Night of the Masked



Baroque is a Portuguese term, which referred to a pearl with an irregular shape. The period started around 1600 and ended around 1750 and included brilliant composers like Bach, Vivaldi and Handel, who pioneered new styles like the concerto and the sonata. This was also when people witnessed the explosion of the opera and classical ballet.

As to fashion, this era was highly ornate and extravagant in style.


Baroque Men


Men’s clothing accommodated the "cavalier style." They sported:

*High waists

*Wide lace collars

*Lace cuffs

*Knee-high boots, often turned down with lace

*Wide-brimmed hats with feathers

*Capes thrown over one shoulder

*Pantaloon breeches that fell to or below the knee and were loose

*Rhinegrave breeches which were long, loose, overly decorated pants ending just below the knee (they looked like skirts) and were worn with lace ruffles called cannons just below them; and

* Long lace ruffles or jabots at the opening of the neckline

This was the kind of fashion you would associate with the "Three Musketeers." And further into the reign of Louis XIV, men’s fashion became flamboyant.

Men wore long, loose hair, pointed beards and moustaches. Square-toed, high-heeled shoes with rosettes replaced boots. Men curled their hair and grew it past the shoulders or simply wore wigs of the same style. 


Baroque Women


Women’s clothing became much less restricting. They wore:

*Flexible stays that replaced corsets

* Flowing lace collars that became popular

* Skirts that were layered or padded at the hips to produce a full, flowing look (Two skirts were usually worn:

the overskirt (manteau) open at the front and formed a train or bustle at the back, and an underskirt)

* Plunging neckline called décolletage, often accompanied with wide lace collars

* High waistlines

*Long, pointed bodices and stiff stomachers that came back during the latter half of the period

*Sleeves that were large, gathered at the wrist or elbow and often with turned-back lace cuffs

*Solid-colored silks and brocade that were used more often than patterned fabrics, and the decorations consisted only of lace, tied or rosette ribbons, limited embroidery, and simple pearl jewelry.
Hair were in tight curls at the forehead and on both sides of the head, called “heartbreakers”; however, hairstyles progressively became higher (fontage hairstyles)

Lips and cheeks were often rouged. Face patches made of silk and velvet and cut into small shapes became very popular. Shoes acquired pointed toes and high heels, but women’s shoes were ironically much simpler than men’s.

Jewelry was very simple during this period, consisting of single strings of pearls or diamonds or sometimes a ribbon tied around the neck.