Fashion History

What My Ancestors Would’ve Worn: Guy De Rouffignac

We know a reasonable amount about Guy de Rouffignac and his life. We know that he was born in France but came over to England in the late 17th Century with his parents, during the reign of the French King Louis XIV. Guy and his family were Huguenots,  French Protestants. King Louis XIV wanted to convert them to Catholicism so many of them fled to other countries.

Portrait of a man with similar fashion

When Guy, his Father Rev. Jacob, and his Mother Madeline, arrived in England they were welcomed and accepted in by the Archbishop of Canterbury, which allowed them to live reasonably wealthy lives. Guy became a lecturer of anatomy at Surgeons Hall, London. He was sent away to study medicine in Holland. He lived on Fleet Street, too!

So we know that Guy was relatively wealthy and well educated. He lived between 1683-1747, mainly in England. So with this information, we can discover what Guy would’ve worn in his day to day life.

Let’s use the second half of his life as a basis for his fashion, say the 1730s. This would’ve been the earlier years of the Georgian Era in Britain, during the reign of King George II.

Fashion changed quite rapidly throughout the Georgian period, specifically for women but for men too. If you compare the fashion from the beginning and the end of the era you’re sure to see a big difference. The fashion for men throughout the 18th Century generally consisted of:

  • A linen shirt
  • Drawers
  • Hose (like long socks)
  • A Jabot (like a cravat)
  • Some sort of waistcoat
  • Breeches over drawers
  • A coat/jacket
  • A wig
  • A tri-corn hat (think pirate)


This was the average outfit for men, and I don’t think Guy was an exception to this. Because he had money his clothes were probably slightly richer than others, more colourful too. The jackets up until the 1730s went right down the knee and button all the way down to the hem. In the 1730s the jackets flared a little at the bottom and only buttoned down to waist level.

This is what I think Guy de Rouffignac would’ve worn in the 1730s.




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