Thursday, April 02, 2009

Question from Brittany - Hoods and headwear fashion in Elizabeth's reign

I notice in painting of Queen Elizabeth I, that she seems to never wear a hood. My friend told me that hoods were only for married women at the time, but I dissagree because Anne was well-known to wear french style hoods. I know that taking my friend's word for it is not good, because she did not tell me where she read that only married women wore hoods, so I decided to look it up, but I could not find an answer to my question. My actual question is Were hoods simply going out of style in Elizabeth's time or did she just not like to wear them, because she's rarely painted with one on.


Elizabeth M. said...

She was painted at least once, the famous painting here on the website of her in the light red dress and hood, done c. 1546, when she was about 13. I think it was about fashion. By the time Elizabeth was queen, the French hood, as popularized by Anne Boleyn in England, had been declining in fashion.

PhD Historian said...

Elizabeth M is quite correct: The French hood had begun to pass from fashion by the time Elizabeth became queen, and was completely out of fashion by the end of her reign. In fact, by about 1590, berets and loose floppy hats of the kind often seen at Renaissance festivals had come into fashion, if a hat was worn at all.

But remember, the portrait Elizabeth M mentions, circa 1546, was painted was done more than 50 years before the last portrait of the queen. We should expect fashion to change over the course of half a century.