Chapter

The Old Sartorial Regime, 1550–1688

David Kuchta

in The Three-Piece Suit and Modern Masculinity

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2002 | ISBN: 9780520214934
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520921399 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520214934.003.0002
The Old Sartorial Regime, 1550–1688

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This chapter discusses the attitudes toward clothing and ideals of masculinity created by the Tudor-Stuart court, as well as the royalist, Anglican, and mercantile ideologies that defended aristocratic conspicuous consumption. The chapter observes that in the old sartorial regime, the aristocratic aesthetic of conspicuous consumption went hand in hand with the growth of English monarchical power, precisely because a central aspect of the growth of monarchy in Tudor-Stuart England was the emergence of the court as a patron of culture and arbiter of style. It notes that with the rise of court cultures throughout Europe, the “courtier” became a central ideal for defining aristocratic masculinity. It notes that if defenders of court culture considered conspicuous consumption as a rightful and manly honor bestowed upon aristocratic men by their noble status and position at court, they looked to the cultural and magisterial authority of the crown to regulate consumption and prevent “general disorder”.

Keywords: masculinity; Tudor-Stuart court; Anglican; aristocratic; monarchy; Europe; crown

Chapter.  12294 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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