17th Century Fringes

I'm fed up with fellow re-enactors (and actresses in period pieces) sporting heavy modern fringes (bangs for any of our American cousins reading). Yes, you could argue that the mid 17th century was one of the few times before the 20th Century when fringes were fashionable for women to wear - for most of history female hair was centre parted or brushed straight back from the forehead. But pictorial evidence shows us that fashionable 17th Century fringes were short lived - being worn c1625 to 1640 -and had few similarities with fringes worn today.


Early 1630s

Fringes during the later 1620s and earlier 1630s were usually short and sparse. If any curls were present they were identical and carefully placed.


Mid 1630s

Fringes are still fine, but longer, with individual strands styled into ringlets around the face. This creates a more casual, carefree look.


Late 1630s

Curls and ringlets are still popular but are less defined, and become sparser. Some ladies sport single curls in the middle of their foreheads, and some brave souls dare to go without fringes at all. By 1640 fringes - either straight or curly - had gone out of fashion.



What fringes were not were heavy, eyebrow skimming or blunt cut. The images above also demonstrate how popular simple, large pearl jewellery was.


All images used found on Grand Ladies website - https://www.gogmsite.net/ - a great resource for contemporary images (mainly portraits) of what fashion women wore, from c1480 to c1914.