No doubt some kind of informal wear has been around for a very long time, but as people opted to be portrayed in their finest clothes, they are seldom seen until around 1600. Then the English ladies started a trend to be shown in their more relaxed clothes, a jacket or waistcoat, with or without a matching petticoat. The clothes weren’t exactly simple, bot portraits and extant examples show lavish embroideries, silk, silverwork and spangles, but comparing to the formal fashion, these clothes were much simpler. They could be worn on their own, or with a loose gown over, paired with what kind of cuffs and collars that was fashionable.
Unfortunately there are no colour photos of this pink silk jacket.
The following two portraits may not depict embroidred clothes, but patterned fabric, but then they also portrays the transitional fashion of the 1620's with a waist that is rising from its natural place and a more relaxed fashion in general.
This coif has the same mebroidery as the jacket above.
Another knitted silk jacket.
|Linen jacket embrodered with black wool, dated 1610-1620 and skirt in fustian dated 1621-1640.|
They are abundant in portraits the first two decades of the 17th century, and then their popularity seem to have waned in the 1630's. Perhaps because the more formal fashion became simpler, the waistcoats from the 1620’s are cut in a way that points toward the jacket-like bodices of the 1630’s. The waistcoats could be either form-fitting or loose, the latter probably maternal wear. The embroidered linen jackets, either monochromes or in colour, seems to have been an English fashion, but there are several knitted waistcoats preserved as well, and they have also been found in Scandinavia. Given the climate in Sweden I think I would prefer knitted silk to linen, so perhaps that is no surpriseI wish that the portrait of Lady Elizabth Howard was larger, but her jacket and petticoat looks very much like the extant example above.
|Lady Elizabeth Howard, Countess of Banbury by Daniel Mytens, 1619|
|Linen jacket embrodered with black silk and metal thread, 1610-1620|
|Linen jacket embroidered with black silk, 1600-1625|
|Linen jacket embroidered with silk, 1620-1625|
|Waistcoat in pink taffeta embroidered with blue silk and spangles, 1610-1620|
|Lady Anne Montagu by Daniel Mytens, 1626|
|Cecilia Nevill, by Robert Peake, ca. 1617 |
|Linen jacket embroidered with silverwork, 1610-1615|
|Linen coif and forehard cloth embroiedered with silverwork, 1610-1615|
Two late examples from the 1630's.
|Fustoan jacket embrodered with silverwork and spangles, 1630's|
|Linen bodice embroidered with silverwork and spangles, 1625-1640|
|Linen jacket embroidered in silk and silver, 1590-1630|
|Silk jacket, embroidered with silk, 1600-1625|
|The Layton jacket in linen, embroidered with silk and silver, 1610-1615|
|Margaret Layton, wearing the jacket shown above, by Marcus Gheeraerts, ca. 1620|
|Linen jacket embroidered with silk, 1610-1620|
|Portrait of a lady, thought to be Elizabeth of Bohhemia, circle of William Larkin|
|Traditionally called Dorothy Cary, later Viscountess Rochford by William Larkin, 1614-1618|
|Amy Seymour by a follower of Robert Peake, 1623|
|Linen jacket embroidered with silk and silver, 1600-1625|
|Unknown woman by Roman Way, ca. 1605|
|Portrait of a young woman, ca. 1610|
|Anne Hawtrey by a follower of Robert Peake|
|Portrait of a lady by Marcus Gheeraerts the younger, 1615-1618|
Undated, but the hairstyle suggest 1620 or thereabout.
|Linen jacket striped with silver, 1605-1620|
|Knitted waistcoat, 1650-1700|
|Knitted silk waistcoat|
|Knitted silk jacket, 17th century|
|Knitted silk jacket, 1600-1620|
|Knitted in silk, last half of the 17th century|
|Knitted waistcoat silk and silver-gilt wrapped silk, and lined with linen, 1630-1700|
|Jacket knitted in silk, 1600-1625|
Another knitted silk jacket.