The Tudors Costumes : Middle Class/Peasant DressThis is a featured page

TUDOR STYLE : Middle Class & Peasant Dress

Although fashions changed considerably throughout the Tudor years, ordinary people's clothing remained more or less the same. They were forbidden by law to wear gold, jewels or rich fabrics, even if they could afford them.

Women wore a thick woollen 'kirtle', a square-necked ankle-length dress with a fitted, laced bodice and full skirts. Sleeves were tied or pinned onto the bodice, showing the smock underneath and probably an apron over the top to keep the dress as clean as possible. The men wore long hose, loose breeches, shirt and a thick belted 'jerkin' similar to a long waistcoat.

A merchant or farmer might wear a leather doublet (a thick, quilted upper garment), over breeches. Daggers and purses were hung on leather thongs from the belt. Hats and caps would also have been worn, probably to keep warm and to avoid washing the hair. Thick cloaks would also have been worn in the winter.

Better-off women wore a long, open, wide-sleeved gown over the kirtle. Girdles made from cord or chain and worn around the waist carried personal possessions, as clothes had no pockets. Women kept their heads covered at all times, often with a tight-fitting linen 'coif', which could be worn under a bonnet or veil.

Nightclothes were worn only by the wealthy - ordinary people slept in their smocks, although everyone would have worn nightcaps to help keep them warm in bed.
The Tudors Costumes : Middle Class/Peasant Dress - The Tudors WikiThe Tudors Costumes : Middle Class/Peasant Dress - The Tudors Wiki

Townspeople Attire:

London labourers, Elizabethan
French nobleman and pilgrim, c1500A Tudor(?) Irish Woman
Tudor Peasants, c1520
Early 16th-Century Peasant and middle class working attire
Early 16th-century peasant and middle class attire was less garments and over garments as the rich would use. There was no fur, as this was too expensive. however, some of the middle class that were prospering would wear heavier garments than the underclass, but overall women's attire in middle classes was simpler to.

The Tudors Costumes : Middle Class/Peasant Dress - The Tudors Wiki
During the late 16th century, and this started during the end of the 1530s, women belonging to the Middle class began to wear the gable hood to try and look fancy like shown below here


c1528 English middleclass womanc1528 English middleclass woman
As fashion for the wealthy became less conservative, and the popularity of the gable hood and the heavy, but simple sleeves of the beginning of the century began to decline, the middle class began to adopt these fashions.
The drawing from the 1520s (left) shows wealthy ladies wearing gable hoods and rich garments. The drawing on the right shows a middle-class woman in the 1530s. She has adopted the older fashion.

c1530 French Ladyc1532, lady with gloves
Elizabethan townspeople, Englishc1571 middleclass Englishwoman, provincial

(On the right (above, first row) are two french custom fashions still fashionable among the rich, left (First Row) is a French Lady or Noble girl from the French Court, the center is an English lady, probably c.1536 from the English Court, and on the left is townspeople c.1560, and ordinary people wearing the french and other fashions that were once worn by high-ranking people of English and French Nobility.

So did the French Hood when it began to decline it's use to the rich population as it was no longer of use and fashion did the middle class adopted this as well as the townspeople.
Yeoman of the tower during elizabethan times
Seaman wearing their usual baggy attire and fur hat
The Tudors Costumes : Middle Class/Peasant Dress - The Tudors Wiki
Card players
The Tudors Costumes : Middle Class/Peasant Dress - The Tudors Wiki
a cook
another cook
Market man
street vendor

Market scene
Egg dance
woman at market
The Tudors Costumes : Middle Class/Peasant Dress - The Tudors Wiki

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