How Did Women Dress in the 1600s?

During the 1600s, women typically wore light gowns that were fitted at the top and flared at the bottom; they wore garments that covered their shoulders and were somewhat squared off. In the middle of the 17th century, women began wearing shoes that were different than the ones that men wore.

The gowns that women wore were often heavily adorned. Depending on the income and the status of the family the woman belonged to, the gowns would be covered in lace or even gold embellishments. Lace was most common around the neckline of the gown and even petticoats became adorned with embellishments during the last part of the century. Gowns were often reflective of the lifestyle of the woman and were a direct visualization of how much or how little money a woman’s family had.

Until the 17th century, most women wore shoes that were similar or identical to shoes that men wore. During the 1600’s, women began wanting shoes that were different. Heels were added to the shoes and adornments often covered the shoes. Many women had shoes created to match the gowns they wore. Binding became popular for a short period during the century, because smaller feet were seen as more feminine and attractive than large feet.