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The 1660s
Restoration Costume Comes to Life

Part 2, Page 4
Gentry and Aristocracy, Women: Informal

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5
Lower Class Women and Men Gentry and Aristocracy, Women Gentry and Aristocracy, Men The Whole Look: Accessories Costume Focus: Women's Headwear & Neckwear
 

All of the following images open in a new window for a detailed study. All of them are details taken from paintings.
Most jackets were made from velvet, and it seems that the jackets were the only garments still made from velvet. Velvet had been very fashionable in the 1630s and 40s, but by the 60s silk taffeta had taken over in preference. It is near impossible to find a portrait showing a dress or bodice made from velvet in the 60s. Silk taffeta and silk satin are predominant. The fur used for these jackets is most probably white rabbit fur throughout. Please remember the mentioning of fur in lesson one, the furrier carried over 300 pieces of rabbit fur and only a few furs of different animals. White rabbit was the most expensive one, this is why you see brown rabbit fur in those jackets that are lined with fur for comfort and warmth, but white still for the edging that shows.
What you will find here is the large variety and abundance of those jackets. Some are waisted, some are wide and flowing, some have a curved edge in the back, some are straight. The width of sleeves vary as well. Interestingly there are no portraits or genre paintings showing English or French ladies wearing those jackets, but Samuel Pepys mentions that his wife Elizabeth had "an old morning gown" that he "used to call...her Kingdom, from the ease and comfort she used to have when wearing of it." In Holland much evidence is found for affluent women wearing those fine jackets outside as well, but they wouldn't have been worn ever for evening wear nor for polite company. They can be worn with or without stays underneath, but were they are open in the paintings they always show a pair of stairs underneath being worn over the chemise. Jackets are acceptable for a rich housewife to do some shopping for victuals in, and very acceptable to have friends as visitors, but for a slightly more formal meeting or song or dinner the dress or bodice and skirt combination is worn.

I made my jacket loose fitting and with a low curve in the back from black velvet lined with linen and trimmed with white rabbit fur. It is closed with a blue silk ribbon and remarkably warm, comfortable and lovely to wear. Please note that whenever linen is used for lining I have not come across any extant garment which used a coloured linen, but either unbleached or bleached white linen.

1660
The jacket is made from a luxurious midnight blue silk velvet. The sheen is captured beautifully by the artist.
1660
Woman peeling an apple in a yellow jacket of a curious material of which I am not sure what it is.
1660
Red velvet jacket, waisted.
1660
One of the few garments in a green colour. The colour combination of her outfit is brilliant, green velvet jacket waisted and with low curve in the back, plum coloured skirt, lined with green and bright red petticoat.
1660
Royal blue velvet jacket with broad fluffy fur edging. Her foot rests on a foot warmer, which is a wonderful invention. We made one and the effect is remarkable with the heat going up underneath the skirts.
1660-62
Black velvet jacket, might be waisted, no visible closing, probably closed with hooks and eyes in the same way fur coats are still fastened nowadays.
1660-65
A very rare view of the back of such a jacket. It is definitely waisted and hangs in a low curve in soft folds.It is unclear of which fabric it is made of.
1660-67
Red velvet jacket closed with two or three red silk ribbons. It falls open in the front. Unclear if it is a loose or a waisted one.
1661
Red velvet jacket left open and showing that she appears to be wearing a bodice underneath or a pair of stays which would be uncharacteristically adorned with rows of ribbon bows. This jacket is loose not waisted and a ribbon shows at the neck opening for fastening.
1661
Dark brown or black velvet jacket with an apron over it. Note the red ribbon with which her pearl necklace is fastened in the back of her neck.
1661-63
Black jacket without fur at the cuffs but lined with brown rabbit fur throughout. It appears there is edging at the centre front and neckline which is white fur.
1662
Red waisted jacket worn outdoors with sheer apron and neckerchief over it.
1662-63
Black velvet jacket with wide low neckline.
1663
Dark jacket, material unclear, which shows clearly the ribbons at the neck opening for fastening it closed.
1664
Yellow jacket with white fur that is painted to look like ermine. It is highly unlikely that it is real ermine.
1664
This is an unusual jacket as it seems to be either made from a striped/brocaded material or decorated with bands of braid down the sleeves and above the fur along them hem, which is more likely.
1665
Brown long jacket with a narrow fur edging down centre front, hem and cuffs but not neckline.
1665
Orange red jacket with fur edging and closed only at the waist in combination with a bright orange red gold laced skirt.
1667-68
Yellow jacket which might be made of silk satin, unclear. Waisted and with wide cuffs.
1668
This might be the same yellow and fake ermine jacket that is worn in the painting of the writing woman.
Another dark green probably velvet jacket, a bit unusual because of the slit in the back skirt which is edged with fur as well. Note the deep pleats in the back of the sleeves, like the sleeves of the bodices. Jacket made from soft silk satin with a fairly narrow fur edging and no fur at the cuffs.
Yellow jacket, waisted and curved and with broad white fur edging. She wears a red inset in the neckline of the jacket. Grey-blue velvet jacket closed at the neckline and falling open. Wider fur at the cuffs than at the hemline.
Deep black jacket waisted with narrow fur at hemline, front and cuffs but none at the neckline. Rich brown velvet jacket with narrow fur at hemline, front and cuffs but not at the neckline.
 

Overview | Dresses | Bodice & Skirt | Jackets | Stays | Chemises | Decoration
Extant Garments | The Making of... | Underpinnings | The Dressing of a Lady

 
Nicole Kipar 1998