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Tudor Costumes For Men

Updated on September 11, 2014
CuAllaidh profile image

Jeff Johnston is a medieval reenactor and avid history fan. He is also the publisher at Living History Publications.

The Legacy of Henry VIII

Henry VIII is probably the most well known king of England, and his daughter Elizabeth became, arguably, the most powerful queen England has ever seen. The Tudor family was a strong one, of that there can be no doubt, even if their dynasty was relatively short (in comparison to say the Plantagenets) they made their mark on England and ruled during some of its most turbulent times.

The fashion of the Tudor dynasty though was stunning. Layers and layers of soft velvet and fur, smooth silk. Fashion of the high court has always been interesting, but during the Tudor reign some of the most iconic dress became common place.

Image is public domain due to age

Henry VIII (image is public domain due to age)
Henry VIII (image is public domain due to age)

The Man that Defined An Age

Henry VIII wasn't the only Tudor king of England, but he was the best known. He was a man that changed the face of England for good or ill for all time. Known for his appetites and considered by history to be a glutton. He was more than all that though.

Henry VII is commonly remembered for one of two things, killing wives, and gluttony. Neither is particularly are entirely accurate, and he did a lot more than just eat and execute wives. He is responsible for turning England into a Protestant state, under his kingship Parliament gained more and more power that began to alter the political landscape of England into a parliamentary democracy. He was so much more than a fat man with six wives.

In the end he was a King like any other, sure of himself and truly believed he was ruler of England by divine right. Under his rule he split from Rome's religious rule and set up the Church of England which is known now as the Anglican Church and placed himself at its head equating himself with the pope, and he did it for the love of a woman, one of many in a long line of wives. Henry was a dangerous man to marry, of that there can be no doubt.

The Wives of Henry VIII

The one fact pretty much everyone knows is that Henry went through a scad of wives, and he killed many of them. Not many can name nor even the number the wives however. Henry was married six times and his wives were:

How the Marriage Ended
Catherine of Aragon
1509 - 1533
Anne Boleyn
1533 - 1536
Jane Seymour
1536 - 1537
Anne of Cleves
1540 Jan. - July
Kathryn Howard
1540 - 1542

My Own Tudor Costume

For the SCA

I am a historical re-enactor, I am a member of the Society for Creative Anachronisms (SCA). For the most part I play a 5th century Irishman, however I have recently taken an interest in rapier, or fencing, and since my 5th century persona would not have been a fencer I have decided to launch a new persona, this persona would be from the Tudor times, particularly the court of Henry VIII. I will use this page to document my progress and post pictures of my Tudor Garb as I go progress.

The Plan:

The plan is two staged, one to have garb that can easily be used as fencing garb, and two to have it transition-able to court garb easily enough. I will build a fencing armour undersuit to cover the base needs of fencing armour, then make the garb to fit over top of the Tudor costume. The plan it to have it so I can remove my hat, coat and waistcoat to fence in and still be fully suitable with pants, codpiece (ever important in Tudor garb), and shirt. My designs will be made using the book The Tudor Tailor.

Tudors on TV

The Tudors was a great four season show laying out the life and times of King Henry VIII. If you want to see some great examples of Tudor costuming, this series is the one to watch.

© 2012 Jeff Johnston

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    • profile image

      Margot_C 5 years ago

      Love the Tudors! Great lens!

    • Celticep profile image

      Celticep 5 years ago

      Henry VIII defined so much of our British history that we still see today

    • Teapixie LM profile image

      Tea Pixie 5 years ago

      I love the images and the info you have provided. A nice little intro to the period dress.

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 5 years ago

      Love the history facts, Thanks for a great lens Angel Blessings!

    • Spiderlily321 profile image

      Spiderlily321 5 years ago

      cool lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago


    • greencurator profile image

      greencurator 5 years ago

      It looks so aristocratic. A lot of men would really love to wear those tudor costumes.

    • shewins profile image

      shewins 5 years ago

      Henry VIII was certainly a fascinating figure. I loved the Tudors TV series, and the wardrobe was fabulous. What a wonderful option for a Halloween costume.

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 5 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      Love this era. You would look great in a Tudor era costume MeadMan.


    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I love this period in history. I think this lens is great! :)

    • CuAllaidh profile image

      Jeff Johnston 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @melissiaoliver: True enough, to a point. The drive to have a son, or more to the point, a male heir to pass the throne to and thus continue the Tudor Dynasty, was the major reason for the divorce with Catherine of Aragon, however he was attempting to do it without splitting from Rome, it was Anne Boleyn who pushed the envelope and convinced Henry to take more drastic measures. The Boleyn family already had Protestant leanings, Henry did not he was, up until the split (and indeed for the most part for a while after), a devout Catholic who was named "Defender of the Faith" for his actions to stamp out the budding protestantism in England at the time. The divorce attempts he was attempting before the affair with Anne Boleyn was really more what today we'd refer to as an annulment, and not divorce, he was attempting to get the church to admit his marriage to Catherine of Aragon was not legitimate and thus allow him to find a more suitable wife that could bear him an heir.

    • morgaann profile image

      morgaann 5 years ago

      you know,I really like this article,thank you for your share,I will always come back.

    • melissiaoliver profile image

      melissiaoliver 5 years ago

      Some great costume ideas here! (Just as a side point - Henry VIII didn't split from Rome directly because he wanted to marry Anne Boleyn; he split from Rome because he desperately wanted a legitimate son, that would secure the future of the Tudor dynastic succession. He had actually started considering divorce proceedings against Catherine of Aragon two years before Anne Boleyn came on the scene). :-)

    • rooshoo profile image

      rooshoo 5 years ago

      Cool lens. Love the hats.

    • profile image

      didif99 5 years ago

      Interesting for me! And I like the film :)

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      Boo-lessed ... Happy Halloween 2012!

    • octopen profile image

      octopen 5 years ago

      Great creative lens, thanks!

    • nickybutler profile image

      nickybutler 5 years ago

      Absolutely love Tudor style! Thanks for sharing a great, unique lens :)

    • profile image

      MarcellaCarlton 5 years ago

      I love this period in history. So I think this lens is great! You are not strange because you like it too. Good costumes!

    • profile image

      miaponzo 5 years ago

      I absolutely love this look! So goth, too! Blessed!

    • profile image

      SolarEclipseWatcher 5 years ago

      The hats are by far the best!

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 5 years ago

      I love these styles, great costume selections, congrats on being featured on squidoo front page too!

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Very rich looking fabrics and costumes. Nice lens.

    • Valerie P Davis profile image

      Valerie Proctor Davis 5 years ago from Birmingham, Alabama

      Yeah! Don that codpiece, baby!

      (I remember a mnemonic: "Divorced, beheaded, died. Divorced, beheaded, survived."

    • bwet profile image

      bwet 5 years ago

      Great costumes. My wife and sisters love costumes from that era

    • CuAllaidh profile image

      Jeff Johnston 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @Ardyn25: The Tudors is an excellent show.

    • CuAllaidh profile image

      Jeff Johnston 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @hntrssthmpsn: I don't really consider my social circles unusual ;)... but then again most of my family does consider my social circles to be odd :D

    • Ardyn25 profile image

      Ardyn25 5 years ago

      Love the history and the costume ideas! Awesome. The Tudors is one of my favorite shows!

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 5 years ago

      For some (probably revealing and unflattering) reason, I went through a phase of absolute obsession with Henry VIII when I was around nine or ten. I'm still a sucker for the look. It's a crying shame one has to seek out unusual social circles to see much of it these days ;)