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Dress in the Age of Elizabeth I by Jane…
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Dress in the Age of Elizabeth I (1988)

by Jane Ashelford

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- A Visual History of Costume : the Sixteenth Century by Jane Ashelford (1983)
- Dress in the Age of Elizabeth by Jane Ashelford (1988)

Both are useful. Though they are both by the same author, they have different pictures in them. The Visual History is part of a series, so conforms to the series format, but the other is a stand-alone, so the author could devote more attention to areas that were not stressed in the Visual History.

In both, most of the illustrations are black-and-white, with a few color plates, but the quality is good. Many of the pictures are large. Both books are 7-1/2" x 10", and about half an inch thick.

The Visual History is arranged chronologically and covers the whole sixteenth century, while "Dress" only covers the reign of Elizabeth.

Here's the table of contents of "Dress":

1. Women's dress 1558-1603
2. Men's dress 1558-1603
3. 'The mart of fools': London and the fashion trade
4. 'Printing my thoughts in lawn': the language of dress
5. 'Straunge fantastick habit': festive dress ( )
  staffordcastle | May 17, 2008 |
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"When your posterity shall see our pictures they shall think we were foolishly proud of apparell!"
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
A delight in brilliant colour, sumptuous fabrics and ostentatious decoration made the Elizabethan period one of unparalleled luxury and display in dress. Taking the view that costume is the visual expression of the preoccupations of a society, Jane Ashelford has written a remarkable account of the fashions of the period, and the way in which they reflected the increasing optimism, power and prosperity of England under Elizabeth's reign. This was a time when appearances were all-important. Elizabeth herself, conscious of the dangers to her isolated Protestant kingdom, allowed herself to be depicted in portraits as Gloriana, the invincible Virgin Queen, whose glittering attire stood for the increasing commercial power of the nation. Her courtiers, too, were expected to keep up a splendid appearance, and Jane Ashelford's survey of the developments in men and women's dress shows how the court led the way in introducing elaborate fashions. A chapter on dress and social status looks at clothing further down the social scale, where sumptuary legislation made it possible to identify a man's rank or profession by his dress alone. Sections on the fashion trade, on the language of clothes, and on festive dress are vividly illustrated with little-known visual material, and a skillful use of literary sources helps build a colourful and lively picture of a period supremely conscious of its clothes. 168 pages. 8 colour illustrations, 100 black-and-white illustrations. [from the book jacket]
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