes all day in the middle of July?
As for the men, they were probably as equally warm, as they also had many layers. The underclothes consisted of a shirt, stockings or hose (yikes! The men these days wouldn?t be caught dead in those!), a codpiece, and a corset (who knew men had those). For over-clothes, they wore a doublet, with separate sleeves, breeches, a belt, ruff, cloak, shoes, and a hat. This age was also known as the peacock age, because sometimes the men were more elaborately dressed than the women!
Make-up and hairstyles have also changed from then till now. Then, make-up was pale, and extremely white. Women wore hats and carried parasols to escape from the light, to stay as white as possible. Those with darker, tanned skin were generally workers, so it was important for the upper class to distinguish themselves from the peasants. Men also used this white paste to identify themselves from the peasants. Who knew that Queen Elizabeth set the standards for make-up in those days? Her case of smallpox, which left some blemishes, was easily covered by the heavy white...

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