Restoration Costume Ideas

Written by daina galante
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Restoration Costume Ideas
The periwig is a notable fashion trend from the Restoration Movement. (romantisch image by Yvonne Bogdanski from

The Restoration in England, which began in 1660 when Charles II took the throne, was a time of movement toward freedom. The predominant style was to look sophisticated and clothing was very elaborate, in direct contrast to the colourless and plain clothing worn by the Puritans in the years prior. Beauty and vanity became popular for both men and women. Iconic trends from the period include wigs for men and fancy bodice dresses for women.

Creating the Hairstyle

The periwig, which is a wig with long curls, was often seen on men---especially those in power---from the Restoration era. According to Central Washington University, women also styled their hair in long curls. The most popular colour for such hairstyles was white. The wigs were meant to look fake and were used as a way to show beauty, cover balding spots and stop lice.

Men's Clothing

Bright colours were all the rage, and men often wore garments called Cassock Coats, which looked like capes that came down past their knees. Men wore neck scarves and embellished their "puffy" undershirts with thick collars, often embroidered with lace. Men often wore hats with back feathers over their wigs. Velvet was a popular fabric.

Women's Dresses

Women enjoyed wearing velvet, as well as satin. Their dresses were tight around the stomach, a look created thanks to a corset and bodice, and featured low necklines. The bottoms of their dresses were large, to accentuate the look of having huge hips. Women also wore bright blues, reds, and greens.

Shoes for Costumes

Many men during the Restoration wore black buckled flat shoes. You can purchase clip-on shoe buckles to create this look. Men also wore black boots that came up to mid-shin or the knee. Woman often wore pointy shoes, with an inch or so of heel. Women's shoes often matched perfectly with the dress. Both men and women wore stockings underneath their outfits.

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