June 1538: Marie de Guise discovers Scottish fashion

Mary of Guise

Scottish fashion in the mid 16th century

Marie de Guise-Lorraine 1515-2015

After an exhausting sea crossing from France, Marie arrived on a sandy beach on the Scottish East coast near Crail. She was accompanied by the duke of Guise her father, her sister Louise, her ladies in waiting and many Frenchmen. All disembarked the galleys and moved towards castle Balcomie, probably passing fishermen, villagers and townspeople. How did these Scottish people look, and what did they wear in the summer of 1538?

The nobility of Scotland was well informed of the latest French fashion. James V Stuart, Marie’s royal husband, had seen Renaissance splendour in dress and architecture whilst travelling trough France the previous year. He had brought to Scotland his first wife Madeleine, daughter of the French king, and Scottish noblemen and women likely wore French fashion, probably with a local touch in colours, materials or dress design.

No pictures of any everyday clothes worn in Scotland at the…

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