Dissertation > History, geography > European History > Western Europe > Britain

Research on Clothing and Clothing Trade in16th-18th Century England

Author QiaoJuan
Tutor HuChuanSheng
School Nanjing Normal University
Course World History
Keywords England Clothing Clothing Trade
CLC K561
Type Master's thesis
Year 2013
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Early modern times in England was the period of16th to18th century. This period was the important stage of British modern transition. In this time, agricultural production increased steadily and grain output grew largely. Thus the farmers’income improved a lot. The building of the overseas trade and the enlarging of domestic market promoted the development of trade in England. With the increasing population, the demand of basic living material had grown. As one of the most important basic living material, the change of clothes reflected the change and development of clothing consumption and demand in social economy. Moreover, this is the change and development of clothing trade.The ethos of luxury prevailed in early modern England society. The noble’s dress did everything possible to be luxurious and the style of dress is variety. People in the middle and lower ranks did their best to pursue the fashion of clothes. The style of common people’s dress was no longer just simple or practical. They separated the fashion and beautiful dress for festivals from every day working dress. Although their costumes became more and more soft, comfortable and colorful.The increasing demand of garments enlarged the clothing market. Meanwhile, it changed the clothing trade style. The traditional way-integration of manufacture and selling begun to represented by the separation of production and selling. The expending of navy and army and the increasing of overseas colonial trade and the enlarging amounts of church-run charity schools, workhouses, foundling hospitals made the clothes market prosperous. To many people in the middle and lower ranks, especially to most farmers, ready-made clothes was too expensive to afford. Second hand clothes in high quality and low price was good supplement. Second hand clothes satisfied the need of people who in lower social status and lower income. The popularity of second hand clothes created an active second hand clothes trading market. The clothing trade in early modern England made the social active, and added much money to social fortune. The exploring to clothing trade in early modern England provided a new entry point for research of the economy in transformation period of society about England. This also did better to our full-scale study of social progress.

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