Clothing – and associated aspects of material culture – was one tool which carried particular resonance throughout the early modern era. The prevailing cultural understanding of fashion maintained that garments could exert special force over the body that they contained, and that clothing choices, especially by those in positions of authority, carried particular messages to viewers. Analyses by scholars such as Kevin Sharpe have addressed the question of Mary’s political acumen through examination of her writings and visual representations. Examining Mary’s wardrobe and choices of dress and accessory for particular public occasions and commissioned images opens another lens through which we can understand more about the queen’s multifaceted political strategies.
This is worth keeping in mind when looking at more formal images across Europe in this period, including those where the donor is painted. That while the image conveys what people of the period wore, it may also be conveying more nuanced messages of status, politics and hierarchy.
The dissertation contains tables of information on:
- Colour of garments and textiles purchased by and for Henry VIII and Mary I from 1531 – 1547
- Mary’s gowns by colour and year of purchase
- Mary’s kirtles & sleeves by colour and year of purchase
- Coronation robes of the Tudor Monarchs (to 1553)
- Mary’s gown purchases, sorted by style
As well as over 50 pages of transcriptions of wardrobe records.
It looks quite interesting, especially for anyone researching women’s court dress of the Tudor period. It’s also worth keeping in mind when looking at more formal images across Europe in this period, including those where the donor is painted.
Originally found on Early Modern England