December 8, 2022

The Typical Tudor: Reconstructing Everyday 16th Century Dress

The Typical Tudor is now available to buy online in The Tudor Tailor’s Etsy store at £58 plus P&P. The good news is that readers in the UK and US still have a chance to receive the book/s before Christmas (postal strikes and seasonal delays allowing). The last date for orders is Thursday 15 December. You’ll need be quick if you are ordering in the US as there is very limited stock available for speedy shipping. Excellent reviews are already starting to roll in from a wide range of our patient preorderers (see below) and it sounds like it has been well worth the wait.

The new book presents a fascinating introduction to the range of garments worn by ordinary men and women 500 years ago. It diligently cross-references three categories of evidence: extant archaeological and historical items; images such as paintings, effigies and woodcuts; and descriptions from contemporary documents. A statistically rigorous analysis of more than 57,000 items of dress drawn from wills, inventories, probate accounts and household expenses identifies the most popular garments with trends in textiles and colours and interprets them in the context of the acts of apparel and royal proclamations on clothes as they applied to those below knights in Tudor society. The evidence shows that, contrary to popular beliefs at the time and of later historians, most people observed the regulations. Little-known images from museums, churches and archives serve to illustrate a range of garments in detail while more familiar pictorial sources are presented as evidence for construction techniques. 

The book features sewing patterns and knitting instructions for more than 50 garments and headwear which are accessible to a wide range of makers. Detailed drawings and diagrams show styles appropriate to ordinary people. The specially commissioned photographs of reconstructions illustrate how the garments contribute to accurate clothing ensembles for specific date ranges.

The Typical Tudor demonstrates an innovative interdisciplinary approach to dress research by combining a statistical survey, art historical and archaeological science methods, and craft expertise. It builds on Jane and Ninya’s previous work by interpreting a variety of sources with an academic understanding of the social context of dress and a practical understanding of historical tailoring.

Historians and archaeologists, designers and costumiers, educators and reenactors will find The Typical Tudor a robust and essential guide for a range of reconstruction projects from scholarly studies to festival events.

What our readers are saying:

What a wonderful amazing book! I'm sat here enjoying each page for its research and presentation. It will be invaluable for those who make such authentic clothing or people like me who had the job of getting across to the public how truly creative our Tudor ancestors were.”

It lives up to expectation and more.”

What a fantastic book this is, SO much detail in it!”

“Thank you. Well worth the wait. Have looked at the pictures will have a go at the words soon and may even try making something for the first time!

The Typical Tudor is available to buy here.

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