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The 1660s
Restoration Costume Comes to Life

Part 5
Costume Focus: Dutch Women's Headwear and Neckwear

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

Most of the following images open in a new window for a detailed study.

  • All women wear some sort of headcovering.
  • Most women wear some sort of covering for the cleavage, a partlet, or chaperone, or kerchief, or 'round partlet'
  • Women who don't wear a covering for their cleavage are in fine dress, often sitting for the painter.
  • All working women wear some kind of neck covering.
  • Open, framing, billowy, wide hoods are mainly worn by the affluent, housewives, ladies.
  • Tight fitting coifs, partly with hoods over them, are mainly worn by the working women, maids and servants. Also by old women.
  • Most Dutch housewives wear aprons, no matter how richly dressed they are. A long (almost skirt length) pristine, wide, finely gathered apron on long ties which are taken into the back and then brought forward to tie in the front, seems to before a symbol of office than being actually needed. Similar to Anglo-Saxon girdle hangers.
  • There is quite an amount of bodices in the 1660s that are laced at the side like 16th and very early 17th century Flemish gowns.
  • It seems that some of the collared and open necked 'partlets' that are tucked into stays and bodices might be high necked smocks after all. Particularly those that are worn where the corset underneath is visible. The high necked smock was worn in the first half of the 17th c. notably the 1620s and 30s, but practical middle and working class fashions do not change that quickly.
1660s note her garters, this well off middle class woman passed out drunk and is ridiculed Same woman's neckerchief (triangular with tassels) 1660-65 Is she wearing a partlet tucked into her bodice?
1658-60 Partlet over her bodice, linen hood tied under the chin. 1658-60 Clip-on coif, how was the flat round bit in the back made? It covers the hair bun 1658-60 Little girl wearing a 'biggin cap' still the same construction as the Viking Coppergate cap.
1658-60 Decorated biggin cap, all girls in the paintings wear those. 1660 a dark gauze (?) probably woollen hood over the linen one, turned back over the forehead. Quite chic 1660 I have only found one representation of such a type of dark gauzy hood and chaperone combi
1660 gathered in the back of the neck, it might actually be gathered onto a band for stabilisation. Wire might be in this one as well. 1660 she is sick in this painting, simple hood tied under the chin as above. 1660 interesting construction, this seems to be two layers, the clip-on coif underneath and whatever it is tied over it.
1660 Tassels on the corners of her kerchief and lace on the edges of the coif that seems to have loose corners in the back of her neck and held only by a drawstring (?) around the hair bun. 1660 She is just slipping out of bed and seems to have a circular linen chaperone slung over one shoulder. See some of the other paintings for those circular coverings. 1660 his seems to be a hood like mine, which frames the face and can cover the cleavage quite successfully.
1660 Little girl's highly decorated biggin cap. 1660 She is wearing one of those black coifs underneath which are so tight they could be called a skull cap. They point into the forehead. The linen on top seems to be just loose. 1660 DO I see a drawstring in the back? It appears to be ties hanging in the back of her neck below the bun.
1660 Lovely type of hood which I think looks very flattering, but am not too sure how it is made. Then again I don't understand anything 3-dimensional anyway. 1660 Hood tied with a red ribbon 1660s 'round partlet' or 'linen cape' being worn over clothing. This type of protection and covering seems to be very common, in fact more common than I thought.
1660 Clip-on coif in linen with loose linen draped over it. Unsure what she has tucked into her bodice. 1660 The maid wears this black 'skull cap' but it appears it doesn't cover her hair bun? Almost just like a toque. 1660 This old woman wears an old fashioned form of headcovering, a caul. This isn't a surprise, old people tended to be dressed in much earlier fashions.
1660-62 Tiny wired coif, the decorative finials can be seen pressing into her jaw. 1660-62 Another example with a black hood over a linen one. 1660-65 An old woman with the same style of tight wired coif and a tightly wound one on top of it. Any ideas how the top one is made? The ruffle around her neck is part of a partlet, as worn in the 16th century.
1660-67 Sick woman showing the tight cloth going across her forehead. The hood is worn open and elegantly hanging down. She seems to wear a high necked partlet/ chaperone tucked into her jacket. 1660-70 Sick woman wearing another of those framing hoods like mine over the tight forehead cloth (which might be a tight cap or just a wound strip) This time there is lace around the edge of the front of the hood. 1660s The old woman wears a most curious head-dress, but she seems to be a nanny or nurse to the young woman. It appears the tight forehead cloth and the wide open framing hood are peculiar to her status.
1660s Peasants wearing kerchiefs in their cleavages. 1660s The front edge is folded back on this wide hood which is made out of a fine linen. 1660s This nursing mother wears one of the open hoods that are tied with their long ends. Often, like in this picture, those are folded back, probably pinned in place somewhere, and worn loose.
1660s The drunken women from above shows not only how the untied hood falls off her head, but also the jacket that slipped to the side and the linen partlet or tucker beneath has slipped away as well. 1660s Front of hood folded back and hood itself tied with a blue silk ribbon. 1660s She wears an interesting cap/hat over her hood, because this cap looks a lot like the male 1700 indoor caps that were made presumably from black/dark wool and fur edged/lined.
