Etiquette in Restoration
Manners & Movements
It is important
to remember that the basic elements of movement and manners were
the same as those described for France, but there were some differences
between French Classic Baroque and English Restoration Baroque after
the restoration of monarchy with the succession of Charles II to
the English throne.
and bows accenting the short soft lines of the male costume demanded
elegantly controlled flourishes to give them just treatment. The
Restoration gentleman needed a swaggering, elegant movement in order
to carry off the full weight of the layers of fabric and ribbons.
He dominated his costume with assurance and delight, from the tip
of his square-toed high-heeled shoes to the great plumes of his
A man of fashion
had to manipulate a number of accessories such as a walking stick,
muff, snuff box, and handkerchief. The fashion extremists or "fops"
of the Restoration period, who especially enjoyed these items, exaggerated
their movements, overdid their flourishes and hand gestures, and
minced, rather than strode, across a reception or ballroom floor.
They would turn their heads with an abrupt twist to give a flounce
to the curls of their periwigs; would clutch their muffs to their
chests and peep over them; would toy excessively with the ribbons
on their walking sticks; and would flourish their handkerchiefs
in a ludicrously ostentatious manner. But alas, those fops were
rather looked upon with an amused smile by many, and usually the
male movements and manners were as elegantly refined and flowing
as they were in France.
movement also had a graceful, sensuous vitality and an attractive
bounce that epitomised the spirit of the times. The waist would
have been flexible but firmly controlled with never a sag in the
middle, since most gowns contained boning and corseting. From Pepys's
diary, other commentators, and artists of the period, one can learn
that ladies preened and pranced like pigeons, fluttered their eyelashes,
and manipulated their skirts and their charms with a complete knowledge
and assurance about the effects they were creating.
The fan was also for the Restoration lady the most important accessory
and was used as a weapon in the game of love, that often seemed
to have a life of its own. Information on the usage of the fan can
be found in the chapter on French etiquette.
Royalty | Aristocratic
History | English
Royalty | Aristocratic Etiquette
English Coins 1660-1715
II | James
II | William
& Mary | Queen
Drink Stillifes | Meals
Duke of Marlborough's
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Contents Copyright © N. Kipar 1997.