Discover the Fashion of 16th Century Irish Clothing

Discover the Fashion of 16th Century Irish Clothing

As we look back through history, clothing styles have changed drastically. Each era has had its unique fashion trends and clothing styles, influenced by the society and culture of the time. One such era that stands out in Irish history is the 16th century. The 16th-century Irish Clothing is a fascinating topic and provides a glimpse into the fashion trends popular during that time.

During the 16th century, Ireland was experiencing significant changes in terms of its politics, economy, and culture. This period also marked a shift in the clothing style of the Irish people. Fashion during this era was heavily influenced by the English Tudor dynasty, which had a significant impact on Irish clothing.

The target of 16th Century Irish Clothing was primarily to make a statement of one’s social status. The upper and middle-class Irish people wore elaborate and luxurious clothing made from expensive fabrics like silk, gold, and velvet. Men commonly wore short kilts, while women wore long skirts with tight-fitting bodices. Jewelry and other accessories were also an essential part of their daily attire.

In contrast, commoners during the 16th century wore simple clothing made of wool or linen. The clothing was plain in design and lacked the luxurious embellishments found in the clothing of the upper classes. Peasant men wore long tunics called Leine, which extended below their knees, while women wore long dresses known as Kirtles.

In conclusion, 16th-century Irish clothing was diverse, reflecting the socioeconomic disparities in Irish society. While the wealthy adorned themselves with expensive fabrics and lavish designs, commoners dressed in simple clothing with no embellishments. This time in history is a reminder of how the clothes we wear can reveal much about our beliefs, values, and social structures. With the passage of time, the fashion trends of the 16th century may now seem outdated, but they will always remain a significant part of Irish history.

16th Century Irish Clothing
“16th Century Irish Clothing” ~ bbaz


16th century was an interesting period for Irish clothing. It was a time of significant social and economic changes in Ireland. And, the attire of the people reflected these changes. In this blog post, we explore the different aspects of 16th Century Irish Clothing.

Clothing in Medieval Ireland

In the early 16th century, Ireland was predominantly rural, and the clothing style reflected this. The dress code for men typically included a long tunic-like garment called a léine, which went down to their knees. They also wore kilts or breeches with long stockings. Women, on the other hand, wore long gowns that reached the floor. These clothes were made of wool, linen, and leather.

Influence from Elizabethan England

In the second half of the 16th century, Ireland came under the influence of Elizabethan England. This had a significant impact on Irish clothing. Elizabethan fashions found their way into Ireland, and wealthy Irish people began to dress like their English counterparts. This meant that they started to wear clothes made from finer fabrics like silk and velvet. They also began to adopt accessories like lace collars and cuffs.

The Advent of Tailored Clothing

In the late 16th century, there was an emergence of tailored clothing in Ireland. People began to wear more fitted clothes that better reflected their body shape. This was especially true for men who started to wear doublets and jerkins. Women also began to wear “bodices” that laced up at the front.

The Role of Color in Clothing

In medieval Ireland, people mainly wore natural-colored clothing, like brown, gray, and beige. But, as society changed in the later years, so did dress codes. Colorful clothing became popular, with more vibrant colors being worn by the wealthy.

Hairstyles and Headwear

Hairstyles and headwear also played a vital role in Irish fashion. Women in the early 16th century wore their hair in long braids or plaited it under a veil. However, by the end of the century, both men and women wore wigs made from real hair or wool. The wealthy also began to wear hats and caps adorned with feathers and jewels.

Footwear in 16th Century Ireland

Footwear in 16th century Ireland was relatively simple. Men typically wore leather boots or shoes, while women wore leather or cloth shoes. The wealthy also began to wear shoes with high heels and embroidered patterns.


The 16th century was a time of great change for Irish clothing. As the country became more prosperous and came under English influences, so did the dress code. From natural-colored woolen garments to vibrant silk dresses and tailored clothing, Irish fashion evolved with society.

Discover the Fashion of 16th Century Irish Clothing

16th Century Irish Clothing

In the 16th century, Ireland was under the Tudor conquest and was heavily influenced by English fashion. However, Irish clothing still retained its unique style and character. The traditional dress for both men and women consisted of a long tunic, worn over breathable trousers or skirts, and finished with a cloak or mantle made of wool or linen. These garments were often dyed in bold colors like blues, greens, and reds. Men also wore brat, a kind of woolen cloak that was draped over the right shoulder and fastened at the front.


