Nicole Kipar
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The 1660s
Restoration Costume Comes to Life

Part 2, Page 5
Gentry and Aristocracy, Women: Stays

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5
Lower Class Women and Men Gentry and Aristocracy, Women Gentry and Aristocracy, Men The Whole Look: Accessories Costume Focus: Women's Headwear & Neckwear

All of the following images open in a new window for a detailed study. They are details taken from paintings.

First of all please bear in mind that all of the ladies below are taken from Dutch paintings. Holland was a Republic and the class was the merchant class. The ladies shown below are wearing stays with bodices or informal jackets over it, and are obviously not dressed to go out and impress with their wealth. In the latter case gowns would be worn with whaleboned bodices instead of boned stays.

The stays below are all front laced. Clearly these middle class women wish to be able to dress themselves though in some paintings the maids are even present.

The front lacing peeks through the open jacket.
The stays are only half laced yet, open at the front. She had been feeding her baby.
The ribbons of her pink jacket can be seen at the neck and the pink stays underneath. It cannot be determined if they are front or back laced, the latter highly unlikely.
The front lacing is very visible underneath her open jacket that has red ribbons at the neck to close it.
This voluptuous lady has her stays front laced, visible under the wide open jacket with a ribbon bow at the neckline.  

Overview | Dresses | Bodice & Skirt | Jackets | Stays | Chemises | Decoration
Extant Garments | The Making of... | Underpinnings | The Dressing of a Lady

Nicole Kipar 1998