The Meticulous Dressing Regime of a 17th Century Wealthy Dutch Woman (Video)
In 1665 Delft, the clothing of affluent women followed a meticulous process. It began with a linen or silk chemise, often adorned with lace cuffs. Petticoats were supported by a waist-tied hip pad, doubling up the layers during the "Little Ice Age." The elaborate silk gowns, comprising separate parts like petticoats, bodice, and sleeves, showcased the wealth of the era. Stockings were held in place with garters, and shoes featured square toes and leather-covered timber heels.
The bodices were stiffened with whalebone and laced either at the front or back, often accompanied by a separate stomacher. Foot warmers provided comfort during freezing winters, while a linen or silk kerchief covered the décolletage. Indoor jackets made of silk or velvet, lined with fur, added warmth and elegance. The Dutch Republic's prosperity was evident in opulent homes and fashionable attire, celebrated through art. In 1665, Johannes Vermeer's portrait of the Girl with the Pearl Earring captivated viewers, capturing the spirit of the time. The clothing of 1665 Delft displayed a blend of luxury, artistry, and adaptation to the harsh climate.
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Top image: 17 th Century Woman Being Dressed. Source: YouTube Screenshot / CrowsEyeProductions