The Target of 16th Century Irish Clothing

During my recent visit to Ireland, I had the opportunity to explore the local museums that exhibited ancient Irish clothing. It was fascinating to learn how clothing played a significant role in the socio-economic status of the Irish people during the period of Tudor conquest. For example, the wealthy class wore elaborate dresses made of expensive materials such as silk and velvet, adorned with embroidery and lace. Peasants, on the other hand, wore simple clothes made of wool or linen. The colors and designs of their dresses also identified their social class and occupation.

The 16th century Irish clothing also represented the country’s cultural identity and traditions. The use of natural materials and dyes reflects the connection to nature, while the intricate designs and patterns displayed the Irish craftsmanship. Despite being heavily influenced by English fashion, Irish clothing managed to retain its unique style and symbolism. Today, several Irish clothing brands are inspired by the traditional dress of 16th century Ireland, incorporating elements such as Celtic knotwork designs and natural fibers.

In conclusion, 16th century Irish clothing is not only fascinating in terms of its style and design but also highlights the socio-economic and cultural history of the country. The blend of tradition, symbolism, and practicality make it a unique aspect of Irish heritage.

Have you ever wondered what clothing looked like in Ireland during the 16th century? Let’s explore this fascinating topic and learn more about the fashion of the time.

Question and Answer

Q: What were the most common fabrics used for clothing in 16th century Ireland?

A: The most common fabrics used were wool and linen. These were often dyed using natural dyes such as woad, which produced a blue color.

Q: What types of clothing were worn by men and women during this time?

A: Men typically wore shirts, tunics, jackets, and breeches. Women wore dresses, skirts, blouses, and bodices. Both men and women wore cloaks and hats as well.

Q: Were there any specific colors or patterns that were popular in 16th century Irish clothing?

A: Green was a popular color, especially for men. Stripes and checks were also common patterns for clothing during this time period.

Q: How did social status affect clothing choices in 16th century Ireland?

A: Wealthy individuals could afford more elaborate and expensive clothing made from finer materials such as silk. Lower class individuals often wore simpler, plain clothing made from wool or linen.

Conclusion of 16th Century Irish Clothing

In conclusion, clothing in 16th century Ireland was largely made from wool and linen and dyed using natural dyes. Men and women wore different types of clothing, with green being a popular color for men and stripes and checks being common patterns. Social status played a role in determining the quality and style of clothing worn by individuals during this time period.

16th Century Irish Clothing: A Glimpse into the Past

Irish clothing during the 16th century was heavily influenced by the Gaelic culture and the arrival of the English. The clothes they wore were made from natural fibers such as wool, linen, and silk. These materials were readily available and were often dyed with natural pigments to create a variety of colors. The clothing of men and women differed in style and design, with both using different fabrics and colors.The men wore tunics, breeches, and cloaks made of wool or linen. The tunics were knee-length and had long sleeves, while the breeches were tight-fitting and reached the knee. The cloaks were worn over the tunic and breeches and were made of wool, with a hood for protection against the elements. They also wore leather shoes or boots.Women, on the other hand, wore long dresses called leine that were made of linen or silk. The dresses were ankle-length and had long sleeves. They also wore an overdress called a brat, which was made of wool or linen and was draped over the shoulders. They wore leather shoes or soft shoes made of fabric.

The Target of Irish Clothing during the 16th Century

During my visit to Ireland, I was fascinated by the traditional clothing worn by the locals. I learned that the clothing worn during the 16th century was not only for practical purposes but also reflected the social status and culture of the people. The colors and fabrics used in the clothing were significant, with each color representing a certain meaning. For instance, green was associated with the military and red with the nobility.The Irish also used their clothing to express their creativity and individuality. Women adorned their dresses with intricate embroidery and colorful designs, while men decorated their cloaks with intricate patterns. The clothing was not only functional but also a form of self-expression and identity.In conclusion, 16th-century Irish clothing was a reflection of the culture, tradition, and social status of the people. The clothes they wore were not only practical but also a form of self-expression and identity. Today, traditional Irish clothing is still celebrated and worn on special occasions, showcasing the rich history and heritage of the Irish people.