The wide, broad-shouldered silhouette
of the 1540s and 1550s gradually shifted
to a tall, slender look.
and shoulders became narrower in the 1560s,
expanded through the 1570s and 1580s, and
narrowed again at the end of the period.
Waistlines dropped toward a low point
in front for both men and women.
The severe fashions of the Spanish court
under Philip II of Spain were dominant through
the early part of the period every where
except France; black garments were worn
for the most formal occasions. Regional
styles were still distinct. Janet Arnold
in her analysis of Queen Elizabeth's wardrobe
records identifies French, Italian, Dutch,
and Polish styles for
and sleeves, as well as Spanish.
Ruffs increased in size throughout the
period and then began to disappear everywhere
except Holland, where they remained in fashion
well into the next century.
The general trend toward abundant surface
ornamentation in the
Elizabethan era was mirrored in clothing,
especially among the aristocracy in England:
and edged in
were further ornamented with applied lace,
gold and silver embroidery, and jewels.
Leather and fabric garments continued
to be decorated by slashing and punching
the fabric in regular patterns, and
linings could be pulled through the
slashes in small puffs.