Restoration Costumes

european styles of the late 17th century

Historical Background

  • Puritans worked to drive out "sinful" theatre before 1660.
  • "Restoration" refers to the time in Western Europe from 1660-1700.
  • King Charles II restored the English monarchy and theater.
  • He replaced drab/simple Puritan styles that dominated England with bright and over-the-top French styles.

Characteristics & Colors

  • Carolean fashion
  • Bright and vivid colors were extremely popular
  • Identified by excessive curls, ribbons, bows, puffs, flounces, feathers and the shortening of sleeves.
  • Ribbons and lace appeared everywhere from shoes to sleeves and on men’s walking sticks.
  • Lace was highly valued.
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Men VS. Women


  • They wore heels and pantyhose and applied makeup
  • Men’s fashion during Restoration was more extravagant than women’s
  • Periwigs (long-haired and natural color) and high heels
  • Short walking canes


  • Neckline plunges (collarbones were attractive)
  • It was considered attractive for women’s dress to appear disheveled and/or messy
  • Pearl chokers instead of long necklaces
  • Elbow-length gloves
  • Folding fans