Wikipedia summarizes Western European Fashion of 1600-1650s as:

“characterized by the disappearance of the ruff in favour of broad lace or linen collars. Waistlines rose through the period for both men and women. Other notable fashions included full, slashed sleeves and tall or broad hats with brims. For men, hose disappeared in favour of breeches.

The silhouette, which was essentially close to the body with tight sleeves and a low, pointed waist to around 1615, gradually softened and broadened.

In the early decades of the century, a trend among poets and artists to adopt a fashionable pose of melancholia is reflected in fashion, where the characteristic touches are dark colours, open collars, unbuttoned robes or doublets, and a generally disheveled appearance, accompanied in portraits by world-weary poses and sad expressions….

In the early years of the new century, fashionable bodices had high necklines or extremely low, rounded necklines, and short wings at the shoulders. Separate closed cartwheel ruffs were sometimes worn, with the standing collar, supported by a small wire frame or supportasse used for more casual wear and becoming more common later. Long sleeves were worn with deep cuffs to match the ruff. The cartwheel ruff disappeared in fashionable England by 1613….

To about 1613, hair was worn feathered high over the forehead. Married women wore their hair in a linen coif or cap, often with lace trim. Tall hats like those worn by men were adopted for outdoor wear.”

Ansegisus and Saint Bega

Fig. 1 - Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577-1640). Ansegisus and Saint Bega, circa 1612-1615. Oil on canvas; 94 × 76 cm (37 × 29.9 in). Vienna: The Museum of Fine Arts, GG_521. Source: Kunsthistorisches Museum

Lady Catherine Smythe Scott

Fig. 2 - Anonymous. Lady Catherine Smythe Scott, 1610. Oil on canvas; 206.5 x 127.0 cm (81 5/16 x 50 in). Raleigh: North Carolina Museum of Art, GL.67.13.6. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James MacLamroc. Source: Grand Ladies

Ceremonial dress of Magdalena Sibylla of Prussia, Electress of Saxony

Fig. 3 - Designer Unknown. Ceremonial dress of Magdalena Sibylla of Prussia, Electress of Saxony, 1610-20. Dresden: The Staatliche Kunstsammlungen. Source: Pinterest


[To come…]

Portrait of Sir John Penruddock

Fig. 1 - Circle of Robert Peake the Elder (British, 1551–1619). Portrait of Sir John Penruddock, 1616. Oil on panel; 59.8 x 44.5 cm (23.5 x 17.5 in). Private Collection. Source: Artnet

Prunkkleid von Johann Georg I

Fig. 2 - Designer unknown. Prunkkleid von Johann Georg I, 1617. Dresden: Private Collection. Source: Pinterest


Portrait of a girl from the de Ligne family

Fig. 1 - Marcus Gheeraerts (English, 1561-1635). Portrait of a girl from the de Ligne family, 1616. Oil on canvas; dimensions unknown. London: Private collection. Johnny Van Haeften Ltd. Source: PBS Learning Media


Historical Context

Wikipedia: 1610-1619

Map of Europe in 1619. Source: Wikimedia


[To come…]

Timeline Entries

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Primary/Period Sources


[To come…  Have a primary source to suggest?  Contact us!]


[To come…  Have a primary source to suggest?  Contact us!]

Secondary Sources

Also see the 17th century overview page for more research sources… or browse our Zotero library.