Contrary to what some people say, Tudor people did wash their faces and bodies, and they also washed their smocks. There were recipes for scented toilet soap and scented washing water which could be used for general bathing and also for washing hands at meal times between courses. Obviously menstruation was an issue. Mikhaila and Malcolm-Davies, authors of The Tudor Tailor, write of how the use of menstruous cloths is mentioned in 16th century translations of the Bible. These pessaries could have been the fore-runner of the modern tampon.
That all came later. He was rather obsessed with cleanliness, especially for the women with whom he was having relations. He and his family were also known to have aversions to bad breath and not taking care of oral health. His sister Queen Mary of France, later the Duchess of Suffolk was recorded as having three sets of tooth brushes and picks and to have the straitest and whitest teeth at the court. When his son was born he stipulated that everything in the nursery was to be cleaned daily and that even his walls were to be washed three times a day so that nothing could grow and fester to make him sick.
Whenever an outbreak of sickness was reported in the cities Henry immediately fled the city regions that were highly populated and near the festering river that was known to cause sickness in the warmer months for the safer country settings, limiting the amount of courtiers and servants that were aloud to accompany him for fear of carrying along the contagion with the groups of people.
So contrary to popular belief that people of the period were never to bathe and believed it unhealthy is unfounded at least among the upper classes who did put quite a bit of stock in keeping clean, smelling nice, and reducing flees and pests. People of lower rank and the working class would not have been able to bathe completely as often as those in the palaces because they would not have had running water in their living quarters nor would they have had the luxury to waste as much time in such pastimes as those of the leisure class. Interesting article.
Anne Boleyn is mentioned in parts:. LOVE this article! I wish we lived in an age where women wore more elegant clothes. I love the feminine look of Tudor dresses, especially the necklines. I live in jeans, t-shirts, and shorts like most southern Californians, but it sure would be fun to walk into Starbucks dressed up like a Tudor. You could too if you want. Actually the fact that we can wear whatever we want to wherever we want within a pretty wide range of reason, obviously you cant wear flip flops to a fancy restaurant for the most part still we live in a time where that is completely unprecedented for freedom of fashion.
We have no sumptuary laws so even the lowest ranking among us can wear any pattern, color, or type of material. Until around thirty years ago companies and schools could still require women to wear skirts that had to be at least as long as their arms held firmly to their sides fingertips.
Now you can pretty much dress as feminine or as butch as you want and in any type of clothing you want. Stop dreaming and get out there and dress how you want now!! Why on earth come in and tell people how to dress and to stop dreaming. This advice is for Robin, who cackled like a hen just because Lisaannejane encouraged action!
Sarah, I am intrigued by your post as to what is in your closet. Please look for me on Facebook or email me. I have no clue how to even begin dressing as a woman of femininity. Any ideas would be appreciated to get me out of a grunge. I live in Southern California as well, lisannejane. From mid-July to late September, when it can get above degrees Fahrenheit or around 40 degrees Celsius , it would be impractical to dress in as many layers as a lady of the Tudor court. I forgot about the mini ice age, Gentillylace!
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There was a fascinating show on the history channel about this. Layering up on clothes probably had a practical purpose as well in Tudor times. As Mark Twain said, the coldest winter he ever spent was a summer in San Francisco. It cools down in most places over night as well. Especially in the high desert and near the ocean. I grew uo in Silicon Valley. Expensive too. This is fabulous timing. In the portrait of Jane Seymour, for example, you can see the little gold heads of the pins lining the sides. Can you imagine being pinned into your clothing each day?
They outlined which ranks could were which fabrics, colors, and furs in which articles of clothing. Ah, Tudors, you never cease to bring me random tidbits of joy. Great article! We are trying to figure out what to use for the whalebone but have not yet got that far. I might even wear it to give readings when my book comes out!! To Anne Barhill. It is likely that most bodices were simply interlined with stiff buckram and then fitted very closely. It is likely that cane or reed was used for boning. Perhaps a wooden busk could also be used to stiffen the front.
Anne, I have a waist cincher which definitely has some very stiff pieces of fabric and probably metal as well to hold you in. Maidenform in the U. Perhaps you could order one and find out what is being used. I think it would work in a Tudor gown. Do you know anything about this? A placket is a means of fastening a skirt or bodice by means of an overlap. Not before the weekend.
It is only looks layered with a royal blue panel sewed in front to give the impression of an underskirt. Since mine is not layerd, I can only say I have no idea — Little Ice Age or no — how these strong women stood wearing so much each day! When I add a cape to it, I almost perish from warmth even in winter.
The gowns were so spectacular, you just had to stare. Like many of you, it defies belief how these women were able to wear all the required clothing, because they were TINY. I also wonder how they cleaned these gowns?
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I recently watched a show describing the use of Nicotine to clean these gowns. The only problem is that Nicotine is poisonous and can kill a person in a very short time if it gets on the skin. If there was a small stain, it could have been sponged off. The outer layer was brushed the brushes looked like shaving brushes , but the lining was hand-washed.
Fascinating article, I am an operatic soprano and have worn costume from this period. I must say the French hood is very flattering and I wish it was currently in use! No worries about bad hair days………but would the French government ban it with their recent legislation? Now do forgive me, I understand that saying such things even today is considered uncouth and such. But could you please tell me about the short lived i guess only because I have yet to find it on portraits fashion of showing ones breasts in gowns? I seemed to have been wide spread long enough for even peasants to join in.
