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What the well-dressed lutenist wears.
Measures about 15", fastens with ties in the back.
Beautiful Black and silver brocade.
My neck ruffs are in use at the North Carolina Museum of Natural History.
This style of neck ruff would be non gender specific and worn in the Mid-Renaissance (Early Elizabethan Era).
Normally ruffs were uncomfortable and were heavily starched, but this one is quite comfortable and mounted on a cotton band that is white.
If you choose to wear the open neckline for women, it normally would tuck into the front of the bodice.
This item is handmade.
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"In these days  a wondrous excess of Apparel had spread itself all over England, and the habit of our own country, though a peculiar vice incident to our apish nation, grew into such contempt, that men by their new fangled garments, and too gaudy apparel, discovered a certain deformity and arrogancy of mind whilst they jetted up and down in their silks glittering with gold and silver, either imbroidered or laced. The Queen, observing that, to maintain this excess, a great quantity of money was carried yearly out of the land, to buy silks and other outlandish [foreign] wares, to the impoverishing of the commonwealth; and that many of the nobility which might be of great service to the commonwealth and others that they might seem of noble extraction, did, to their own undoing, not only waste their estates, but also run so far in debt, that of necessity they came within the danger of law thereby, and attempted to raise troubles and commotions when they had wasted their own patrimonies; although she might have proceeded against them by the laws of King Henry VIII and Queen Mary, and thereby have fined them in great sums of money, yet she chose rather to deal with them by way of command. She commanded therefore by proclamation, that every man should within fourteen days conform himself for apparel to a certain prescribed fashion, lest they otherwise incur the severity of the laws; and she began the conformity herself in her own court. But, through the untowardness of the times, both this proclamation and the laws also gave way by little and little to this excess of pride, which grew daily more and more unreasonable."