Seventeenth Century Headwear

well-groomed head was important for both men and women during the seventeenth century. At the beginning of the century fashionable men wore their natural hair quite long with lovelocks, or extra long strands of hair, dangling over their left shoulder. In addition, their faces were tufted with mustaches and beards. Kept neat with wax, men's mustaches and beards ranged from full and thick to pencil-thin lines. But when the hair of the French king Louis XIV (1638-1715) began to fall out in the late 1600s, the king and, subsequently, more and more men began to wear thick, flowing wigs. As the volume of hair on their heads increased, men wore smaller and smaller beards and mustaches, until most were clean-shaven by the end of the century.

At the beginning of the century men wore fancy versions of the copotain hats of the previous century, with high crowns and wide brims, often stuck with large plumes, or feathers. However, the preferred hat by the end of the century was a simple, low-crowned tricorne hat. Rather than elaborate decoration, the angle at which the tricorne sat on a man's head became a fashionable art.

The styles for women's hair changed less dramatically over the course of the century. Curled or frizzed, women's hair was worn swept up into high piles at the beginning of the century, fluffed at the sides during midcentury, and again, at the end of the century, worn quite tall, in towering fontange hairstyles. Jewels, lace, linen,

Headwear Mesopotamia
In the seventeenth century more and more men began to wear thick, flowing wigs. As the volume of hair on their heads increased, men wore smaller and smaller beards and mustaches, until most were clean-shaven by the end of the century. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

and ribbons, as well as occasional masculine-style hats, added to women's hairstyles.

Worn dark brown or black throughout most of the century, the hair of both men and women was heavily powdered by the end of the century, a trend that, with wigs, would dominate the next century.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Batterberry, Michael, and Ariane Batterberry. Fashion: The Mirror of History. New York: Greenwich House, 1977.

Bigelow, Marybelle S. Fashion in History: Apparel in the Western World. Minneapolis, MN: Burgess Publishing, 1970.

Corson, Richard. Fashions in Hair: The First Five Thousand Years. London, England: Peter Owen, 2001.

In 1680 the fontange became the most fashionable women's hairstyle and remained popular until the early eighteenth century. The style was created by the Duchesse de Fontanges, the mistress of the French king Louis XIV (1638-1715), when the hairstyle she was wearing at the time was ruined while out hunting. She hastily gathered her curled hair on top of her head with a ribbon from her outfit. The style enchanted the king and other women began copying the style. At first the style consisted of a small pile of curled hair with ribbons and bows just above the forehead. The fontange eventually grew into a high tower of curls piled over a wire foundation, sometimes with false curls. The style was so often worn with a starched linen frill in the front that the linen cap came to be called a fontange as well. By the end of the century these linen caps were starched and wired to create very tall headdresses.

The height of the fontange related to a general trend in the seventeenth century for fashion to emphasize a vertical line. As the fontange grew taller, women had great difficulty securing it on their heads. Then, when finally secured, the fontange often slipped to one side or another. Women found the instability of the fontange so

frustrating that many began suggesting that the heads of infant girls should be flattened to better hold the fontange later in life. No evidence of anyone actually doing this exists and the style fell from fashion in the early eighteenth century.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Corson, Richard. Fashions in Hair: The First Five Thousand Years. London, England: Peter Owen, 2001.

Payne, Blanche, Geitel Winakor, and Jane Farrell-Beck. The History of Costume. 2nd ed. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.

^Originating in Paris, France, the hurly-burly, also known as hurluberlu, became a fashionable hairstyle for women during the Baroque period of the seventeenth century, during which time people favored extravagant fashions. The hurly-burly consisted of shoulder length or shorter curls falling in ringlets from a dramatic center part to frame a woman's face. With its masses of curls, the hurly-burly was a dramatic expression of the many varieties of curls set with gum arabic, a sticky, resin-like substance extracted from African trees in the Acacia family, that were very popular among women at the time.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Kelly, Francis M., and Randolph Schwabe. Historic Costume: A Chronicle of Fashion in Western Europe, 1490—1790. 2nd ed. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1929.

Lovelocks were a small lock of hair that cascaded from the crown of the head down over the left shoulder. Lovelocks were longer

SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY HEADWEAR ■ 531

a a a TRICORNE HAT

Worn with one point forward, the tricorne hat emerged as the most fashionable hat for men for most of the eighteenth century. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

than the rest of the hair and were treated as special features. Men, and some women, wore lovelocks curled into a long ringlet, braided, or tied at the end with a ribbon or rosette, a ribbon twisted into the shape of a rose.

Although considered quite fashionable, many people detested lovelocks, considering them unnecessary and extravagant. In 1628 a sixty-three page book denouncing lovelocks was published. The author, William Prynne, railed against the wearing of lovelocks as "Unlovely, Sinfull, Unlawfull, Fantastique, Disolute, Singular, Incendiary, Ruffianly, Graceless, Whorish, Ungodly, Horred [Horrid], Strange, Outlandish, Impudent, Pernicious, Offensive, Ridiculous, Foolish, Childish, Unchristian, Hatefull, Exorbitant, Contemptible, Sloathfull, Unmanly, Depraving, Vaine, and Unseemly," according to Richard Corson in Fashions in Hair. Despite the strong opinions of those who did not wear them, lovelocks persisted throughout the seventeenth century, especially among young men.

Worn with one point forward, the tricorne hat emerged as the most fashionable hat for men for most of the eighteenth century. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Tricorne Mesopotamie

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Corson, Richard. Fashions in Hair: The First Five Years. London, England: Peter

Payne, Blanche, Geitel Winakor, and Jane Farrell-Beck. The History of Costume. 2nd ed. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Corson, Richard. Fashions in Hair: The First Five Years. London, England: Peter

Thousand Owen, 2001.

Payne, Blanche, Geitel Winakor, and Jane Farrell-Beck. The History of Costume. 2nd ed. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.

Tricorne Hat

Before large wigs became popular for men during the late seventeenth century, low-crowned, large-brimmed, plumed, or feathered, hats were worn. As wigs increased in size, plumes disappeared and the brims of hats were cocked up. When the brim was folded up in three places, the hat became a tricorne, a three-cornered hat. Generally dark in color, tricornes were often edged

with a gold braided trim after about 1675. Worn with one point forward, the tricorne hat emerged as the most fashionable hat for men in the late seventeenth and most of the eighteenth century. To be most stylish, men cocked, or tipped, their tricornes to one side or another.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Cassin-Scott, Jack. Costume and Fashion in Colour, 1550—1760. Introduction by Ruth M. Green. Dorset, England: Blandford Press, 1975.

Payne, Blanche, Geitel Winakor, and Jane Farrell-Beck. The History of Costume. 2nd ed. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.

Sichel, Marion. History of Men's Costume. New York: Chelsea House, 1984.

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