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I learned this years ago from a source i cant recall, but now that I try to find it again people on wikipidia and a few other sites write as if it never happened. But there are still a few sites that do reference it, so I am becoming more assured I am not just making it up. So yes , again, do you know anything about this or any places or books i might reference on the subject?
Very interesting article! Must have been difficult to wear so many layers of clothing and corsets most of the time. Did ladies always wear a black veil or hairnet together with the hood? In the Tudors they often have the hair loose. Was this only customary for weddings? Hey, I absolutely love this post…. I truly loved reading your post about tudor dress. I was not knowing all this. We are customising a tudor dress with embroidery detailing.
I was very eager to know where the origin is. Very informational. What a fascinating and hugely informative website!
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So thank you all. Along with a bottle of wine and a first air kit handy. Maybe even on speed dial. Only royals were allowed to wear ermine therefore that is not a portrait of a Mary Boleyn as she was not even remotely considered of royal blood. That portrait has been wrongfully acknowledged for many years as any historian will tell you.
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Many people still argue it is Mary but they would be wrong. Check your facts concerning who was allowed to wear ermine during this time. The argument continues to this day. Provided always that the steward, chamberlain, treasurer and controller of your honourable household, and the carvers and knights for your body, and their wives, may use and wear furs of sable and ermine. Still disagree to a certain degree. We will never really have verification on who that portrait is.
The battle goes on as to who this portrait really is. I find it fascinating and I wish I could have been a fly on the wall during Tudor years. On another note, did you ever notice how the portraits of Ann Boleyn look completely different. Why is that? In fact, the ermine lining for most peers robes tends not to actually be ermine. None of them are contemporary, the only definite contemporary images we have are the medal, the cartoon-like sketch from her coronation plan and possible the image from the Black Book of the Garter.
I think style and propaganda was more important than capturing a true likeness. Re: discussion of royals only being allowed to wear ermine. I will stop beating a dead horse and get off that subject now. If anyone else can contribute information I would love your input. I enjoy this post. So after doing some research I read that it was only during Edward III reign that wearing ermine was restricted to royal family and after that they indeed used tails that were sewn into the fabric to replicate ermine and could be worn by people who were not royal.
Thank you for help on costumes etc. I just love the web site for Bess Chilver. I really must go to Kentwell Hall one summer and see the re-enactors there, they do a wonderful job. Thank you so much for this post, I am making a Tudor gown for myself and my daughter for an upcoming event and found it most informative!! They were made from linen, which was breathable and good to have close to the skin, but also easy to wash and dry, and long-lasting. A forepart was a decorate v-shaped panel that was often sewn onto a petticoat.
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It was designed to peep out of the front of the overskirt. From the rest of his inventory, we know that sleeves could also be cloth of silver, tinsel, taffeta, tissue and velvet. Foreparts were made out of the same types of fabric. Did sumptuary laws include the clergy? Could Wolsey wear ermine or sable? What about velvet and cloth of gold? In relatively recent years the idea of how a french hood was constructed seems to have changed. It had once been generally assumed that it was simply a wired, stiffened crescent which sat aloft with a veil attached at the back.
Some court portraits also showed a hint of a chin strap optional? Is this just a theory? How can anyone know for sure? Is there any evidence? It certainly makes the whole business of constructing a french hood far more time consuming and fiddly. Your email address will not be published. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam.
Learn how your comment data is processed. Happy St John the Baptist Day! On this day in Tudor history — lots of ways to enjoy these events! Was Anne Boleyn a wicked stepmother? July 9, at am. Nancy Broertjes says:. September 23, at pm. Lady Beatrice "Bea" Tudor says:. July 31, at am. Elizabeth Kerri Mahon says:. Di says:. May 25, at pm. October 9, at pm. Claire says:. R Holroyd says:. November 30, at am. March 2, at am. Nasim says:. Enjoy light bites, beverages and fantastic movies in this elegant setting.
Admission is complimentary, so bring your friends and family. Order tickets in advance before they sell out. Coral Gables Art Cinema is located at Aragon. Call or visit the web site for details. Click on the calendar or use this link to see the complete listing of all Great Gables Events in the coming days. Join more than 9, readers in Coral Gables who want to stay informed of all the latest Great Gables Events.
Its a big week for special events and celebrations, culminating with the annual 4th of July Fireworks show at the Biltmore Hotel. Sun Stories on Giralda Plaza A new art installation on Giralda Plaza features colorful words and phrases suspended in the air, presenting dancing illuminations on the pavement as you enjoy the al fresco atmosphere of this delightful gathering space. The official grand opening of the art installation is Friday, July By controlling every step of the process from farm to fork, their selection of high quality meats is notable. Beef is aged in a climate controlled environment for 17 days, then vacuumed packed.
Ask about 4th of July special offers. Room 25 Speakeasy Open Late For cocktail enthusiasts, or those that enjoy the old-fashioned atmosphere of a speakeasy hidden in plain sight, stop in to Ponce — upstairs from 7pm to very late — for a first-class post-prohibition experience, featuring old fashioned hand-crafted cocktails. First, get the password for the week, before you can gain entrance.
The fireworks start promptly at 9pm. Landmark Theatres at Shops of Merrick Park is a high-end luxury cinema, featuring large screens and luxury leather seats or recliners, screening new releases as well as independent, foreign and avant-garde flicks.