Elizabeth Ist coat of arms

The Color White

Queen Elizabeth Ist

"Queen Elizabeth Ist"

The Meaning of the color White
The color and material used in Elizabethan Clothing was extremely important. People who could wear the color White was dictated by English Law. These were called the Sumptuary Laws. The colors of Elizabethan clothes, including the color White, provided information about the status of the man or woman wearing them.

This was not just dictated by the wealth of the person, it also reflected their social standing. The meaning of colors during the Elizabethan era represented many aspects of their life - the social, religious, biblical and Christian symbolism was reflected in the color White.

The Symbolic and Religious Meaning of the color WhiteSome interesting facts and information about the symbolic, religious, Christian and Biblical meaning of the color White

  • The pristine white color was difficult and expensive to produce and therefore worn by the wealthy. Only those who could keep their clothes clean (they had servants) would wear the pristine white color
  • The symbolic meaning of the color white was purity and virtue
  • Queen Elizabeth is famously pictured in a pristine white gown conveying a visual image of the 'Virgin Queen'
  • White also has a Biblical meaning for holiness and is the Christian color for all high Holy Days and festival days of the Church Year, especially the seasons of Christmas and Easter
  • The Pope is associated with the color white
  • The color white is used for baptism, marriage, ordination, and dedications
  • The pristine white color should not be confused with the natural, cheap, off-white natural color of wool which was cheap to produce as was white linen
  • People who were allowed to wear the color white during the Elizabethan era, as decreed by the English Sumptuary Laws, were lower and upper classes
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