Elizabethan Costume:
History and Technique

By Margo Anderson


What, another Elizabethan costume page? Well, yes. While there is a wealth of information on the Web (see the links page) most of it is very specific. There aren't many that give a general overview of Elizabethan costume.

You will notice a Renaissance Faire slant to this page. Most of my costume work is done for participants at Faires, and I've included information I consider to be useful for that setting.

Unlike many costumers, though, I don't believe that "Ren Faire" should translate as "fantasy fest". I try to make my costumes as historically accurate as possible.

This is not to say that this site isn't for people who want to do fantasy costumes, or don't mind breaking the rules. I just think it's more interesting to break the rules when you know what they are, and make an informed decision to do so for theatrical, economic, or personal reasons, rather than out of ignorance. So let's have fun!


NOTE: This section is not finished. there are numerous illustrations waiting to be scanned, and, in some cases, drawn. I hope you enjoy what's here, and come back again to see what I've added.



  1. Social History

  2. Fabric: Period Fabric and Modern Alternatives Oops! the computer ate this section. I'll be finished rewriting it soon.

  3. Embellishment: Fabric Manipulation, Embroidery, and Trim

  4. Clothing Of the Lower Orders: Women

  5. Clothing Of the Lower Orders: Men

  6. Middle and Upper Class Clothing: Women

  7. Middle and Upper Class Clothing: Men

  8. Accesories: Hats, Shoes, Belts, and More

  9. Elizabethan Jewelry: What it Was, How to Find It or Make It

  10. Review: Simplicity's "Shakespeare In Love" Dress



This Elizabethan Costume Site is dedicated,in loving memory, to John Weber.