Thursday, July 14, 2016

Jane's Reign : Day Six

Hi there! We're on day six out of nine in Jane's Reign! Don't forget, you can still enter our contests for any of the first eight days, (especially that one where you spread the word about Jane's Reign--that one you can do multiple times) so keep checking back!

Today we planned to tell you a little bit about the fashion in the time of Tudor England. And we will, we so will. But in preparing for our contest today (which involves either dressing up or Photoshopping), we ended up Photoshopping ourselves into paintings of our characters, and we have not stopped laughing about this ever since. So to illustrate what we mean about the fashion of 1553, I give you. . .

 Jodi as Lady Jane Grey

She's very sneaky about books.
A couple of things to note: This is a fairly elaborate version of the lady's dress in the sixteenth century. (It actually comes from a painting of young Princess Elizabeth. The key elements of these gowns were the square, open necklines, the super stiff front bodice piece, (which does NOT look comfortable) and inner and outer layers in both the gown and the sleeves. No playing tennis in this dress! Movement actually seems pretty difficult altogether. The women also wore these moon-shaped headpieces / hoods, with long black cloth in the back to cover their hair. Jewelry: a tons of rings, a pearl-encrusted belt, a HUGE broach and a double looping of pearls around the neck.

Fetching, am I right?

Let's move on to the men. Modeling the outfit and a super sexy widow's peak is . . .

Brodi as Gifford (Guildford) Dudley

She is rocking those tights.
This ensemble features a precursor to the BIG SHAKESPEAREAN RUFF, both at the neck and the wrists. There's a lot of textures in these outfits: a black velvet doublet, a satin overshirt, a fur-lined cape, and silk tights. Yes, it was men who first wore tights--and high heels, for that matter.  For us, though, the item that stands out of all of this finery is the pumpkin pants. The bigger the better, it seems, to make your thighs look enormous.

What's so striking to us looking at the way people dressed in this time is how very different their sense of body image was. They wanted their bodies to appear BIGGER and to be heavier, which is a pretty foreign to us. And no one wanted to look bigger and badder than the king.

Cynthia Hand as Edward VI

In case you were wondering what Cynthia looks like as a 16-year-old boy

We should mention that Edward was not a big person. He probably weighed about a hundred pounds at this point. And this is easily like twenty-five pounds worth of clothes, right here. First he'd have to put on a fine silk or linen undershirt. Then a jewel-encrusted, gold-embroidered red brocade overshirt with little holes in it, where they would pull the undershirt to peak out from. Then the jacket piece, which had pumpkin sleeves and a white ermine fur collar, topped with a big gold chain. On his head he wears this flat hat that was popular at the time, with a puff of feathers sticking out to one side.

We get tired just looking at these outfits. Is it any wonder that all three of our characters feel a sense of relief when they are able to shed all this finery and dead weight.

(Have you stopped laughing at our silly pictures yet? Because we haven't. . .)

And now . . .

The Contest

For today's contest, we'd like you to one of two things:

1. Dress up like a character from Tudor England, (any character, but one from MY LADY JANE would be especially wonderful) and email me your picture at


2. Photoshop your head on the body of a painting from this time period. (We thought this was SO. MUCH. FUN.) Email us the picture.

The best, funniest, or most creative photo will win some swag and your very own piece of MY LADY JANE fashion: A knitted crown like the one Cynthia wears on tour and/or a pair of fingerless mitts, knitted by one of the Janies.

We can't wait to see what you'll come up with!

And we can't stop laughing!

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