What boys wore in Tudor times

Written by meredith hambrin
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What boys wore in Tudor times
Men wore stockings or short trousers called breeches. (Getty creative)

Tudor fashion was extravagant. Both males and females wore layers and layers of clothing. Throughout the period, new clothes became difficult to obtain and a new trend called slashing emerged, where people would slash the outer layers of their clothes to reveal the colours and patterns of the fabric they wore underneath. Male outfits were often as complex as traditional female outfits.

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Men wore form fitting outfits on the bottoms that emphasised the shape of the calf. Tight hose were often worn, either on their own, or underneath breeches, which were short trousers that stopped at the knee. Some men wore brightly coloured hose though the more popular colour was white.


Shoes were often flat and black, with small straps that showed off the colour of the hose. As the 16th century progressed, shoes changed shape, from a round silhouette to a much more squared off, formfitting style. Riding boots were also worn, generally brown and made of leather that stopped at the top of the calf.

Upper body

Men wore at least three layers on top. The bottom layer was a plain white shirt that had a drawstring collar. Sometimes the collar was ruffled. Over the shirt they wore a jacket called a doublet, which was much more ornate and was often inlaid with jewels or embroidered intricately. A jerkin was worn over the doublet. Jerkins could be worn loose as a jacket, or tight in the style of a vest or tunic. Some men wore another layer, an open jacket made from expensive fabrics and lined in fur. The length of the jackets varied as the century progressed, but generally got shorter.


Some noble en in Tudor England wore capes called mucetas, which originated in Spain. They were short capes that draped off the shoulder and ended around the waist with large hoods and ornately styled fastenings. At the end of the century, the madilion emerged, which was a hybrid muceta-jerkin. Men also wore hats: flat brimmed hats, skullcaps worn tightly at the top of the head, velvet caps with peaked centres or other plainly styled caps.

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