People living right now may or may not know of the difference between fashion styles back in the Elizabethan Age and now. The styles have changed quite significantly. However, there is one trait that remains common between the fashion today and the trends way back when. During both now and the Elizabethan era, fashion reflects one's status, rank and wealth in the society.
During the times of Queen Elizabeth's reign, the fashions of the rich classes of women could be easily distinguished from the peasant women styles. The noble women classes changed and followed the style of the monarch ruling at the time. Women's fashion hadn't changed until Elizabeth had been on the throne for some time (Macquoid, 2). The first changes were the growth of the ruff, growth of the farthingale, and lengthening of the corsage (Macquoid, 2). After the middle of the century, German style began to fade as Spanish style took over. A more vertical line started to replace the angular line with horizontal accents (Russell, 226). However, the peasant women's clothes were more work-oriented. Poor women wore dresses that were simple and didn't hinder them when working ("Daily Life in the Elizabethan Era" 188). The clothes were very simple and not decorated in any way to make it look better. They didn't dress for style and didn't have a style that separated them from other women ("Elizabethan Fashions"). On the other hand, women nobles wore styles that were made of expensive fabrics that differed greatly from the peasants. Higher women could wear expensive velvet, silk, and satin ("Elizabethan Era Clothing of People"). They were the only people allowed to wear the expensive fabrics including gold, tissue, fur, lace, silver, tinseled satin, silk and cloth embroidered with gold, silver, pearl, or silk mixed with gold or silver ("Daily Life in the Elizabethan Era" 188). The peasant women's dresses were usually made out of canvas, leather or fustian.