Renaissance (1450-1600): Renaissance fashion is one of the most identifiable periods in clothing history. Flowing skirts, extended corsets, and decorated hair became very popular with European women. Men sported hose and low-necked tunics. Rich velvet, brocade, and linen were the most popular fabric choices for men and women. A typical Renaissance man wore a doublet a snug-fitting jacket with or without sleeves. After that came the skirt, hose, and shoes. A longer, flowing jacket was worn on top of the doublet. Men's shoes were long and pointed, with leather clogs worn for outdoor use. Women wore a chemise and stockings made of wool, linen, cloth, or silk, depending on social class and status. Gowns were known for their full skirts and wide sleeves, and headdresses were very elaborate, featuring coiffed hair and padded hoods.
Elizabethan Era (1558-1603): During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, English fashion hit a peak of style and originality. The Elizabethan Age was at the height of the Renaissance, with theater, art, music, and literature thriving. Men and women's apparel became even more elaborate, with men wearing styles that were very square and severe and women sporting large, voluminous skirts framed by wire hoops secured with tape and ribbon. The iconic portraits of William Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth I are indicative of this period-ruffled collars and wide, stylized headdresses were symbols of being at the cutting-edge of fashion. For the first time in recent (apparel history), women wanted their clothing to be similar to that worn by men, with slim waists, broad shoulders, and puffy sleeves.
Baroque Era (1604-1682)
The Baroque period in clothing history began in Italy under the reign of the Sun King Louis XIV, and later spread to the rest of Europe. This era brought in ruffled lace or linen collars. Sleeves were often split to expose the fabric of the chemise or undershirt beneath the garment and ended at the elbow in order to show the forearm. Both men and women sported floppy, wide-brimmed hats and higher waists. Women's gowns were looser fitting than in the past, and were decorated minimally with embroidery and ribbons, unlike previous eras. Men wore doublets and utilitarian leather jackets called "jerkins," while hose was replaced by full, knee-length garments called "petticoat breeches," decorated with ribbon and bows.
Georgian Era (1714-1830)
Georgian fashion in the pre-French Revolution era is most recognizable by the expensive, exquisitely tailored garments of Marie Antoinette and her court. Lace, silk brocades, high heels, and very tall powdered wigs were popular with both men and women. Women wore panniers, or structured side hoops, under dresses to widen the silhouette. Men wore plain coats with curving tails and long, tight breeches. After the French Revolution, women's fashion became influenced by ancient Greece, and dresses were worn draped around the body and without corsets.
Victorian Era (1837-1901)
During the early Victorian era, women's dresses were pale and simple, with wide "mutton leg" sleeves. Standard undergarments were the petticoat, chemise, and corset. An early version of a t-shirt or undershirt was invented in this period. Popular accessories were bonnets, gloves, and cameo brooches. By the mid 19th century, wide sleeves were replaced with long, fitted sleeves and later "bell" sleeves. Necklines rose to parallel the modesty of the time period. Men wore informal, loose fitting "sack coats" during the day and a waistcoat or frockcoat with a top hat for formal attire.