Why Oversized Collars Were So Fashionable in the Elizabethan Era

Tom Blank of Weird History humorously explains why oversized collars were so fashionable in the Elizabethan era. These collars, known as ruffs, were highly important in terms of wealth and significance, as they were made of a great deal of expensive material, were difficult to wear, and did not allow for much movement, such as doing daily tasks.

The Elizabethan ruff is easily identified – a large, stiff, upright, usually lace collar that, in all honesty, looks uncomfortable and awkward. The Elizabethan collar that dominated fashion during the late 16th and 17th centuries, however, was an indicator of wealth, prestige, and social status.

Oversized Elizabethan Collar
Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.