In a previous Colour File, I mentioned the Elizabethan Sumptuary Laws that dictated what colour clothes you were allowed to wear. According to the 1509 ‘Act Against Wearing of Costly Apparel’, only the king and his close family could wear gold clothes though concessions were made to dukes and marquises who could have it woven into garments (just not too much, ok?). Apparently the offending item would be confiscated and a fine slapped on you but in reality manpower issues meant you got away with it. From what I can see, the modern world is jam-packed with crimes against colour and most of those go unpunished too (“Beige and brown clothes? Hand ’em over!”). Where are the fashion police when you need them?
Martha, The Colour File x