Elizabethan peasant costume scene. Woman with children 1550-1620.

Elizabethan, peasant, costume, Tudor, Renaissance,
Elizabethan peasant 1550-1620.


Elizabethan peasant.

England Tudor renaissance.

This Elizabethan peasant scene presents a picture of simplicity. Because of economic necessity the lower classes retained many styles of the preceding ages. We see them here on the woman who certainly does not present the characteristic Elizabethan appearance. The coif seen beneath the hat is still the one that was so characteristic of the Middle Ages. (See Plate 23.) Her dress, worn with little or no distension, is distinctly Henry VIII in quality. This is particularly true of the collars and cuffs, although the apron belongs to no particular period. Her hat is a masculine soft felt; like the apron it, too, is characteristic of no era.

The children are more typical of, and could just as easily belong to, the middle class. The little girl wears a Tudor headdress and except for the wrist cuff and shoulder wings is dressed exactly like the woman.

The little boy has the usual Elizabethan pompadour – with the long hair combed straight back off the forehead. The rest of his costume is almost exactly like that of the man on Plate 39 except for the modest neck ruff and soft felt shoes. The doublet with the shoulder wings and shirt tabs, worn over the Venetian slops, was probably the most popular masculine ensemble of the entire Elizabethan era.

Source: Museum Extension Project. History of Costume.


Note:  Portrait of Lavinia Biglia by Juan Pantoja de la Cruz.

The Tudor Tailor: Reconstructing Sixteenth-Century Dress by Ninya Mikhaila & Jane Malcolm-Davies.

A valuable sourcebook for costume designers, dressmakers and those involved in historical reenactments, this book contains all the information you need to create authentic clothes from the Tudor period.

Leave a Reply

The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World Paperback – December 7, 2021
by Virginia Postrel (Author)

From Neanderthal string to 3D knitting, an “expansive” global history that highlights “how textiles truly changed the world” (Wall Street Journal)