Elizabethan Hair Adornments

Throughout Queen Elizabeth I's reign in England, her hairstyles transformed the trends of the era. Towards the end of her time between 1585 and 1605 periwigs had become popular. Periwigs were made of up curls or frizzed hair styled into tiny wave. They were built into an array of shapes, often symmetrical with a pronounced peak in the centre of the forehead. (Keyes, 1967, Chpt 1585-1605) These precious wigs were often decorated with various adornments: pearls, jewels, feathers and lace. As well as these decorations, the periwigs also held bonnet sized hairs to compliment the heart-shaped hair shape. The hair details often reflected materials and decor in the outfits - for example, the three images on the right above of Elizabeth show pearls in her fiery red hair whilst also being on her elaborate dresses. Also, in the image of the Elizabethan girl on the left her pillbox hat has a complimentary material to go with her formal attire.

A Caul
Hair nets were often incorporated with the elaborate curls. Also known as 'cauls', they were used to cover the back of the hair that could be held up as they often did not cut their hair and this became a useful way to keep the hair out of the face. Caul's were made out of fabric and covered by netting which was often adorned with beads or pearls.

French Hood
Variations of headbands and hats were very common in this era. Elizabeth's mother Anne Boleyn introduced the 'French Hood' which became popular throughout the Elizabethan era. The French Hood is a crescent-shaped head band that rests on on the back on the head with the half-moon shape sloping away from the face. Adornments such as pearls, lace or glass jewels with a veil sometimes covering the back of the hair. An 'Atifet' is a heart-shaped variation of a French Hood. Lace trimmings were more common on atifet's and they often matched the ruffs around the wearer's neck. Pillbox hats were another style of adornment that was worn on the head. It is a small hat that would be worn either to the side or at the back of the head. For the poorer community, a 'Coif' was the most common hat made out of plain white linen and were tied up under the chin. Coif's could also be used as a cap to keep the hair in place for more elaborate headpieces. 
An Atifet                               Elizabethan Pill Box Hat                                 A Coif


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