Clothing in the Renaissance Period

While in the renaissance era things were very different, laws prohibiting who can wear what, and how much the materials for the clothing cost. This made each of the socials classes to dress differently. Along with what each classes material being different, the style of them were different as well. For example, the lower class would have a more practical style of clothing because of the work the were required to do. The lower classes materials would be linen, wool, or sheepskin. On the other hand, the upper classes wore materials such as, silk, velvet, brocade, and satin. In similarity of differences the upper class had many more options in the amount of clothing they could own. However, with the difference in types of materials in the upper and lower classes the basic elements of an outfit were similar.

For women, the basic style of gown was made of a tight-fitting bodice and then a filled out skirt would hang down to the ankles. In fashion, while also being accepted wear at the time, women’s dresses were cut to expose the neckline. In the upper class the clothing women wore was very cumbersome and restricted their movement. This usually required servants to help dress the wearer. While the lower class women would wear much lighter clothing that was easy to dress themselves. Now all women’s clothing started with a loose linen smock worn to protect the gown, with knee high stockings. For added warmth a woman could wear a petticoat.

For the men, their basic outfit is a shirt similar to our dress shirts today, only difference is in the collar and cuffs. The collar and cuffs would instead be made out of lace. Over this shirt would be a doublet, which is a fitted top, followed up with a jerkin, that is a tight-fitting jacket. Its very common for men in the lower class to wear only the shirt without the doublet, and jerkin for more functionality. Men didn’t wear traditional pants like today, they would wear hose on their legs. The upper hose was usually poufy knee-length, then the nether hose, which is like stockings were on the lower part of the leg. As for the children of the renaissance era, they were dressed similarly to their parents. Although both boy and girls wore dresses will and infant and toddler. Boys would start wearing hose once around the age of 7.


Overview of Elizabethan Outfits (

History of the Elizabethan Corset (

Elizabethan Sumptuary Statutes and Sumptuary Laws (

Renaissance Clothing