We’re celebrating our birthday (the Frock Flicks blog is one year old this week!) with a look back at some of our most popular posts. Like us, you’re clearly big fans of movies and TV series set in the 16th century. Oh yes, we especially love the Elizabethan and Tudor periods on screen. But alas, even productions with the best intentions get some things wrong. Usually the same things.
Two of our most popular blog posts are all about what movies and TV fail at when it comes to this historical era — first, during Snark Week, we counted down the 9 Things Movies Get Wrong in 16th Century Costume and later, yet just as popular was our Top 5 Costume Inaccuracies in Wolf Hall, about the BBC’s 2015 miniseries. The first piece was a general incitement of all the inaccuracies, shortcuts, cliches, and falsehoods portrayed on screen, while the second one showed how even a TV show that tried to be super-duper historically accurate in so many ways still trotted out a few of those same old errors seen in more schlocky productions.
So let’s review some of the top offenders in 16th-century costume on film and TV…
1. French Hoods
Why does it have to be so hard? We have hundreds of portraits, so we should know how they look and how they were worn by all the upper-class French and English ladies. A French hood should not stick straight up from the head, and the wearer’s hair should be covered by the “hood” part of the headgear. And it’s not just a headband.
Men need them in the 16th century, especially in England. They don’t have to be gigantic, but they should be somewhere in there, especially earlier in the century. A Tudor or Elizabethan man without a codpiece is, uh, lacking, to say the least.
3. Men’s Shoes
If a man is riding a horse or doing outdoorsy things, sure he would be wearing boots. But otherwise, if he’s an upper-class gentleman, it’s far more likely that he’s going to be wearing shoes, not boots.
This is, of course, the tip of the proverbial iceberg! Check out the original posts and the comments for all the dirt.
What irks you about 16th-century costumes in historical movies and TV series?