Picture of an Elizabethan Codpiece
 

Codpiece

  • Interesting Facts and information about Clothing & Fashion - the Codpiece
  • Fashion - the Codpiece
  • Clothing and fashion for Men
  • History of the Codpiece dated 1583

Clothing and Fashion - The Codpiece
Early hose were fitted to the leg footed similar to modern tights but open at the crotch - the genitalia simply hung loose under the doublet. Fashion dictated a shortening of the doublet which sometimes resulted in exposed genitalia!

Picture of an Elizabethan Codpiece

 
 

The codpiece was therefore created! (Middle English, from Old English word "codd" meaning scrotum) Its main purpose was to conceal the opening in a man's tights, or hose. The origin of the codpiece was a small bag with a flap at the fork of the hose which was fastened by ties. Codpieces became designed to emphasize the male genitalia and were eventually padded and enlarged to astounding proportions! 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.

 
 
 

Clothing and Fashion - The Codpiece
Early hose were fitted to the leg footed similar to modern tights but open at the crotch - the genitalia simply hung loose under the doublet.  Fashion dictated a shortening of the doublet which sometimes resulted in exposed genitalia! The codpiece was therefore created! (Middle English, from Old English word "codd" meaning scrotum) Its main purpose was to conceal the opening in a man's tights, or hose. The origin of the codpiece was a small bag with a flap at the fork of the hose which was fastened by ties. Codpieces became designed to emphasize the male genitalia and were eventually padded and enlarged to astounding proportions!

 

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.

 

Elizabethan Codpiece
Additional details, facts and information about Elizabethan Clothing and Fashion can be accessed via the Elizabethan Era Sitemap.

Fashion and Clothing - Codpiece

  • Interesting Facts and information about Clothing & Fashion - the Codpiece
  • Fashion - the Codpiece
  • Clothing and fashion for Men
  • King Henry VIII
  • History of the Codpiece dated 1583
 
 

Queen Elizabeth's Coat of Arms

 

Elizabethan Era - Free Educational Resource! Author Referencing Information

The contents of www.elizabethan-era.org.uk are subject to Copyright Laws - the name of the Website Author is Linda Alchin. The referencing protocol is suggested as follows:

Alchin, L.K.
 Elizabethan Era
e.g. Retrieved May 16 2012 from
www.elizabethan-era.org.uk

The content of Elizabethan Era is free but solely for educational purposes. Reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.". We would respectfully direct our visitors to our Elizabethan Era Copyright page and Elizabethan Era Privacy Statement regarding the Terms of Use of this history site, both may be accessed from the links provided at the bottom of this page.

Queen Elizabeth's Coat of Arms

Codpiece

 

Privacy Statement

2014 Siteseen Ltd

Cookie Policy

By Linda Alchin