"the old-fashioned Elizabethan ruff"
A spectacular Elizabethan ruff
Public DomainA spectacular Elizabethan ruff - Credit: Michiel Jansz. van Mierevelt
A ruff
Creative Commons AttributionA ruff - Credit: Ana Pérez Valdés

The ruff was a removable piece of lace-lined fabric, folded into rococo frills, that adorned the neck of the fashionable Elizabethan. They gained popularity in the mid sixteenth century amongst men, women and children alike, and at the height of the trend could be over a foot wide. A century later, the craze had died down and the ruff was replaced with less constrictive wing collars and bands.