During the Elizabethan Era, there were a set of rules controlling which classes could wear which clothing called the Sumptuary Laws. The Sumptuary Laws controlled the colors and types of clothing a person could wear. This allowed an easy and immediate way to identify rank and privilege (Elizabethan Era | Clothing). Those found dressed in inappropriate clothing could be fined, lose property, lose rank, and even be killed (Elizabethan Dress Codes). Those of the upperclass wore clothing made of more expensive materials, and those of the lower class wore the same general outfits, but their's were made of less expensive materials. Fashion during the Elizabethan Era was disciplined by the Sumptuary Laws.
Clothing affected the lives of women greatly. Women wore many layers of clothing that could be hot and tight, making them uncomfortable. Different types of clothing were also used to make women seem more petite than they actually were (History of Fashion - Elizabethan). Many outfits included most of the following under layers: a smock, stockings, a corset, a farthingale, a rowel, a stomacher, a petticoat, a kirtle, a fore part, and a partlet. Then, most of the following over layers: a gown, separate sleeves, a ruff, a cloak, and shoes. Shoes were often a flat, Mary Jane style, or had a platform to keep one's feet dry. The biggest influence on woman's clothing during the Elizabethan Era was actually Queen Elizabeth I herself.
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...as, if not more than, it impacts people today.
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