Renaissance Costume Glossary:
Men's Clothing Terms
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    Renaissance Costume Glossary - Page 1

    Men's Renaissance Clothing Terms | Women's Renaissance Clothing Terms
    Renaissance Hats & Headwear Terms

    Men's Clothing Terms

    To aid you in deciphering the mysteries of Elizabethan Costumes and Fashion, we provide the following definition of commonly used terms:
    • Breeches (brich-iz):   a knee-length pair of pants or trousers common in the 17th century.

    • Canions (kan-yens):   tight, tubular garments which extended from the hem of Round Hose, Slops, or Trunk Hose, extending to the knee. Common in the second half of Queen Elizabeth's reign.

    • Cassock (kas-uhk):   a long coat, hip-length or longer, with a close fitting waist. Often worn in formal occasions or as part of ceremonial or liturgical dress.

    • Coat (koht):   an outer garment worn over a man's doublet, with armseyes, though the garment may be sleeveless or may feature long, decorative sleeves.

    • Codpiece (kod-pees):   a triangular flap on breeches used as a fly. In fancier garments, these could be elaborately decorated and padded to draw the eye.

    • Cuirass (kwi-ras):   a piece of plate armor designed to protect the torso consisting of a breastplate and backplate. Sometimes worn over a doublet in ceremonial dress.

    • Doublet (duhb-lit):   for men, a close-fitting waist-length jacket, either sleeveless or featuring tie-in sleeves, with a short peplum (see below) extending from the waistline. Doublet's could be front or side closing.

    • Falling Collar (fawl-ing kol-er):   a lace-trimmed turned-down collar, worn late in the late Elizabethan and early Jacobean periods in the place of a ruff.

    • French Hose (french hohz):   see Round Hose, below.

    • Garter (gahr-ter):   a clothing accessory used to hold up stockings. Garters can be small leather or fabric belts, or even ribbons tied cross-ways (called cross-gartering) over the stockings to secure them to the leg.

    • Galligaskins (gal-i-gas-kinz):   loose fitting breeches common to the 16th and 17th centuries.

    • Gorget (gor-zay):   a piece of plate armor designed to encircle and protect the throat. Often worn with a doublet on formal or ceremonial occasions.

    • Gown (goun):   a sleeveless long coat which would likely feature ornamental, even floor-length sleeves. Gowns could be common among specific to professions (such as academic wear) or worn as part of ceremonial or state dress.

    • Hosen (hoh-zuhn):   made from wool, cut on the bias, these close-fitting stockings were the base undergarment for most men. Noblemen might have knitted silk hosen, but these were prohibitively expensive.

    • Jerkin (jur-kin):   a waistcoat, or sleeveless vest, worn as an outer garment. In the case of a nobleman, it would likely be worn over his doublet for an extra layer. For peasants, it would likely be worn over the shirt as the outer garment in warmer weather.

    • Pansied Slops (pan-sied slops):   round hose characterized by the addition of a layer of panes, or strips of fabric running from the waistband to the legband. These are often referred to as "pumpkin" pants.

    • Peplum (pepluhm):   a short, decorative skirting or tabs attached at the waistline of a doublet or jerkin.

    • Round Hose (round hohz):   very full short breeches which varied in length from the upper thigh to just above the knee, giving a rounded look to the hips and showing off the leg.

    • Ropon (rho-pawn):   see Schuabe, below.

    • Ruff (ruhf):   a seperate garment consisting of a circular collar made from linen to which a series of figure-eight pleats are sewn, often edged in fancy lace. Early in the Elizabethan period, ruffs were modest in width, but by the late period they could measure close to 2 feet in diameter.

    • Schuabe (schwab):   an open coat with a turned back collar and revers, often lined in fur. The garment would feature a yoked back with pleated fullness across teh back.

    • Shirt (shurt):   the basic men's undergarment. Shirts were commonly constructed of linen and featured a standing band collar and cuffs. Ruffles may be sewn into the bands in fancier versions and they could be elaborately embroidered with blackwork.

    • Slops (slops):   wide, loose fitting breeches, similar to round hose.

    • Surcote (sur-koht):   a loose, waist-length sword cape with attached sleeves and a standing collar which was most often worn as a decorative overgarment.

    • Tabard (tab-erd):   a ceremonial garment, often decorated with the coat of arms of a nobleman and worn by his servants as livery on formal occasions.

    • Trews (trooz):   common amongst peasants and the lower classes, these full-length pants usually feature a drawstring waist. The lower half of pants legs are often tied to the legs with cording or strips of cloth.

    • Trunk Hose (truhngk hohz):   see Round Hose, above.

    • Tunic (too-nik):   a knee-length garment worn belted at the waist. Considered unfashionable by the late renaissance, the garment would be common amongst the very poor.

    • Venetians (vuh-nee-shuhns):   knee-length breeches with a full gather at the waist band and tapered to the knee, popular amongst the middle and upper classes. Often these feature decorative ties at the leg bands.

    Men's Complete Renaissance Costume Sets
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    Men's Renaissance Shirts
    Men's Shirts
    Men's Pants, Breeches, & Kilts
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