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CLOTHES &
ACCESSORIES

DRESS
ACCESSORIES

TIPPETS

BELTS & GIRDLES

PURSES & BAGS

HEADWEAR

FOOTWEAR

JEWELLERY

GLOVES

APRONS

Medieval Women's Dress Accessories

Women of the medieval period were not much different to ourselves when it came to dress accessories. Even a plain outfit can be made significantly prettier with the right accessories. Belts, bags, things to wear on the head and feet and of course, jewellery. The medieval woman's options were many and varied. Andreas Capellanus, a 12th century author of De amore gives an insight into what dress accessories were available-

A lover may freely accept from her beloved these things- a handkerchief, a hairband, a circlet of gold or silver, a brooch for the breast, a mirror, a belt, a purse, a lace for clothes, a comb, cuffs, gloves, a ring, a little box of scent, a portrait, toiletries, little vases, trays, a standard as a keepsake of the lover, and so to speak more generally, a woman may accept from her love whatever gift may be useful in the care of her person, or may look charming, or may remind her of her lover, providing, however, that in accepting the gift it is clear that she is acting quite without avarice.

The following pages look at the different dress accessories which make up a medieval woman's outfit

TIPPETS & LAPPETS
The arm accessories of the late 14th century

BELTS & GIRDLES
Belts and belt fittings

PURSES & BAGS

Purses, pouches, aumonieres and bags

HEADWEAR
What a woman might wear to cover her hair
- COIFS
- CROWNS AND CIRCLETS
- HATS AND HENNINS
- HEADDRESSES - A look at some of the fantastic headdresses of the middle ages- crespines & cauls, templers & bosses, cylinder cauls, the horned headdress, padded rolls, the heart-shaped headdress
- VEILS AND WIMPLES - Frilled, goffered, edged, layered, veils, gorgets and wimples.
- HOODS - Keeping toasty warm in a medieval winter

FOOTWEAR
14th century shoes, slippers and sandals

JEWELLERY
The medieval woman's guide to bling 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 jewelry
- RELIQUARIES - For your holy relics

GLOVES - for rich and poor

APRONS

Although she is Italian, I've again chosen Margherita Datini, the wife of a wealthy merchant and a member of the upper classes, to serve as our model woman.

Her dress accessories are listed concisely in 1339. She had a number of headdresses of a variety of shapes and sizes, a fur cap, a cloth cap, a straw hat for summer, two leather belts with silver gilt buckles, wooden pattens with leather laces, one pair of backless leather slippers with thick soles called pianelles, white linen undersocks, long hose of silk or wool, at least two veils, one of silk made in Venice.

She also owned at least two purses of embroidered wool, a peacock feather fan and handkerchiefs made of Sicilian silk. It is noted that Margherita carried her veil, purse, fan and handkerchief at her side at all times.

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