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Fashion in the period 1650-1700 in Western European clothing is characterised by rapid change.
While in his manner Charles II had to some degree adapted manners of the Dutch, it was his French exile which left its biggest impression on his sense of fashion. Paris was at the time considered the height of fashion and England was a mere follower. Within the realm of Age of Intrigue a fledgling movement has begun to form that promotes English fashion over French as a matter of civic pride.
Following the end of the Interregnum and the Restoration of England's Charles II, military influences in men's clothing were replaced by a brief period of decorative exuberance which then sobered into the coat, waistcoat and breeches costume that would reign for the next century and a half. In the normal cycle of fashion, the broad, high-waisted silhouette of the previous period was replaced by a long, lean line with a low waist.
Wearing the garments and Accessories
Shoes and stockings became very important, because with the advent of tailored coat and rather tight breeches, they became the lower body's eyecatcher. The elegant stockings were made of silk, and the most elegant and expensive ones were embroidered at outer ankles and at the heel. The shoes were extremely elegant as well: the square toe became longer and very square, the heels became higher, while the soles were and heels were made of red leather. White leather was still usually worn at court, while some buff or suede leathers were also in use.
The cravats, which occurred in the 1670s side by side with the lace collars, were knotted in the front, and sometimes held in place by a cravat pin, or a silk ribbon.
The ribbons 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 broad-brimmed hat.
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.
Note that a gentleman would wear a rapier or small sword at his side, since it was a sign of his status, even in the presence of the King. This period also marked the rise of the periwig as an essential item of men's fashion.
Unlike the Lords the ladies gowns were more refined, with less foppish ribbons and trim and definitely elegant.The upper skirts extended in the back to a train. The corset was very long in the front, ending in the middle in an extended piece, which was extra rigid, usually achieved by whalebone. Once indoors, the lady changed into more comfortable garments. She changed her heavy robes for a house-dress, her high heeled shoes for mules and the fontange (in the latter part of the period) for a much simpler coif or lace cap. The dress which was worn indoors was usually shaped like a jacket, open at the front, and reached down to the floor. The house garment, as well as the caps, were richly decorated with lace. Again, corresponding to the dressing gown which the man was wearing indoors, these house garments were not only meant to be seen by family members, but were also worn when informally receiving visitors and such. It was often touched up by a small decorative apron.
A variety of exquisitely embroidered shoes in silk, satin and velvet appeared, trimmed with lace which fell in a deep flounce over the foot. The forepart became slimmer and heels rose. The shoes were high and narrow and were mainly made of brocade, satin or embroidered fabric (mostly silk), in white, yellow, beige, blue, green and violet. Appliquéd braid was widely used, creating a striped pattern. Most shoes were still decorated with rosettes made from ribbon, lace or looped leather, but the sides were already closed.
The collapsible parasol came into fashion, to protect the ladies' pale complexion from the sun while promenading through the terraced gardens. But this umbrella, which was meant to protect from the sun, could also used as protection against the rain. Patches were very fashionable already in the second half of the 17th century, though they were not yet shaped into fancy shapes as they were later, in the 18th century. They formed an interesting contrast to the ivory skin. The fan was for the Restoration lady the most important accessory.
Wearing the garments
The lady's 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.
Both genders spend the early years of their childhood wearing dresses. Around the age of six or seven boys make the move to more masculine attire. This moment of change is considered a rite of passage and was known as 'breeching'. If often heralded the moment when a boy moved from the realm of his mother's influence to that of his father's.
With this benefit you will have access to better tailors at the start, and through access to the Fashion Circle you may plot and plan what the new fashions will be. It will be mentioned on your profile.
This benefit does not mean automatic recognition at court. To be truly fashionable you must aim to gain the Reputation in game and actively show it through roleplaying. This means setting trends, taking care what clothing you wear to events, observe what other people are wearing in your thoughts etc. People will then notice what you are wearing and consider you a trendsetter, perhaps even seeking to emulate you. NPC's might approach you because of it and it can be one of the factors determining your status at Court.