French Boys Clothes: Chronology--17th Century

Figure 1.--Some of the best depictions of 17th century French peasant clothing is the work done by the Nain brothers.

HBC has only limited information on French fashions during the 17th century. The best known fashions are the rich, elaborate Cavelier fashions of the nobility. Less well known are the course clothing of flax and wool worn by the poorer classess. Cotton which in the 18th century was produced by the increasingly efficent processes of the Industrial Revolution became an important fabric for the humble classess, was still reltively expensive in the 17th century. Period artists provide detailed depictions of both classes. We note portraits of Louis XIV and his retinue which included youthful nobels, all dressed in the same elaborate Cavalier style. Some of the most detailed depictions of peasant dress were genre paintings by the Nain brothers. Here we do not note any destinctive age-graded children's clothing. Children were more likely to go barefoot than adults.

Christopher Wagner

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Created: Secember 2, 2002
Last updated: December 2, 2002