Get Dressed Properly!
Since the publication of Janet Arnold’s work on Elizabethan era dress in the 1970s and 80s, much has been written about the clothing of mid- to late 16th century England. But for people who wear reproductions of Elizabethan clothing at historic sites, reenactments, Renaissance Faires, Shakespearean plays, Western Martial Arts, and living history events, this body of knowledge is lacking one essential piece — a simple guide on how to get dressed. What pieces are essential to be dressed properly? What garments can be omitted for reasons of comfort without compromising the accuracy of the outfit? Where is the line between costume and clothing?
Reconstructing History’s 16th century Early Elizabethan Common Women’s Getting Dressed Guide is meant to fill that void.
This 43-page downloadable guide, written by clothing historian Kass McGann and backed by 20 years of research, will tell you everything you need to know to dress historically accurately as an Elizabethan Common Woman from 1560s through 1580s England and her colonies.
The Getting Dressed Guides are not intended to be books of all knowledge. In these pages you will not find debates about the construction of doublets or what sheep breeds were in use in the English wool industry. You will simply find a list of garments commonly worn by Englishwomen in the 1560s through 1580s and the manner in which they were worn. General fabric types and other pertinent information is included, but more detail than this is outside the scope of this Guide. In other words, the Getting Dressed Guides are guides to teach you how to get dressed for this period and location. “Everything you need to know to get dressed.”
If you find a garment listed in a Getting Dressed Guide, you can be sure it was worn in the period covered. If you do not find a garment listed in these pages, that only means it was not common enough for us to include.