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The hair was now worn short and curled, and old people let the beard and whiskers grow. Broadbrimmed hats are sometimes seen. The doublets were often striped, or party-coloured, and had large sleeves. The tunics were long, and embroidered, and large copes frequently covered the back and shoulders; the inner tunic, and a splendidly-embroidered mantle, were adorned with cords, tassels, and jewelled bands. Long tunics, then called houppelandes, were a new fashion, imported, it is suggested by Mr. Planche, from Spain.
Henry revived most of the laws of his predecessors for restricting dress within reasonable limits; but the orders of a king, backed though they were by his ministers, were of no avail, and Fashion ruled with undisputed power over every rank and class in Britain. Gowns and mantles were allowed to be worn short by persons of and above the rank of a lord; all other gentlemen were obliged to wear them as low as the knees, or pay a fine of twenty shillings, which in many cases was most willingly forfeited to his majesty.
Shortly afterwards, robes cut and slashed, and ornamented with devices and flowers, were prohibited, and the unlucky tailor who should venture to make the said habiliments was to be imprisoned. Cloth of velvet and gold, and several of the rich furs, were also restricted to the use of the nobility, and various other laws on the same subject were enacted.
The gentlemen's costume in the reigns of the two succeeding Henrys, greatly resembled that of the time we have just recorded. Short gowns and long ones, tunics that swept the ground, or that reached only to the knees, immense sleeves, and hoods, formed the general features of dress. Buskins also became the fashion, and we now for the first time hear of short cotes. The hair was worn short, and beards nearly disappeared,
The ladies' dress altered very little, except that the cdte-hardie assumed rather more the shape of a spencer or jacket than of a waistcoat, and that the girdle, instead of slipping over the hips, encircled the waist, and gave a much more graceful appearance to the costume.
The reign of Henry the Fifth is noted in the annals of fashion for the introduction into England of that celebrated monstrosity, the horned headdress, so much admired by the ladies, and so much disliked and found fault with by writers and preachers of the fifteenth century. It was compared to a horned snail, to a gibbet, and to many other equally frightful objects. But the abuse levelled at their favourite coiffure only made the fair wearers more determined to persevere in continuing it, and the elegantes of England and France nobly resisted every effort to deprive their heads of so admired an ornament.
There were, however, some other coiffures worn, by those whose courage sank beneath the determined opposition the horned head-dress met with. As in the former reign, golden net-work round the head was sometimes seen, and a peaked coiffure, with a veil falling behind.
Towards the close of this reign, the sleeves of gowns became immensely long and wide, so that the ends often fell to the ground, and served as a muff to conceal the delicate hands; for as yet gloves were only worn by men.
When the cdte-hardie disappeared, ladies must have wondered at the metamorphosis in their shapes, occasioned by its banishment; for certainly it was any thing but an elegant garment, and probably its departure first suggested the wearing stays, which appeared towards the end of the fifteenth century.
THE TOILETTE IN ENGLAND.
It would require the pen of a Paradin or a Stubbs to enumerate the numberless grotesque, fantastic garments invented, imported, and worn, during the troublous times of King Henry the Sixth; and ("not to speak it profanely") the lords of the creation must have looked, at that period, wondrously like that illustrious and amusing personage, Punch.
That favourite head-gear, the chaperon, or hood, assumed the shape of the roll of a turban, with a point standing up from the middle, like a handle. Over this was sometimes thrown a long piece of linen, which hung to the ground, or was carried over the arm. Frequently by this streamer, called "the Tippet," the hood was allowed to hang negligently on the back of the wearer.
Chausses, made very tight, continued in fashion, and they were still seen of two colours. The bottines of the former reign grew longer in the leg, and the points shot out to a most amazing length, ending with a point like a needle. How the gallants of that time contrived to walk in them, must remain a mystery. Although they did not turn upwards, like the crakowes formerly mentioned, yet they were quite as ridiculous. Paradin, speaking of these poulaines, says: "When men became tired of these pointed shoes, they adopted others in their stead, denominated duck-bills, having a bill or beak before, of four or five fingers in length."
The cloaks and mantles were frequently covered with the most grotesque embroidery, in every variety of pattern. There were often circular arm-holes, trimmed with fur, and a small cape, cut round, and lying flat, permitting the throat to appear. The jacket, or doublet, allowed an under-vest or waistcoat to be seen, the tight sleeves of which peeped out from underneath the wide ones of the upper garment. Sometimes the doublet reached to the knees; but the mode of wearing it short was gradually becoming the fashion, and banishing the long gowns and tunics.
The horned coiffure still engrossed the admiration of the ladies, but several alterations were gradually made in it. Instead of standing out sideways to an immense width, it was raised upwards in the shape of a fork, with long lappets hanging down on either side. Other head-dresses were not unlike tocques. But in every coiffure the hair was carefully concealed; and