Picture of Queen Elizabeth I
 

Elizabethan Cloaks

  • Interesting Facts and information about Clothing & Fashion - Elizabethan Cloaks
  • Fashion - Elizabethan Hooded Cloaks
  • Clothing for Men and Women
  • Extract from pamphlet by Philip Stubbes regarding Elizabethan Cloaks dated 1583

Picture of Queen Elizabeth I

Elizabethan Cloaks

 

Clothing and Fashion - Elizabethan Cloaks
Elizabethan cloaks were an essential item of clothing for both men and women of the era. Cloaks came in varying lengths - some covered as far as the waist, others as far as the knee and some reached the floor. Womens cloaks were fastened at the neck and covered the shoulders but some of the men's cloaks were flung back over the shoulder and draped over their backs. They had long ties to hold them on, which were fastened under the arm and tied across the body in front.

 
 
 

Cloaks were full and often fastened with broaches, clasps or gold chains. One style of Elizabethan cloak was called a jornet. They were also decorated and hung with points and tassels. Points were lacings with metal ends which were used instead of buttons or hooks for fastening together such clothes as doublets and hose.

Hooded Cloaks
Elizabethan cloaks were practical and worn for warmth as well as fashion. Many were hooded cloaks which were especially popular with Elizabethan ladies.

 

The hoods and collars of the cloaks gave a perfect opportunity to demonstrate their rank or position by wearing fur lined cloaks. The type of furs that the Nobility and Upper classes were allowed to wear was dictated by the English Sumptuary Laws. The type of fur indicated the rank or status of the wearer:

  • Cloaks trimmed with Sable Fur were only worn by Royalty, Dukes, Marquises, and Earls and Duchesses, Marquises and Countesses
  • Cloaks trimmed with Lucernces ( Fur from the lynx) were only worn by Dukes, Marquises, Earls, and their children, Viscounts, Barons, and Knights of the Garter and their wives, or any person being of the Privy Council.
  • Cloaks trimmed with Genet ( this fur came from a member of the mongoose family, but similar to a cat) were only worn by Dukes, Marquises, Earls, and their children, Viscounts, Barons, and Knights of the Garter and their wives, or any person being of the Privy Council.
 
 
  • Cloaks trimmed with Leopards were only worn by Baron's sons, Knights and Ambassadors and their wives
  • Cloaks trimmed with Wolf were only worn by Baron's sons, Knights and Ambassadors and their wives
  • Cloaks trimmed with Foins (Fur of the beech marten, a weasel-like animal ) were only worn by courtiers
  • Cloaks trimmed with Budge (Lambskin from North Africa and Spain) were only worn by courtiers

Elizabethan Furs
A variety of furs were used in Elizabethan clothing, often used in a cloak called a Fur-Pilch, and described by the Society of Skinners as follows:

“Ermine, foine, sables, martin, badger, bearre,
Luzernne, budge, otter, hipponesse, and hare,
Lamb, wolf, fox, leopard, minck, stot, miniver,
Racoon, moashy, wolverin, caliber,
Squirrel, mole, cat, musk, civet, wild and tame,
Cony, white, yellow, black, must have a name,
The ounce, rows gray, ginnelt, pampilion,
Of birds the vulture, bitter, estridge, swan:
Some worn for ornament, and some for health,
All to the Skinners’ art bring fame and wealth.” 

Elizabethan Cloaks - a comment dating back to 1583.
During the Elizabethan era pamphlets were printed and distributed commenting on life in Elizabethan England. A writer of one such pamphlet was a well travelled Londoner called Philip Stubbes. He was believed to have been born c1555 and died c1610. He was well educated and attended both Oxford and Cambridge University. He was also a strict Elizabethan Puritan and held firm views on any social practices which, in his view were, unfitting  true Christians. He named his work " The Anatomie of Abuses " in which he strongly criticised many of the fashions and clothing worn during the Elizabethan era. It was entered in the Stationers' Register on 1 March 1583. This pamphlet includes his view and some valuable information about Elizabethan Cloaks.

"They have clokes there also in nothing different from the rest, of dyverse and sundry colors, white, red, tawnie, black, greene, yellowe, russet, purple, violet, and infynite other colors: some of cloth, silk, velvet, taffetie, and such like, wherof some be of the Spanish, French & Dutch fashion: Some short, scarcely reaching to the gyrdlestead, or waist, some to the knee, and othersome trayling uppon the ground (almost) liker gownes than clokes. Then are thei garded with Velvette gardes, or els laced with costly lace, either of golde, silver, or at leaste of silkethree or fower fingers broad doune the back, about the skirts, and every whereels. And now of late they use to garde their clokes rounde about the skirtes with bables, I should saie Bugles, and other kinde of glasse, and all to shine to the eye. Besides al this, thei are so faced, and withal so lined as the inner side standeth almost in as much as the outside: some have sleeves, othersome have none;some have hoodes to pull over the head, some have none; some are hanged with points and tassels of gold, silver, or silk withal, some without al this. But howsoever it be, the day hath been when one might have bought him two clokes forlesse than now he can have one of these clokes made for, they have such store of workmanship bestowed uppon them."

 

Interesting Facts and Information about Elizabethan Cloaks
Some interesting facts and confirmation of information about Elizabethan cloaks can be obtained from the words of Philip Stubbes. A first hand impression of the fashions of the Elizabethan era are invaluable - but the Elizabethan style of writing can be hard going. The following information has therefore been taken from the points he made on Elizabethan cloaks:

  • The color of cloaks were numerous
  • The materials that gowns were made of:
    • Cloth
    • Velvet
    • Silk
    • Taffeta
  • Sometimes decorated with lace, ribbons gold, silver and glass jewels
  • Some cloaks had sleeves others did not
  • Often different styles and lengths
  • Decorated with points and tassels
 

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

Fashion and Clothing - Elizabethan Cloaks

  • Interesting Facts and information about Clothing & Fashion - Elizabethan Cloaks
  • Fashion - Elizabethan Cloaks
  • Clothing for Men and Women
  • Extract from pamphlet by Philip Stubbes regarding Elizabethan Cloaks dated 1583
  • Fur trimmed Cloaks
  • Hooded Cloaks
 
 

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Elizabethan Cloaks

 

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