1590's Man's Court Costume

Nathan had some red silk Shantung and black cotton velvet fabric The red Shantung matched the red silk lining of the cape in color but not in texture. The texture reminded me of the doublet and canons in this portrait of Sir Walter Religh (The famous one with his son painted in late 1590's or early 1600's). So he drew this design sketch of a costume for him that used his fabrics and the design motifs and trims from the cape.

For this costume I was trying to have it look as much like the portrait above as possible. To my knowledge there isn't a period pattern exactly like this outfit. So, I had to create pattern pieces for some things like the collar, waist tabs and shoulder tabs for the jerkin. But for the most part I rely on Janet Arnold's "Patterns of Fashion, the cut and construction of clothes for men and women c1560-1620" for pattern pieces where ever possible. The doublet pattern I used is almost the doublet pattern on pg. 85 (#18) with slight alterations for fit. The jerkin front and back pattern is the same as the the doublet except the front opening was changed to a "V" shape (as in the portrait). I have been studying buttons for a long time and trying to make ones that look period in shape, size and materials. The ones on the doublet are very similar to the ones on page 38 of Janet Arnold's book. The ones on the jerkin are almost the same shape as the ones the book but are metal. They are about the only period looking buttons, that I know of, that you can purchase in the fabric stores. They are made by JHB and come in silver and gold. I buy them direct.

The breeches or what I call canions are almost exactly like those in Janet Arnold on pg. 86.

I didn't have a pattern for the cape. I looked at the ones in Janet Arnold for construction details (she has a full oval cape) and in "Tudor Costume and Fashion" by Herbert Norris (that is where I got the idea of a 3/4 cape). The motif used on the cape, jerkin and slops is a combination of two period motifs one from a Holbein portrait of Henry VIII (Norris pg. 228 fig 269) the other (Norris pg. 419 fig 510). I had to create the finials because the space between trim rows narrows up the front of the cape.

I didn't really have a pattern for the smock. I made it to look like the mans shirt pictured in Jane Ashelford's "Dress in the Age of Elizabeth I" ca. 1588. Except my smock has white embroidery and the placket was sewn in. The falling collar and cuffs are removable and I made up a pattern to look like the portrait.

For more on the pattern for the slops go to the close-up page.

Scans by Me.
Last Revision:21 April 1999

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