The Seventeenth-Century Fashion Crisis

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:
The Seventeenth-Century Fashion Crisis

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This chapter covers the republican, Whig, mercantilist, and Puritan ideologies that opposed and undermined Stuart court culture and constructed a new political culture of masculinity, one that influenced the introduction of the three-piece suit. It notes that the most visually obvious aspect of the general crisis in seventeenth-century England was the crisis of fashion, which was informed by political, social, religious, and economic events, and in turn helped give them shape. It further notes that contemporaries saw the crown's conspicuous consumption as a threat to the moral, economic, and political well-being of the nation. It explains that a crisis in the public image of monarchy helped precipitate its fall in the English Civil War, helped redefine its meaning during the Restoration, and helped expel James II in the Glorious Revolution.

Keywords: republican; Whig; mercantilist; Puritan; ideologies; Stuart court culture; three-piece suit; general crisis; fashion

Chapter.  10281 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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