What Did William Shakespeare Wear?

William Shakespeare lived in England during the Elizabethan era and wore clothes in the Elizabethan style. For the rich and famous, the clothing of this era was characterized by bright colors, elaborate trimmings and ostentatious padding.

Men’s clothing during the Elizabethan era included a laced or buttoned doublet with sleeves that were laced up to the armholes and also attached to the man’s hose. The hose and sometimes shoes were also laced. Men were unable to dress without assistance, and dressing was such an onerous task that men were content to wear the same clothes all day long.

The doublet was the most extravagant piece for men, as it was often stuffed to be twice the size of the body inside. It was cut and slashed in order to show off the brightly colored lining of the expensive material. At the top of the doublet, two or three buttons were often left open and a delicate white shirt was pulled through; this later became the shirt and tie style of modern times.

Men used wool, hair, rags and bran for the padding of the doublet and hose. Elizabethan men also wore hats of all shapes and sizes, most commonly fashioned in velvet. Long feathers and jeweled clasps were often used to decorate hats.