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53 - EARLY TUDOR MEN'S GARMENTS

Period Pattern ™ No.53
Early Tudor Men's Garments, c. 1495-1537 A.D.

Includes patterns for 3 gowns, 3 skirted doublets, 1 skirted jerkin, 2 skirt-less doublets and 3 shirts, in sizes 36-48. These garments go well with hose from Period Patterns no. 43 and 101, capes from no. 92, and purses and pouches from no. 93.

The Tudor period marked the beginning of the Renaissance in England, and fashion (especially after 1509) reflected the change. Henry VII, who usurped the throne in 1485, was extremely frugal, and fashion changed slowly during his reign. During his reign, the houpelande (Period Pattern no. 26) became a robe or gown, opening down the front, soon left unbelted and open. This was worn over a skirted doublet, shirt and hose (Period Pattern no. 43).

At age 18 Henry VIII inherited both the throne and a large treasury, and the court blossomed. He was insecure, aggressive, blatantly masculine and suddenly not only extremely rich but no longer under the control of his father or anyone else. All of which reflected in the opulent new fashions, especially for men. During Henry's reign, men’s fashions combined elements of German, Spanish and Italian fashions, with heavy French influence overall. Slashing became popular, and the modest codpiece became a grotesque brag.

As Henry VIII aged he favored short full gowns to hide his increasing bulk, thus creating a square silhouette. The quintessence of what is commonly thought of as "Tudor" fashion is shown in view IV.

No.53, view IV jerkin over doublet and skirt - KW, 1987
No.53, view II skirted doublet and skirt - sewn by JB, seen at TYC, May 1986
No.53, view IV jerkin and shirt, with view V doublet, done suitable for a German Renaissance mercenary
No.53, view III
No.53, view III - K, 12th Night 1987
No.53, view III for Bauty's Beast before and after - DH, Coacoa Village Playhouse, FL, 1996
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You will find the pattern views on the cover in the album section
As with almost all medieval and Renaissance clothing, Tudor garments could be plain and somber, or colorful; they could be made of plain linen and wool or imported silk velvet. Fancy touches included brocaded velvet with gold threads woven into the design, embroidery with silk or metallic threads and often jewels sewn to the garment. It was more common to reserve the richer fabrics and decoration to smaller areas like trim, sleeves, and skirt-less doublets (which, if worn with a jerkin, could be “faked” so the expensive fabric was used only where it might show). The limit was whatever the owner could afford (and the sumptuary laws allowed!).

Comments we've received on this pattern:

  • Theodora V, Carlisle, PA,“I was very pleased with the results of the patterns for Tudor men’s garments.”

    Theodora V, Carlisle, PA, before 3/2001

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