1660s She definitely doesn't wear anything like a tucker or kerchief while the one in the background wears one. This is NOT the norm, and the painter is known for his naughty scenes. Note the small coifs again and the straight 'ladder lacing' of the bodice/corset of the one in the front. Also note the length of the shifts. 1660s Note this working maid's flat shoes and the shortness of her petticoat. Both skirt and apron are pulled up. She does however appear to wear stiffening in her bodice. I like the colour combination a lot. 1661 Tiny picture, but the maid in the background has tassels on her kerchief that is pinned at the neck as all the others.
1661 This wealthy lady wears the wide open hood tied with a red ribbon and a gauzy cape/shawl over her shoulders. Note that it appears the wealthy house wives and ladies wear the open billowy hoods, the working maids wear the close fitting coifs. 1661 She wears what I'd describe as a 'round partlet' and what many are wearing. It has a neck band and it fitting in that it appears to be circular or roundish, is tucked into the cleavage, it is open in the front and often tied with a linen ribbon or pinned close. 1661-62 Housewife to the right wears fancy fur edged jacket and pristine apron over it. She wears the circular 'round partlet or chaperone' OVER the jacket this time. It is open at the neck and appears to have a wide collar. The marketwoman to the left wears her round partlet tucked in.
1662 This is the ONLY example of an embroidered coif that I came across in the period we portray, other than the children's' biggin caps. This one has Blackwork on it, but beware, it is the ONLY example. White linen or black (linen? Silk? Fine wool?) is common. 1662 Another VERY fashionable Dutch house wife in finest lawn apron that is almost see-through and a lawn gauze /batiste or even silk organza kerchief which is worn just like the linen ones but is much fancier. 1662-65 This almost looks as if she had plucked her hairline. The open framing hood of this rich Dutch lady is rolled/turned back over the forehead.
1660s This hood shows a large lace edging, it looks exaggerated due to the nature of the miniature, but the construction is essentially the same, with the 'bun bag' in the bag, held on by a drawstring or ties. 1660s Another one of the small clip-on coifs that are held on with a tight band/ties around the 'bag' for the hair bun. She seems to be wearing another of the smaller round partlets in her bodice. 1660s This is interesting, I am not so sure where the linen ties come from under her chin. The black ribbon seems to tie the rather voluminous hood, which fits snugly over the coiffure and its front is turned back.
1660s This old woman with her niddy-noddy is dressed very old fashioned. She wears what is essentially a 16th c. partlet with attached ruff on the neckband. Her head covering is another of the curious tightly bound ones over a small coif. 1662-65 The maid from the preceding picture wears the clip-on coif. This paintings shows the construction best: the 'bag for the bun' in the back is held on by a tightened drawstring, you can see the bow beneath the 'bag'. The decorative finial is visible at her jaw. 1663 A variation of the coif to the left, this time made fro a very gauzy material and edged with lace. The front edges are turned back instead of pressing into the jaw. She wears a 'round chaperone' over her jacket with a small stand-up collar. There's a surviving one from the 1620s.
1663 The three-pointed coif is very similar to the Elizabethan ones, with one point going low into the forehead, then curving back behind the ear and coming towards the front below the ear. She wears a linen strip of slightly shaped hood over it, it must be pinned to the coif for security. 1663 This sick woman wears probably one of the tight forehead cloths and over it the open hood/strip of linen. She wears a long circular 'round partlet' that is closed at the neck and falls to her elbows. She wears over jacket and skirt a wide, long pristine apron. 1663 Housewife and maid. It is actually unclear from the painting who is who, both are very well dressed in silk, velvet and fur, both wear jewellery.
1663 A young woman who just got out of bed. The jacket is open and loose over her stays, and she is in the process of putting on her stockings. The hood is tied snugly around her head. 1663-65 Young woman who appears to be wearing almost the same as the one to the left.This wouldn't be a surprise because both were painted by Jan Steen, props and clothing was often use for several paintings. 1663-65 The maid in the back is sombrely and neatly dressed as so many. The woman in the front wears her jacket open, revealing a front laced corset. She may be wearing a high necked smock instead of a low cut one plus partlet or tucker. The hood seems to be just a strip of linen probably pinned to a coif underneath.
1663-65 Children playing. The girl in the background definitely wears a 16th c. partlet, which isn't so 16th century after all... 1663-65 Middle aged woman with tucker in her jacket and rolled back snug hood. 1660s Old woman dressed plainly and austere, though with rich materials. She is wearing a kerchief which is is shaped, from a stiff linen. One of those is exhibited in the new British Galleries in the V&A. That one is earlier, but the cut is still the same, elderly people usually dressed old fashioned.
1660s She is wearing a square kerchief around her neck and one of the open hoods that are pinned on a coif underneath. 1664 Another old woman, she is wearing a square kerchief with tassels on the front corners. 1664-65 The child's coif shows clearly the drawstring in the back! The woman wears a long wide apron and a round partlet.
1665 Another sick lady with the linen band/coif that goes across her forehead and the loose open hood. 1665 Another example of the tiny coif that covers nothing but the hair bun in the back. 1665 This young cook maid wears a tucker in her bodice.
1665 This farmer's wide wears a stiffened front-laced sleeveless bodice over a jacket bodice and her coif is very practical, tied at the back. 1665 This rural lady wears an open hood similar to the one in the Mica portrait, with straight lines, framing the face. 1665 The back of a hood, the gathering clearly visible.
1665-68 This lady's coif/caul looks suspiciously Elizabethan with its widow's peek and the caul in the back. 1668 Similar to the one directly above, hers has a wide lace edging in the front. 1669 Two market sellers, modest with tuckers and kerchiefs and clip-on coifs.

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Nicole Kipar 1998