The Tudors Costumes : Men's DressThis is a featured page

TUDOR STYLE : Men's Dress

Men's clothing gave them a square shape. They wore short doublets over their hose and the shoulders of their coats were cut wide.

It was fashionable for their sleeves to be slashed and their flat hats were often decorated with feathers.
Most men's hair was bobbed, but the length of your hair was chosen by individual taste. They could be straight or curled according to the nature of the wearer. As the 16th century advanced, men wore their hair shorter almost like modern hair. The men wore variations of the low-crowned, brimmed cap and was often turned up all around or with just one side turned up.

The changes in the male silhouette outside of Italy during the 16th century can be summed up under three broad categories:
  • from 1500 to 1520, the transition was made from late Gothic to Renaissance styles.
  • from 1520 to 1550, costume was dominated by German fashion with its full over-robe, emphasizing horizontal lines. Slashing and panes - strips of fabric caught with ornamental clasps - allowed the shirt to show through. The codpiece developed into a prominent feature.
  • from 1550 to 1600, shoulder width decreased, and a new garment, the separate breech or trunk hose, emerged. This period is dominated by Spanish influences.

Flat Cap A hat that is flat with soft crown and moderately broad brim often associated with King Henry VIII.

Henry VIII by Holbein (Walker Gallery)JRM as Holbein's King Henry
Henry VIII
Flat Cap

The Tudors Costumes : Men's Dress - The Tudors Wiki
Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk - The Tudors Wikihats
Flat Cap
The Tudors Costumes : Men's Dress - The  Tudors WikiThe Tudors Costumes :  Men's Dress - The Tudors Wiki
Henry in his flat capKing Henry - Season 4
Charlie Raw as played by Diarmuid Noyes

Linen shirt or chemise originally low-necked, but with a higher neckline by mid-century. The neckline was gathered into a narrow band or adjusted by means of a drawstring; the tiny ruffle formed by pulling up the drawstring became wider over time, and then evolved into the ruff of the next period.

The Tudors Costumes - The Tudors Wiki
The Tudors Costumes : Men's Dress - The Tudors Wiki
Doublet snug-fitting buttoned jacket (with or without sleeves) that was worn in western Europe from the middle ages through to the mid-17th century. Originally it was merely a stitched and quilted lining ("doubling"), worn under armour to prevent bruising and chafing. Then, like many other originally practical items in the history of men's wear, from the late 15th century onward it became elaborate enough to be seen on its own.
The Tudors Costumes - historical - The Tudors WikiThe Tudors Costumes - The Tudors Wiki
The Tudors Costumes : Men's Dress - The Tudors Wiki
Jerkin —A short velvet or leather jacket, usually sleeveless, similar to a vest/waistcoat, cut low to the waist in front to reveal the doublet beneath, with full skirts to the knee. From the 1530s, a narrower silhouette became popular under Spanish influence. Collars were higher and tighter. Shoulders lost their padding and developed a slight slope. Doublet sleeves became fuller rather than tight. Jerkins closed to the neck; their skirts were shorter and slightly flared rather than full, and they displayed more of the hose. Overall, the fashion was more rigid and restrained

The Tudors Costumes - The Tudors WikiThe Tudors Costumes : Men's Dress - The Tudors Wiki
On the right, German fashion showing
slashes in rows on doublet,
hose and gown, 1514.
Click to view full size image
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The Tudors Costumes : Men's Dress - The Tudors Wiki

slashed leather jerkin
Chain of OfficeA heavy chain worn by a man across the chest and neckline as decoration; often denoted an organization to which he belonged.

The Tudors Costumes - The Tudors WikiThe Tudors Costumes - The Tudors Wiki
To contrast the actor Jeremy Northam's depiction
with the real Sir Thomas More:

His collar was done the same. The suit is the same, however it is of one color, and even though More during his ascension to Chancellor wore serious and normally dark colors, it is unlikely those in his government office position would have only worn one color. In "The Tudors", the character of Thomas More wears black throughout the series, as can be see from the photo above. In a contemporary portrait, the real Sir Thomas More is seen wearing black robes with brown fur and red sleeves
Henry VIII - Page 2 - The Tudors Wiki
The Tudors Costumes - The Tudors Wiki
The Tudors Costumes - historical - The Tudors Wiki
Thomas More and other noblemen and women (above picture) are seen with mixed fashions of the Elizabethan period and early Renaissance fashions from Germany, Italy, Spain and England. Thomas More's attire is that of English law practitioners, and while the style is great and mostly original, it differs by part of the fabric in the front and the color of the attire, which would in real life have a "lighter" color of black to the sleeves or another dark color to contrast with black color.
The Tudors Costumes - historical - The Tudors Wiki
The Tudors Costumes : Men's Dress - The Tudors Wiki

Left : Collar and badge of St. George and the dragon belonging to members of the Order of the Garter.

