Elizabethan Costume Guide

The Elizabethan period is well-known for its fashion which served as a form of self-expression among all social classes. Women of that era were garments that covered nearly every area of skin on the body, from neck to ankle. Gowns were fitted snugly against the body to accent the square shoulders and small waist. Wealthier women often wore a French "hood" around the neck and large gold pendants.

The fashion choice of men during the Elizabethan period underwent significant changes. Men wore embroidered "jerkins". These were a type of shirt-like vest that was lined with buttons down the front. Jerkins were matched with loose fitting pants that stopped under the knee. Men were shoes of quality leather, silk or velvet hats, or tall hats made of feathers or fabrics. As the Elizabethan era progressed, men began to wear cloaks that were fastened by a crucifix or chain, beaver bonnets or hats, and silk stockings.

Elizabethan Era

Elizabethan Costumes

  • The Painted Face: Information on cosmetics and make-up styles that were worn during the Elizabethan period.
  • Working Women's Clothing: Costume ideas for an Elizabethan outfit that would fit in the 1580's London working women's clothing style.
  • Making an Elizabethan Corset: Details on how to create your own Elizabethan corset, also known as "underpinnings".
  • Late Period Outwear: Information on different styles of Elizabethan outerwear, such as coats, cassocks, and loose gowns.


  • Clothing and Fabrics: Vocabulary information about standard names for silks, furs, and other Elizabethan fabrics.
  • Sixteenth Century Textile Fabrics: Summaries of the most commonly used fabrics during the sixteenth century.
  • Medieval Leather Dying: Instructions on how to dye leather like they did in the Elizabethan era.
  • Period Trade Dyes: Learn how fabrics were colored during the sixteenth century.


  • Hose in the Sixteenth Century: Article about the use of hose by women in the sixteenth century.
  • Venetian Chopines: Information page on high platform shoes that were worn by women from 1400 to 1700.
  • Elizabethan Ruffs: Instructions on how to create an Elizabethan ruff that were worn by well-dressed Europeans.
  • Footwear of the Middle Ages: Shoe designs of the fifteenth and sixteenth century.
  • Elizabethan Accessories: List of common accessories from the period, such as hats, belts, pouches, stockings, shoes, and more.
  • Carnamoyle Stockings: Information on Carnamoyle knit wool hose stockings.


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