In sixteenth-century England, as in our own culture, women’s clothing was clearly distinguished from men’s. Until the late Middle Ages, however, men and women had worn similar long, loose robes. During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, clothing had been increasingly differentiated to emphasize and produce embodied sexual difference. Men’s robes were shortened to reveal their legs, and the codpiece was invented. Women acquired tight bodices that altered the shape of their breasts and low-cut gowns to display them, and their skirts, which remained long, were widened. In addition to producing visible signs of sexual difference, changes in clothing also produced differences in daily behavior. It was during this same period, for instance, that European women began using sidesaddles, a fashion that was brought to England near the end of the fourteenth century by Anne of Bohemia when she married the English king Richard II. However, gender was not the only or even the most important distinction that early modern English clothing enforced. In fact, although sumptuary laws contained elaborate regulations of male attire to ensure that men’s clothing would express their exact place in the social hierarchy, there was no legislation against cross-dressing. In late sixteenth and early seventeenth-century England, some women adopted the fashion of masculine attire, and although moralists strenuously condemned the practice, it was never made illegal. Moreover, male and female children were dressed in the same attire—in skirts—until they reached the age of seven. Apparently, the physical difference that separated boys from girls was not considered sufficiently significant to be marked by clothing, but the difference in social rank that separated one man from another was so important that clothing which obscured it was forbidden by law. Another indication that both age and status were at least as important as gender in determining an individual’s identity is the fact that medical casebooks referred to children of both sexes as ‘it’ until they reached puberty. In our own culture, by contrast, clothing is gendered from birth, but it is less reliable as an indicator of status and rank.