Detail from Hans Holbein’s portrait of Sir Henry Guildford on the right, the Comptroller of the Royal Household and a favourite of Henry VIII. He wears a wide-necked brocade doublet, a jerkin, and a fur-lined gown. His wide-necked shirt is barely visible under his doublet on his left shoulder. 1527.
The Tudors Costumes : Men's Dress - The Tudors Wiki
Slashing and Puffing Vertical, horizontal or diagonal slits in the fabric of the garment, through which appeared a different fabric. Often the shirt was the garment which puffed through.

The Tudors Costumes : Men's Dress - The Tudors Wiki
Slashed sleeves of Henry's costume
Slashing is defined as "slits of varying length cut in any part of the garment and symmetrically arranged. The gaps revealed the white shirt, o r coloured undergarment, or, after 1515, a bright lining of a contrasting colour". The fashion was at its height between 1520 and 1535, especially as regards sleeves and hose. When the slashes were long and parallel, they were known as "panes". When the under material was pulled out through the gap made by slashing, it was called a puff. There was much use of embroidery in coloured silks or gold or silver thread and also of what was known as "black-work", which consisted of a scroll pattern of black silk generally applied to the linen of the shirt. There was also much use of quilting. Indeed, we may say that no garments ever worn by man were more completely stitched over than King Henry VIII's. And few men in other epochs have worn so many garments.

The Tudors Costumes : Men's Dress - The Tudors Wiki
Gentleman wears a high-necked doublet under darker jerkin and a gown. His sleeves are paned (made in strips) and fastened with jewels. The square beard was very popular with the broad silhouette of 1534-5.
Upper Hose —Upper hose or full trunks that extended from upper thighs to waist.
The Tudors Costumes - historical - The Tudors WikiCostume of Charles BrandonThe Tudors Costumes - historical - The Tudors Wiki

The Tudors Costumes : Men's Dress - The Tudors WikiThe Tudors Costumes - historical - The Tudors Wiki

Costume of Spanish Ambassador
Nether Hose —The stockings that covered the lower edges of the leg. They were usually rolled above the knee and secured by garters.


The Tudors Costumes : Men's Dress - The Tudors Wiki
Italian Hose of the first decade of the century. On the left, hose divided into upper hose and nether hose or stockings, and on the right, hose slashed around one thigh, with a pouched codpiece, 1500-1510.
The Tudors Costumes : Men's Dress - The Tudors Wiki

—Embroidery on the socks at the ankle and sometimes on boots.
The Tudors Costumes : Men's Dress - The Tudors Wiki

Cod PieceA pouch-like appendage made from the same fabric as the jerkin or upper stockings and fastened by ties or buckles; a decorated covering for the opening in the front of the breeches; forerunner of the fly

Emperor Charles V wears slashed hose and sleeves in the German fashion. His gown has puffed upper sleeves and a black (probably fur) lining. His shoes have squarish toes and reach high over his instep, 1532-33.
Gentlemen c 1533

The Tudors Costumes - The Tudors Wiki
The Tudors Costumes - The Tudors Wiki
The Tudors Costumes - historical - The Tudors Wiki
Hans Holbein's painting of two French Ambassadors to Britain, painted in 1533, demonstrates the persistence of the square silhouette. The gentleman on the left wears a new form of jacket, the jerkin, over his pink satin doublet; it is sleeveless and has a deep v-shaped opening in the front of the bodice.The doublet now rises to the neck, and the narrow, ruffled collar makes its first appearance. A deeply pleated skirt is attached to the jerkin at the waist. The knee-length robe, derived from the Italian simarre, has enormous puffed sleeves made up of separate panes of black velvet fastened together with gold clasps. It is entirely lined with fur. He wears the flat beret-style cap decorated with precious stones that marked the period. Blunt-toed shoes, called duckbills by 19th-century historians, are also typical of this period.Henry wearing a simar
Simar(re) A robe for men, derived from chimer or chimere, an ecclesiastical garment very much like it in shape. The neck part was somewhat on a double breasted line, with no collar in back, but with wide revers turned back from the front edge of the robe. The robe was worn either ungirded or confined at the waist by a narrow silk scarf, knotted with one loop and two ends.

