Sunday, July 25, 2010

Question from Tabitha - Anne Boleyn party dress

I have a question about anne boleyn maybe you can help.I am haven a party and I am dressing up as Anne.What I would like to know is what do you think Anne boleyn would have dressed in for partys lets say christmas or king henrys brithday?
I know she had the b necklace and she did wear pearls and the frech hood but is there any thing else?


Bess Chilver said...

Anne Boleyn would have worn the usual dress that was fashionable in the 1530s.

Any woman of status would have worn the following:
A smock of fine linen (cotton not discovered then);
A petticoat;
A kirtle (the bodice of which would be stiffened to support the bust). This would have a full skirt but probably no sleeves.
A gown with a square neck a little lower than the kirtle square neck. Close fitting uppersleeves flaring into a deep turn back cuff.
The skirt is probably not split at the front, instead a train probably extends at the back of the skirt.
The kirtle neckline probably has elegant jewels attached and is therefore visible above the gown neckline.
A pair of decorative undersleeves would be worn.
The neckline and frilled cuffs of the smock would be seen - just - and could be embroidered in black silk.
On the head could be the English (Gable) Hood or the French Hood. Anne would have worn either of these.
On her feet she would have had stockings (called hose) made from fine wool - not knitted. These would be kept in place at knee height by garters. Flat soled shoes would be worn. These could be slashed to show a decorative fabric lining.

In terms of jewels - who knows. We have a portrait of her wearing pearls and a "B" Pendant but it is likely she would have had many others especially once she was Queen. Anne could also wear a girdle around her waist (the waistline follows the natural waist and is not dipped or "V'd" in shape at this stage.) A "payre of beads" (Rosary) could be hung from this girdle or perhaps a jewelled pomander or a tiny book of hours.

Alia said...

Anne Boleyn (and her daughter Elizabeth I) is known to have liked pearls. She had the B necklace, yes. She had long dark hair and preferred to wear it loose down her back--she was both scorned and admired for this style, a novelty.
She held the overwrought, flashy colors that the English wore (bright, glaring colors like scarlet, yellow, etc.) and preferred blacks, whites, and grays. Famously (though this is probably not fact) Henry VIII wrote the song 'Greensleeves' for Anne Boleyn. Wear green sleeves!
Anne brought a new sleeve style into fashion: a long, draping sleeve that drops far below the writst. Google 'Anne Boleyn sleeve' and something will come up.
As for a neckline, Anne preferred a low-cut square.
She liked the French hood over the English gable.
Bess Chilver said a lot about English fashion then, and it is accurate, but Anne preferred French elegance and did not always wear everything English.
Hope this helps!