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A Tudor Christmas - NEW!
Pirates of the High Seas!

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Renaissance Costumes Guide
Nautical Renaissance Costumes
Renaissance Costume Glossary
Creating Faire Characters
Renaissance Studies
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Renaissance Costumes - Medieval Clothing - Madrigal Costumes

Welcome to The Tudor Shoppe - Your Premier Source for Renaissance Clothing!

Founded in 2001, The Tudor Shoppe provides reproduction Tudor Era (1485-1603) Renaissance and medieval clothing and Elizabethan costumes to individuals, stage productions, television shows, museums, historic sites, educational institutions, and re-enactment societies. Our goal remains clear: to offer quality goods at the best price possible price.

Our Most Popular Complete Renaissance Costumes:

Tavern Wench
Celtic Dress
Kitchen Wench
Deluxe Monk's Robe

Innkeeper Costume Learn About Renaissance Costumes!
Visit our Articles and Resources!

Renaissance Clothing Glossary

Kitchen Wench Costume

What's New?

Tudor Ornaments!

New Clothing Styles!

Royal Tudors Tudor Emblems New Men's Costumes! New Women's Costumes!
New Badges! New Drinking Vessels!
Tudor Rose
Order of the
Garter Mantle
Captain Raleigh's

The clothing of the Renaissance era was often distinctive and elaborate. The various European cultures were very fashion-conscious, so the costume and attire were appropriately stylized and remarkable. In fact, the purpose of clothing in Renaissance times was to make a statement or establish one’s social status.

The standard image most people conjure when imagining Renaissance costume is clothing worn by the upper class. Style was a function of status, so both men and women chose attire that stood out, particularly for formal affairs. The purpose of Renaissance formalwear was much the same as today: to celebrate a special occasion or dress appropriately for an official function. A modern wedding, for example, causes attendees to wear clothing that they don’t wear on a daily basis.

In the same way, Renaissance men and women wore their most visually striking outfits when the need arose. Most of the examples of this type of clothing come from paintings and the descriptions of writers, but those sources aren’t necessarily comprehensive. After all, artists and historians don’t typically go into great detail when describing the lives and particulars of the lower classes. The restrictive and uncomfortable clothing of our imaginations, then, likely were only used as formal costumes for the nobility.

Would you wear an evening gown or tuxedo every day? Of course not. When they were not 'in the spotlight', the people of the Renaissance wore clothing that was just as comfortable as jeans and a t-shirt are to modern folk. Then, as today, those in the Renaissance that set the style of costume were those at the top of the social scale, and those styles, to some extent, filtered down to the ordinary people like shopkeepers, merchants and even to a lesser extent, peasants.

The day-to-day clothing of Renaissance men and women were dictated by socioeconomic status; the lower in class a person was, the less likely he was to wear a “costume”. Corsets, for instance, were almost always worn by women in the aristocracy, but a merchant’s wife might only wear a heavily boned bodice that allowed her to move more freely. A peasant woman, in contrast, would only have worn a plain boned bodice, forgoing a corset completely.

During the Renaissance, clothing choices were often a clear mark of social strata. The types of fabric used and even the amount of clothing were indicative of class and wealth. A peasant woman might have a bodice, multiple blouses, 3-4 skirts, smallclothes (underthings) and a cap. When she ventured outside, she would probably wear 2 skirts; in addition to keeping her warm, wearing multiple skirts could ensure that they wouldn’t be stolen.

A noblewoman, by contrast, would likely have smallclothes, a hoop or farthingale, a chemise, a corset, a bum roll, an underskirt, an overskirt or gown, a snood, or a hat or a hood. The clothing was designed to project an image of wealth and sophistication, and even the basic underskirt would have been made with more expensive fabric in the visible parts. Additionally, these noblewomen would have carried a variety of accessories like jewelry, miniatures, pomanders, belts, purses, or pouches. The nature of the garments is that they were lavish, decorative, and sometimes even interchangeable. The gowns and bodices, for instance, occasionally had substitutable front pieces or busks; the variations allowed for more looks and wardrobe possibilities. With so many components, the complex outfits could weigh up to 40 pounds.

The Tudor Shoppe carries Renaissance costume for all levels of society and walks of life, from the basic wench skirts and bodice, to pirate gear, armor, accessories, and Renaissance clothing for both men and women. Browse our shop, and we're sure you'll find something to fit your every need!




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