Henry VIII used his wardrobe, and that of his family and household, as a way of expressing his wealth and magnificence. This book encompasses the first detailed study of male and female dress worn at the court of Henry VIII (1509-47) and covers the dress of the King and his immediate family, the royal household and the broader court circle. Henry VIII's wardrobe is set in context by a study of Henry VII's clothes, court and household. As none of Henry VIII's clothes survive, evidence is drawn primarily from the great wardrobe accounts, wardrobe warrants, and inventories, and is interpreted using evidence from narrative sources, paintings, drawings and a small selection of contemporary garments, mainly from European collections. Key areas for consideration include the King's personal wardrobe, how Henry VIII's queens used their clothes to define their status, the textiles provided for the pattern of royal coronations, marriages and funerals and the role of the great wardrobe, wardrobe of the robes and laundry.
In addition there is information on the cut and construction of garments, materials and colours, dress given as gifts, the function of livery and the hierarchy of dress within the royal household, and the network of craftsmen working for the court. The text is accompanied by full transcripts of James Worsley's wardrobe books of 1516 and 1521 which provide a brief glimpse of the King's clothes. '