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CLOTHES & ACCESSORIES

ABOUT CLOTHES

ACQUIRING CLOTHES

CLOTHES FROM HISTORICAL ART

SUMPTUARY LAWS

GLOSSARY OF CLOTHING NAMES

CLOTHING CARE


ITEMS OF CLOTHING

COTES & TUNICS

KIRTLES

SURCOTES

HOUPPELANDES

15th CENTURY GOWNS

MATERNITY WEAR

CLOAKS & MANTLES

CORSETS

UNDERWEAR

SLEEPWEAR


DRESS
ACCESSORIES

TIPPETS

BELTS & GIRDLES

PURSES & BAGS

HEADWEAR

FOOTWEAR

JEWELLERY

GLOVES

APRONS

Medieval Clothing & Dress Accessories

Medieval clothing is an immensely broad term, covering the basic tunics of the 10th century, the cottes and bliants of the 12th and 13th centuries, the fitted kirtles, gowns and cotes of the 14th and 15th centuries to the massive houppelands and Burgundian gowns of the later 15th century.

What I will be primarily dealing with in this website is the 14th century woman's garments- what they looked like and how they were put together. There is a little general information either side as the lower classes clothing did not differ greatly during a few hundred years. There is a little about the clothing of other clothing.

The 14th century outfit comprised of many layers. The chemise or smock of fine linen was worn next to the skin along with any undergarments. The kirtle or gown, a fitted dress, was worn over that. A surcote of some kind was usually worn by women who could afford to do so as a fashion statement or by other women if it was cooler. This garment could have sleeves and be almost identical to the dress which was under it or be sideless to show off the garment underneath. For traveling, another more voluminous surcote might be added as well as a cloak.

As fabric was handmade and very expensive, clothing was seen as a status symbol- the richer the wearer, the better quality and more costly the fabric and the more voluminous the garments. Wealthier persons wore more layers, often lined with expensive furs in winter, while those with a more moderate income wore less layers which were often unlined. Sumptuary Laws concerned themselves with expensive dress and attempted to limit the fabrics and furs which were permitted to each class of person. The laws of 1363 condemned 'outrageous and excessive apparel of diverse people, contrary to their estate and degree' and were exceedingly specific as to what fabrics and furs were permitted to whom.

The pages which look at aspects of women's clothing are as follows:

ABOUT CLOTHES
ACQUIRING CLOTHES - Where to get your clothes
CLOTHES FROM ART
- Interpreting artworks to make medieval clothes
SUMPTUARY LAWS - Clothing regulations for the classes
GLOSSARY - Glossary of clothing and personal adornment terms
CLOTHING CARE - Care, storage, redying & rehemming and laundering techniques

ITEMS OF CLOTHING
COTES & TUNICS - Early medieval women's clothes
KIRTLES - A look at the 14th century medieval dress
SURCOTES - The outer layers
HOUPPELANDES - The late medieval outer gown
15th CENTURY GOWNS - Burgundian gowns and late medieval gowns
MATERNITY WEAR - For the medieval mother-to-be
CLOAKS & MANTLES - The medieval cloak and mantle
CORSETS - What it is and what it isn't
UNDERWEAR - A lady's underclothes reveal'd
- CHEMISES - The chemise, shift or smock
- BREAST COVERINGS - Bras, support and structure
- UNDERPANTS - What did they wear 'down there'
- HOSE & GARTERS - Leg coverings and support
SLEEPWEAR - What to wear to bed


DRESS ACCESSORIES
TIPPETS & LAPPETS - The arm accessories of the late 14th century
BELTS & GIRDLES - Belts and belt fittings
PURSES & BAGS - Purses, pouches, aumonieres and bags
HEADWEAR
- COIFS
- CROWNS & CIRCLETS
- HEADDRESSES - Templars, cylinder cauls, hennins, crowns and more
- HATS & HENNINS
- VEILS & WIMPLES - What it is and why to wear one
- HOODS - The buttoned-up hood
FOOTWEAR - 14th century shoes, slippers and sandals
JEWELLERY Medieval jewellery and the significance of gemstones
- BROOCHES - Marriage brooches, pilgrim badges & cloak fasteners
- RINGS - Women's finger rings
- NECKLACES - Necklaces, pendants and collars
- PATERNOSTERS & ROSARIES - Church approved jewellery
- RELIQUARIES - For your holy relics
GLOVES - for rich and for poor
APRONS

Copyright © Rosalie Gilbert
All text & photographs within this site are the property of Rosalie Gilbert unless stated.
Art & artifact images remain the property of the owner.
Images and text may not be copied and used without permission.