Sunday, March 16, 2014

Highlights of Baroque Men's Fashion: 1650-1700's

The Thirty Year's War had ended and so did the military fashion of that time. The men's fashion of the 1650's-1700's became more relaxed as with the feeling in Europe. Military boots became shoes, yards of decorative ribbon, and baggy breeches became incredibly popular. This time period in fashion was also of great change and variation.
Boy child wearing skirt and ruff. Skull cap on head. He would wear similar clothing until he was 6 to 8 years of age then he would be breeched (or receive his first pair of breeches). 

At court, fashion was another thing. Following Louis XIV of France, men had to wear a long coat, a waistcoat, a cravat, a periwig, and breeches gathered at the knee. By the 1680's, a coat, waistcoat, and beeches became the norm of formal dress.

Student wearing petticoat breeches (around hips), long coat, capotain hat, and wig. 

The unfitted fit of the 1640's continued into the 1650's and sleeves became more detailed with slashed, buttoned, and divided decorations throughout the sleeve itself. The length of the coat reached the waist until the 1660's when it became so short it only reached the rib cage (like a bolero jacket). Many yards of ribbon would be looped in arrangements on the shoulders and lower parts of sleeves as decoration. A longer, baggy coat became popular in the 1660's and stayed as the most popular style for a time. Ribbions didn't disappear until the 1690's. Really, during this time period, the man's coat saw many variations and changed almost every decade to a new style or fit.

Man wearing small Cravat around neck, falling collar, puffed sleeves, and armor for court appearance.

A white, ruffled shirt remained in constant fashion. A small falling collar grew in size to encompass the shoulders by the 1660's. Cravats and jabots around the neck also were wore with this falling collar for a time. The Steinkerk, or a new style of Cravat, (after the battle of Steenkerque in 1692) become the norm.

Man wears falling collar, long coat, and red stockings. Colored stocking could be a sign of loyalty to a governmental system or person of that time.

For a time, the large, overflowing petticoat breeches were in style. They were usually decorated in ribbon around the waist and at the gathered knee. With the popularity of a longer coat and waistcoat, the petticoat breeches were retired in favor of a more close fitting breeches in the 1670's. Stockings were wore to give the appearance of longer legs. Often these stockings could be stuffed with hay, hair, or other materials to give the calf and thighs the more rounded appearance that was considered attractive during that time.

Center parted wigs. The white once have been floured. 

Men's hairstyles were mostly curled and long. Wigs became more popular since the appearance of looking older was in style. These wigs were powdered with flour. It is believed wigs became more popular due to Louis XIV's balding. Variations in the already popular capotain hat happened with low crowns, feather decorations, and upturned brims. A tricorne variation was styled which would be worn 45 degrees from the forehead.

Helpful Links:

Tortora, Physllis G., and Keith Eubank: Survey of Historic Costume: A History of Western Dress. New York: Fairchild Publications, 1998. Print.

"History of Fashion - Baroque." History Of Fashion - Baroque. N.p., n:d. Web. 16 Mar. 2014. <>.

"History of Costume." History of Costume. N.p. n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2014. <>.

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