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Cavalier's costume from period of King Charles I

Posted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 9:22 pm
by Stuart Quayle
Hi folks, I'm wondering if any of you knowledgable bods can help me please?

I have begun watching that wonderful four part series on Channel Four each Wednesday @ 9pm "The Devil's Whore", hee hee sounds very rude doesn't it :wink:

Anyway, the series is set at the outbreak of the first English Civil War when King Charles I was on the throne and he wears the most amazingly flamboyant clothes (as do the other Royalist gentry and military commanders etc.)

For instance King Charles is seen wearing a sort of three-quarter length trousers, wool or silk stockings bucket topped boots, tight fitted short coat etc. etc.

My questions are:

1. Exactly what was the Royalist' fashion for a Cavalier to wear at this point in time? i.e. what garments went to make up a typical Cavalier's uniform?

2. Was their any difference between say how an English cavalier dressed and how a French cavalier/musketeer dressed - were continental fashions different to English fashions and if so - then how?

3. Are there any good books out there covering the men's fashions of this period?

4. For further reference (I can't afford it at present) who would you recommend as good suppliers of these fashions?

Sorry for the longish post and many thanks in advance for any/all help

PS. this television series is bloody good and very enjoyable.

Posted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:09 pm
by Merlon.
They are not "Cavalier" clothes, they are typical high status civilian clothes of the 1630 and 40s worn by anyone, both Parlimentarian and Royalist, who could afford them.
There are some diffences in high status clothing across the countries and decades, mainly cut and length of doublet and breeches. Just the same as are available with modern fashions in different countries accross Europe. Its not the kind of thing you can categorise in a few paragraphs.

As to books you could try
Cut of Men's Clothes: 1600-1900 Norah Waugh
Patterns of Fashion: 1560-1620 v. 3 Janet Arnold
Lions of Fashion: Male Fashion in the c16th, c17th and c18th Lena Rangstrom.

There are many traders out there who could supply you clothes of this type. As with any other type of kit you get what you pay for. Give you a clue a good thread button would set you back at least £3.00 each

Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 12:06 am
by Shadowcat
Most of the clothes worn by Charles l in "The Devil's Whore" are close reproductions of paintings, many of which are by Van Dyck. Coincidentally there is to be a Van Dyck exhibition at Tate Britain in the new year. The last one was more than 20 years ago, if I remember right. ... fault.shtm


Early 17th century fashion.

Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 12:36 am
by Stuart Quayle

Thanks very much for the great book suggestions, I shall have to add them to my Christmas list.

£3.00 each for a good thread button! OK, I will have to put this project on the back-burner for the timebeing. I imagine it's like having handmade cast buckles for your armour, top-notch authentic but you pay accordingly.

Shadowcat, many thanks too for giving me an insight into where the producers are getting their inspiration for the clothes used in this spendid series. I love van Dyck's work, (did he do the tri-portrait of Charles I showing him side by side with himself taken from different angles?). I must try and get over to see this exhibition, it sounds wonderful.

Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:46 am
by Nigel
But dont take that programme as gospel for clothing



Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:53 am
by Stuart Quayle
Hee hee, I hope your well insured :lol:

Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 4:54 pm
by seamsmistress
Nigel wrote:But dont take that programme as gospel for clothing

I too have issues with the clothing. It seems we are to believe that every woman at court wore silk satin - not true. Whilst the costumes have the 'appearance' of truth, they don't drape as they should, suggesting that there is a serious lack of interior structure and appropriate underwear, particularly petticoats. In a scene with the wind blowing, we really shouldn't be able to see the outlines of a ladies rear and her legs. No no no! Many of the bodices are somewhat late for english fashion, don't fit as they should and on on.

For the men - I was distressed to see Courtiers doublets being fastened with large pewter buttons, spaced out so that they didn't need too many. Whilst pewter buttons are appropriate for the period, every extant garment I've seen uses lots of small silk thread covered buttons. And again, too much satin and not enough internal structure. Don't get me started on the lace and braid.........

I've long felt that it was high time we had a drama covering the english civil war and I'd agree that the plot line is gripping, it's very watchable. some of the effects and larger props are very good and the camera man knows his stuff. The direction in places is really moving - the aftermath of Naseby brought a lump to my throat. But with the historical truth being a story it'd be hard to make up and fantastic subject matter in it's own right, why on earth play around with it?

I suspect the military historians amongst us are just as disturbed as the costumiers.

In conclusion, I have mixed feelings. A good attempt, but I fear that for years to come we're going to be spending a lot of time sorting out poeples misconceptions.

Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 5:11 pm
by Shadowcat
I very carefully only commented on the costumes worn by Charles l I hope you noticed - didn't dare get into the rest. And frankly, the characterisation and story telling didn't grab me.

Did no-one tell them that Edgehill is just that - flat ground at the top, a very steep hill, and flat at the bottom? It's not far from where I used to live, and I think there just might have been a few more soldiers on either side!! Oh, and the ghosts - funnily enough, it is supposed to be haunted, and I believe it - I saw some once, before I knew where I was!


Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 5:54 pm
by Nigel
Already had one row about it my mum asked my opinion 10 minutes alter i drew breath

Then she said "why are you the only one to have a negative opinion about it ? and how come youa re soo right "

ah well those 30 odd years werent wasted as my mother onbviousley ahs no idea on what interests me

Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:20 pm
by steve stanley
It's better than Robin Hood........

Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:30 pm
by Merlon.
Had to promise the wife I would not rivet count before I was allowed to watch it.
The politest thing I could say about it is Mills & Boon meets English Civil War. At least some of the characters names were correct,... I'm struggling to find any further compliments.

Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 10:23 pm
by Calendula
That John Lilburne had a lovely mullet! :D

Re: Cavalier's costume from period of King Charles I

Posted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:39 am
by jamesbryant0141
The series of Devil Whore is very pretty. I found out enjoyable.

Re: Cavalier's costume from period of King Charles I

Posted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:07 am
by Alice the Huswyf
Very enjoyable romp, I loved the obvious card-broard frontage only stately home. I did much hissing about necklines being yanked off shoulders as a manner of wear and bizarre body shapes.