"a splendor in accordance with the taste of the age, but greatly beyond what was allowed by the sumptuary regulations of the colony"
Puritan Maiden a.1905
Public DomainPuritan Maiden a.1905 - Credit: George Henry Boughton

According to these regulations, clothing was not to step beyond its basic purposes of keeping out the cold and covering up the body, “because there is an ignominious shame, not only on some parts, but over the whole body.” Any show of ostentation was frowned upon and following fashion was deemed blasphemous, for “the first and principal care, ought to be for the adorning of the soul with grace.” To read more about the codes governing puritan dress, click here.

A modestly dressed puritan maiden
Public DomainA modestly dressed puritan maiden - Credit: Thomas Hicks