The Tudors Costumes : Men's Dress - The Tudors WikiThe Tudors Costumes - historical - The Tudors Wiki
The Tudors Costumes : Men's Dress - The Tudors WikiThe Tudors Costumes - historical - The Tudors Wiki
The Tudors Costumes - historical - The Tudors WikiThe Tudors Costumes - historical - The Tudors Wiki
Henry VIII as played by JRM

Portrait of man in red hat
Edward Seymour as played by Max Brown
Edward Seymour
Edward Stafford,Duke of Buckingham as played by Steven Waddington
Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham

The Tudors Costumes : Men's Dress - The Tudors Wiki

Francis I of France wears a wide-necked doublet with paned sleeves under dark gold jerkin and a satin gown with turned-back sleeves. His shirt has a tiny frill edged in black at the neck and wide ruffles at the wrist.
by Jean Clouet, c. 1520-25.
Francis I
Left : A comparison with a portrait of Francis I, Henry's contemporary and great rival, reveals the similarities and differences in silhouette between French and English styles at the time. While the overall broad silhouette is the same, the Italian love of simple elegance is more evident in the French style, with its black and white colour scheme and simple bands of embroidered foliage. Here the Italian "simarre" style gown is sleeveless with wide armholes, the cuffs of which are turned back to show off the luxuriousness of beautifully woven, creamy satin. Italian artists and architects were heavily patronized by Francis in these first decades.
Francis's Costumes in The Tudors
Francis I Francis I
The Tudors Costumes - historical - The Tudors Wiki
Costume for Son of the Duke of NorfolkCostume Fitting for the wedding
Young Henry Howard - son of Thomas Howard,
3rd Duke of Norfolk (behind the scenes)

Armour :
The Tudors Costumes - The Tudors Wiki
Kris Holden-Reid (Compton) said the jousting scenes were fun,
"besides the armour that was made for the series was aluminum, not very heavy at all"


Although the series shows the men in mostly long boots, really long boots giving support and protection to ankles and legs were not in common use before the mid 17th century, when heel-making techniques had made progress.

For centuries, shoes had been on two types of lasts. The earlier, metal last was roughly the shape of the human foot, and possibly Roman in origin, and was used as an anvil to rivet iron hobnails into the leather. The second last was made of wood, and was a form which determined the precise size and shape of the upper, which was then stitched together on it. No lasts were used for the soft leather turn-shoes which were in use from early mediaeval times until the 16th century, but shaping lasts had been essential to hold and form welted shoes during stitching from the 14th century onward.

While there was little difference in kind between men's and women's shoes up to the early 17th century, although they had by then become more stylish, the left and right shoes formed mirror images of each other. The development of heels created enormous problems in producing shaped wooden lasts which were accurate enough to give sufficient strength to the shoe for the heel to be mounted on it.

The simple turnshoe remained as a less expensive alternative for laborers, sailors, and other common folk. Nobility, on the other hand, went from ridiculously long pointed shoes to ridiculously broad shoes, called Duck's Bill, Scarpine, or Bear's Paw shoes.
The Tudors Costumes : Men's Dress - The Tudors WikiThe Tudors Costumes : Men's Dress - The Tudors Wiki
Modern examples of Duck's bill shoes

These shoes were often as much as 12 inches across with uppers made from silk, brocade or velvet. They were heavily decorated with embroidery, padding and were often fur lined with slits in the upper to show off the wearer's colored hose or the lining of the shoe. This fashion passed into a desire for high-fronted shoes with bulging toes. Colored hose were all the rage for men and the shoe was the ideal way to display them. Men's shoes were closed at the ankle with rounded toes and uppers that were slashed diagonally.

The style was popular for about a hundred years until Queen Mary (aka Bloody Mary) passed sumptuary laws limiting the breadth of shoes. Slimmer shapes replaced the Duck's Bill shoes and the T strap was introduced in the 16th century. It was during the reign of Elizabeth I that platform shoes and high heels came into vogue.
Boots: The boots the men wear in the series are closer to the style worn in the later part of the 16th century.

The Tudors Costumes : Men's Dress - The Tudors Wikibootsboots
From "Tudor Costume & Fashion" by Herbert Norris.
Lord Maltravers from a portrait dated 1556

Latest page update: made by KingHenryVIII , Feb 20 2011, 12:25 PM EST (about this update About This Update KingHenryVIII Edited by KingHenryVIII

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butterflyfunkychic Costuming page 0 Apr 21 2010, 12:36 AM EDT by butterflyfunkychic
Thread started: Apr 21 2010, 12:36 AM EDT  Watch
This is fairly accurate information for the clothing of the times. They kept the interpritation very wide taking things from all over the Tudor time period. Most of the costumes tens to be later 1550's and later clothing used for this series than the eariler loster fitting clothing. Though all in all the mens costumes are well put togehter and give a decent example of early Elizabethan clothing save a few key characters and their signature looks.
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