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Favorite- 1630s Suit

As I've said before, the 17th century is really under-represented in film, television, and blogs. Perhaps it's because it gets overshadowed by the more gaudy ornamentation of the roccoco period, or because it follows fast on the heels of the heavily-detailed Elizabethans, but falling between the two of them it can appear a bit dark and plain. Whatever the reason, it is good to remember from time to time that the 17th century had it's beauty too, as I think this yellow suit of the 1730s shows. The original can be found at the Victoria and Albert Museum. I encourage you to check out their online collection for more lovely pieces. 


  1. Oh, I love the 17th century! I think the real reason it is underrepresented is that we have so few extent costumes, and there was that dreadful trend for painting people in pseudo-classical billowing nightgown things, rather than real fashionable clothes.

  2. True, though that trend continued for so long afterward, it's probably mostly due to the lack of extant examples. The dresses also aren't flattering on every body type; but then neither is the empire gown or the robe a la francaise.

  3. Yes, it's funy how unpopular this particular century seems to be- though I'm working on changing that. I think it has a rather unfair reputation on being dark and dull, but the more I dig in, the more I find that isn't!

    I actually think there are a lot more extant clothes than are generally known, they just aren't written about much. For example, the Armory in Stockholm has a large collection of 17th century men's clothes. Most impressive is basically the whole wardrobe of Karl X (1622-1660). I saw it exhibited a couple of years ago and it was really interesting. His personal taste ran to the austere, but as a king he needed to dress in glam, and the wardrobe was clearly divided between the clothes he wore in more private circumstances- silk and velvet yes, but in subdued colours and very little lace and embroidery and the sumptous clothes he wore for kingly duties.

  4. I would love to see the wardrobe of Karl X. It would be so interesting to see the differences you describe between personal and public dress.


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