Be You Cavalier or Roundhead?
Being a jovial test for yourself and others
to find which side you are on solely based on fashion

After the crisis of the English Civil Wars, England is distracted from the French fashion fever that eventually causes fashion to be dictated by the winners, with their Puritanical overtones. While the conflict was religious, it was equally as intense in the clash of styles of the two sides once the King lost and Cromwell took over. In the 1650's it was not safe to proclaim too loudly the fact that you were a staunch supporter of the lost Royalist cause, but the Restoration of 1660 brought French fashion back to England once again.

Therefore here is a short quiz to take, or to give to those who you are unsure of their loyalties, to find out which side one is really on, at least with regards to fashion. Now while we all know that it is quite wrong that all Cavaliers dressed as swashbuckling fops, and all Roundheads were straight-laced Puritans of drab colors, but this should still give everyone a laugh or two.

  1. Are your hats...
    a) Like your counterparts' in Germany: being tall, dark, steeple-brimmed?
    b) Dashing, low-crowned, floppy toppers trimmed with an overabundance of ostrich plumes and cocked at a jaunty angle?

  2. Is your collar...
    a) Plain white and starched, drooping modestly over your chest?
    b) A wide, unstarched falling band with a deep edging of lace?

  3. Under your doublet or coat, do you wear...
    a) A heavy leather vest, with hook-and-eye closures to protect expensive gold or silver buttons?
    b) A billowing shirt, of fine fabric, with massive lacy cuffs draped over your hands?

  4. Are your breeches...
    a) Black and baggy, fitted about the knee, and fastened with simple buttons?
    b) Gaily-colored, decorated with braid, and cuffed at the knee, where they are trimmed with ribbons or lace?

  5. Are your hose and boots...
    a) Made of rough wool and leather, respectively, in utilitarian designs?
    b) Made of fine silk or linen, worn with high-heeled bucket-top boots trimmed with lace or ruffled boot hose?

  6. Do you accessorize with...
    a) A bible, dull orange sash, a staff and a turkey, or an apron, if you're female?
    b) A cane, or sword hung from a tasseled cord or fringed baldric belt, respectively, with a wide richly colored red sash, and a single, pearl earring after your model, Charles I, removing it on the occasion of his beheading?

  7. Is your hair...
    a) Short and uncurled if you're male, or if you're a woman, entirely concealed in a plain serviceable white cap?
    b) Long and worn in gleaming ringlets with a lovelock - an extra-long curl with a bow arranged cunningly at one side?

  8. Are your favorite colors...
    a) Black, mauve, brown, and gray, edged by purest white?
    b) The flashier the better?

  9. Is your cape...
    a) Scarlet or black, designed for warmth?
    b) A splash of color, worn over one shoulder for an air of drama and mystery?

  10. Are your clothes trimmed with...
    a) Nothing - lace is a 'temptation of Satan'; at most you'll risk a little embroidery, but only of Biblical quotations?
    b) The sky's the limit?

  • Bonus Question:
    Is your worst fear...
    a) That someone will remark on your appearance?
    b) That no one will notice you?

  • Double Bonus Question:
    While in public do you appear...
    a) Stern-faced and scowling, much like you are constipated?
    b) Gay and free, answering everyone with "Yes Sweetheart...", and easily being distracted by butterflies while giving drill commands thus leaving soldiers at 'Charge' posture for hours?

  • Triple Bonus Question:
    Whenever you can, especially at night, do you...
    a) Stay at home and say your appropriate prayers before turning in early for a fresh start of a new day, especially on Saturday evening so you can attend an early mass?
    b) Head to the nearest tavern, often after a large a overly filling meal where there was much wastage, grab a tankard of strong drink, and while losing yourself in exactly how many you put away (usually as long as there is money in your purse), dance a jig (and maybe even walk through a fire) and sing every song you know (twice) until the wee hours of the morning - then get up, purge, and be ready to do it all again?


Scoring

If you chose 'a' in most cases, you are a Puritan, and as such you should be supporting the Parliamentarian cause. In addition, you will not have fun, but your mode of dress will be immortalized by the sculptor Gaudens, and in 350 years it will be ranked the forty-eighth most popular style of dress for Halloween by People magazine.

If most of your answers were 'b', it means that because of Cromwell's final victory in 1653, it will make you an endangered species, which is until the Restoration, where the species flourished once again!

In addition, for every 'b' you answered on the bonus questions, you are deserving of being an officer, with each 'b' chosen meaning that you are very qualified, and will probably earn an even higher rank than sergeant in the Royalist Army.


© Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, & 2002 The English Civil War Society of America. All rights reserved.