Picture of Queen Elizabeth I
 

Elizabethan Clothing allowed for Women

  • Interesting Facts and information about Elizabethan Clothing allowed for Women
  • English Sumptuary Law and Elizabethan Clothing
  • Women's Clothing
  • The clothes women were allowed to wear in the Elizabethan Era

Picture of Queen Elizabeth I

Elizabethan Clothing allowed for Women

 

Interesting Facts and Information about Elizabethan Women's Clothing and the Sumptuary Laws
Elizabethan women were not allowed to wear whatever they liked! It did not matter how wealthy they were - the color, fabric and material of their clothes were dictated by their rank, status or position and this was enforced by English Law! These laws about clothing in the Elizabethan era were called Sumptuary Laws.

 
 
 

They were designed to limit the expenditure of people on clothes - and of course to maintain the social structure of the Elizabethan Class system! The clothes that Elizabethan women wore were dictated by the Sumptuary Law as decreed by Queen Elizabeth I on 15 June 1574. The fabrics and colors of clothes which women were allowed to wear were determined by their position and rank! Some interesting facts and information about Elizabethan Women's Clothing and the Sumptuary Laws during the Elizabethan era.

The Meaning of Elizabethan Clothing

 

The rank and position of Elizabethan women could be immediately recognised by the color and material of their clothes. The English Sumptuary Laws were well known by all of the English people. And they were strictly obeyed! The penalties for violating Sumptuary Laws could be harsh - fines, the loss of property, title and even life! Elizabethan women only wore clothes that they were allowed to wear - by Law!

The Meaning of Colors in Elizabethan Era Clothing
The table below contains full details of the meaning of the colors which were allowed to be worn by Elizabethan women in relation to their position, status or position. Bright and dark colours were generally more expensive to produce and therefore limited to higher status clothing. The meaning of specific colors which were allowed to be worn during the Elizabethan Era are further detailed in the following links.

The Meaning of Colors in Elizabethan Clothing
Material & Fabrics used in Elizabethan Era Clothing

 
 

Elizabethan Clothing allowed for Women

Status or Position

Material of Clothing allowed

Color of Clothing allowed

Item of Clothing allowed

Queen, Queen's mother, children, and sisters, and aunts
Silk
Purple
 
Duchesses, Marquises, and Countesses
Sable Fur
-
-
As above
Cloth of gold or gold tissue
Gold
Gowns, kirtles, partlets, and sleeves
Viscountesses, baronesses, and other personages of like degrees
Tinseled satin, silk, or cloth mixed or embroidered with any gold
Gold
Cowls, partlets, kirtles and sleeves
Viscountesses, baronesses, and other personages of like degrees
Cloth of Silver, Tinseled satin, silk, or cloth mixed or embroidered with any silver
Silver
Cowls, partlets, kirtles and sleeves
Wives of Knights of the Garter and of the Privy Council, the ladies and gentlewomen of the privy chamber and bedchamber, and maids of honor
Velvets
Furs - genets and lucerns
Crimson
Black
 
Wives of barons' sons, or of knights.
Velvet
Furs of leopards
Embroidery of silk
 
 
Gowns
 
Spangles or pearls of gold, silver, or pearl
 
Cowls, sleeves, partlets, and linings
Enameled chains, buttons, aglets, and borders
 
 
Satin, damask, or tufted taffeta
 
Gowns, kirtles, or velvet in kirtles
Fur whereof the kind groweth not within the Queen's dominions, except foins, genets, bodge, and wolf
Grey
 
Daughters of knights, and of such as may dispend 300 marks by the year so valued ut supra, and the wives of those that may dispend 40 by the year.
Silk grosgrain, doubled sarcenet, camlet, or taffeta
 
Gowns
Satin or damask
 
Kirtles
Gentlewomen attendant upon duchesses, marquises, countesses
Liveries given by their mistresses
 
Liveries
Wives of barons, knights of the order, or councilors' ladies, and gentlewomen of the privy chamber and bed chamber, and the maids of honor
Velvet, tufted taffeta, satin
 
 
Gold or silver
Gold or silver
Petticoats
Knights' daughters
Damask, taffeta, or other silk
 
Petticoats
Damask, taffeta, or other silk
 
Cloaks
Lower Class Women
Wool, linen and sheepskin
Brown, beige, yellow, orange, russet, green, grey and blue (not the deep rich indigo but dyed with woad)
 
Lower Classes Women
Silk, taffeta and velvet trimmings allowed
 
Buttons and the facing of coats, cloaks, hats and caps

Materials worn in Elizabethan Era Clothing
The table below contains full details of the meaning of the materials worn by Elizabethan women in relation to their position, status or position. Silks, velvets and furs were the most expensive materials and fabrics to produce and therefore limited to higher status clothing. Additional information regarding the materials which were allowed to be worn during the Elizabethan Era are further detailed in the above link.

 

Clothing allowed for Women during the Elizabethan Era
The following table detailing Elizabethan clothing allowed for women has been compiled directly from the
Sumptuary Laws called the 'Statutes of Apparel' which were enforced by Queen Elizabeth I in Greenwich on 15 June 1574.

Elizabethan Elizabethan Clothing allowed for Women
Details, facts and information about the Elizabethan Clothing allowed for Women in the Elizabethan Clothing can be accessed via the Elizabethan Era Sitemap.

Elizabethan Clothing allowed for Women

  • Interesting Facts and information about Elizabethan Clothing allowed for Women
  • English Sumptuary Law and Elizabethan Clothing
  • Women's Clothing
  • The clothes women were allowed to wear in the Elizabethan Era
 
 

Queen Elizabeth's Coat of Arms

 

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Elizabethan Clothing allowed for Women

 

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