Although the vast majority of the body was covered it was permissible for dresses to have plunging necklines. A necklace was often worn which drew even more attention to a woman's breasts. The necks and cuffs of gowns were decorated with silk or linen ruffs. The hair was often worn loose as a symbol of purity.

Although the vast majority of the body was covered it was permissible for dresses to have plunging necklines. A necklace was often worn which drew even more attention to a woman's breasts. The necks and cuffs of gowns were decorated with silk or linen ruffs. The hair was often worn loose as a symbol of purity.

Backside of Elizabethan gown, silk and velvet, embroidered with pearls, galon and gold roses. Ruff with supportasse. Costume made by Angela Mombers. Picture by Bart Kools.

Backside of Elizabethan gown, silk and velvet, embroidered with pearls, galon and gold roses. Ruff with supportasse. Costume made by Angela Mombers. Picture by Bart Kools.

Elizabethan period costume -  corseted elizabethan-shaped bodice constructed in an elaborate brocade, embellished with further beading and faux fur. The main skirt was in a deep cream silk, opening at the front to show a brocade panel, enhanced with pearls.

Elizabethan period costume - corseted elizabethan-shaped bodice constructed in an elaborate brocade, embellished with further beading and faux fur. The main skirt was in a deep cream silk, opening at the front to show a brocade panel, enhanced with pearls.

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