The Tudors in England
While Italy was experiencing a Renaissance (rebirth) England's ruling house was Tudor. The most famous monarchs were Henry VIII who split with Rome in order to marry a new young wife, and his daughter Elizabeth I, who ruled England for 45 years in great splendour but never married. The English costume styles were somewhat different from the Renaissance clothing worn in Italy at that time.
Tudor Hose
Venetians
Venetians were pear-shaped padded hose reaching to just below the knee and usually made of plain or striped fabric.
Canions
Canions were similar to Venetians but only till just above the knee. A garter was usually worn just below the knee with this style of hose.
Trunk hose
Breeches or trunk hose were very padded. The melon hose was round and short, ending at the thigh.
Pumpkin hose
Pumpkin hose were a little longer. There was a style of trunk hose not divided at the legs, which was popular in Elizabethan times.
Nether Hose
Nether hose were tight fitting stockings from the knee downwards.
Ruffs
Initially, lace collars were worn flat around the neck. Slowly a style of high stand up collar came in with lace edging at the top. This narrow ruff of lace became larger as time went on and developed into stiffly starched pleated ruff completely encircling the neck. By the 1580's it was a large cartwheel, starched and wired. It was sometimes up to 20 yards of pleated fine linen lawn or Holland cambric. A frame of wire covered with silk thread was worn under it and the edge of the ruff was also wired. Ruffs were starched in several colours, blue, green and yellow were favourites. There were various styles of ruffs, the cornet was the all around pleated style. Two or three layers of flat lace were also worn. A cornet style could be worn with a gap at the front. Some ladies wore a soft lace edged ruff with high pleats.
A whisk was a lace collar attached at the back of the neck attached to a large standing ruff. Conch wire system was used to make a stand-up support high above the shoulders and head, all pleated and attached to the ruff.
Bombasting
Sleeves became of enormous size during the Tudor era. These were known as "Bombast" sleeves. Both men and Women wore very large sleeves on their garments.
Bear (or Beer) Belly
In his later years, Henry VIII had quite a large stomach, so men copied him by padding their clothes into a "Bear belly".
Henry VIII
Henry VIII ascended the throne of England in 1509. He was young, handsome and intelligent. After being married many years to Queen Catherine, he had not had a son. He wanted to divorce his wife, but the Pope would not allow this. He therefore broke with the Catholic church and made himself Supreme head of the new Church of England. He married Anne Boleyn and had a daughter who became Elizabeth I. He had Anne executed and married Jane Seymour who gave him a son who became Edward VI. She died in childbirth and he subsequently married 3 times more. In 1543 after severing the English church from Papal authority, he closed down a great many monasteries and convents and seized their assets.
Henry VIII Costume
Henry VIII's costume was very distinctive, it was made up of the following:
# French beard
# Black felt or velvet hat, with pearl embroidery around the underside of the brim, and feather plume on top
# Doublet
#
Robe, richly embroidered, with bombast sleeves, padded and slashed.
#
Overcoat with fur edges
#
Jewelled cod piece
#
Hose
#
Gold collar with rubies and walnut-sized diamonds
#
Gold rings on his fingers
#
Square toed shoes, made of silk or velvet.
Tudor Headwear
The Pediment hat (also known as the Gable Hat) In Tudor times, particularly during the reign of Henry 8th, a pediment hat was popular, it was called this because it was shaped rather like a church doorway called a Pediment. It was quite complicated. The first layer was a cap of striped material crossed over at the front. Above this was a long padded strip which was folded up at each side of the neck. On top of this a jeweled strip was added around the face. A caul of net or embroidered material was fitted over the hair. On top of all these layers was a starched stiff square back piece attached to two long starched veils which could be folded up.