The Topless Renaissance – French History, Women’s History

It’s our first-ever dead fashion: the Renaissance trend of showing one boob! Believe it or not, that was an actual fashion among court ladies in France and beyond. That’s right, we’re really classing it up today. We’re talking about the topless Renaissance.

Music and graphic design by Rachel Westhoff. Pics, references, and more at

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Boileu, J. (fl. 1678). A Just and Seasonable Reprehension of Naked Breasts and Shoulders Written by a Grave and Learned Papist. Cooke, E., Trans.

“Historian Reveals Janet Jackson’s ‘Accidental’ Exposing of her Breast was the Height of Fashion in the 1600s.” (Press Release). University of Warwick. Retrieved: Apr 29, 2018, from:

McShane, A. (2004, Mar). “Revealing Mary.” History Today, 54(3). Retrieved Apr 29, 2018, from:

Randolph, T. (1875). “The Muse’s Looking Glass.” Poetical and Dramatic Works of Thomas Randolph, Vol. 1. P. 240.

Thorpe, V. (2015, Jan. 24). “From Venus to Katie Price: A Brief History of the Breast.” The Guardian. Retrieved Apr 30, 2018, from:

2 thoughts on “The Topless Renaissance – French History, Women’s History

  1. There were topless male Tarzan movies before that Clark Gable film. I’m sure there are other examples but that is just the one that sprung to my mind.

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