The codpiece became prominent during the reign of Queen Elizabeth's father - King Henry VIII is often associated with the codpiece and this peculiar item of clothing is featured in his portraits. Codpieces retained their practical origins and often doubled as pockets.
"The codpiece was exaggerated in size, the bag was puffed and slashed, and even
ornamented with jeweled pins." (Quote by Boucher)
The Decline of the Codpiece
Queen Elizabeth ascended the throne in 1558. She dictated many of the fashions and the fashions of men became more feminized. The popularity of the codpiece therefore slowly declined. The codpiece became smaller, with less bombast (padding). Fashions changed and the codpiece went completely out of fashion by the 1570's. It completely disappeared by the end of Queen Elizabeth's reign in 1603. It had been replaced by a vertical opening which was concealed in folds of material.