interesting information about clothing, costume, dresses and fashion
ideal for research into period costumes
Clothing and fashion like
everything else during the Middle Ages was dictated by the Pyramid of Power which was the
Feudal System. Clothing provided information about
the status of the person wearing them. This section provides information
about the type of clothes and fashions worn during these times.
The History of Medieval Clothing
and Clothing Sumptuary Laws
The history of Middle Ages clothing
provides details of the Sumptuary Laws and an overview of fashion through the ages of the period. The Sumptuary Laws
distinguished seven social categories and made members of each class
easily distinguished by their clothing. Only the wealthy could dress in
fashionable clothing. Laws dating back to the Romans restricted ordinary
people in their expenditure. A history of clothing is
detailed in a timeline charting the history of fashion. Articles in this
section include an overview of the major changes in
dress, costume and clothing.
Medieval Clothing -
Clothing worn by different people
The following links provide
interesting facts and information about the fashion and clothes worn by
different social classes throughout the Medival period.
From the 11th through the 14th centuries,
medieval clothing varied according to the social standing of the people.
The clothing worn by nobility and upper classes was clearly different
than that of the lower class.
Medival clothes provided information about the status of the person
wearing them. The clothing and
fashion during the times of the Middle Ages was dominated and
highly influenced by the Kings and Queens of the era. Only the wealthy
could dress in fashionable clothes.
Medieval Women -
Fashion and Clothes
The Women's Fashion of the early
Middle Ages was still influenced by the classical styles of the Greek
and Roman women and their clothing was at times so tight as to display
all the elegance of their form. The female clothing of the time
consisted of two tunics, the under one being longer but less capacious
than the other. Women also wore a long cloak over their clothing and
closed shoes, which had then begun to be made pointed. During the period
of 1200 - 1300 luxury was at its height when gold and silver, pearls and
precious stones were lavished on clothing. During the period of 1300 -
1400 Women's coats and surcoats often trailed on the ground. Hats
consisted of a frame of wirework covered over with stuff which was
embroidered or trimmed with lace. During the period of 1400 - 1500 the
women wore long trains to their dresses which were eventually shortened.
Sleeves became long, hanging and embroidered or fringed. Fashion
dictated that women's dresses and clothing became shorter and were
trimmed in the most costly manner.
Amongst European nations, during the Medival times of the Middle Ages, there was always one
common standard of fashion and clothing , which varied from time to time
according to the particular custom of each country, and according to the
peculiarities of each race. Each European country would imitate the
fashions and clothes of another but still manage to retain its own
identity. In Italy, for instance, clothes and dress always maintained a
certain character of grandeur, ever recalling the fact that the
influence of antiquity was not quite lost. In Germany and Switzerland,
clothing and garments had generally a heavy and massive appearance; in
Holland, still more so. England uniformly studied a kind of instinctive
elegance and propriety in clothes. It is a curious fact that Spain
invariably partook of the heaviness of clothing peculiar to Germany
because the Gothic element still prevailed there. Fashion in France was fickle and
capricious, always ready to borrow from every quarter any style of
clothes and fashion.
The Medieval Life and Times website provides interesting facts, history
and information about great people and the clothes and fashion which scatter the History books. The Medieval Times Sitemap
provides full details of all of the information and facts about
the fascinating subject of the lives of the people who lived
during the historical period of the Middle Ages. The content of these articles on
the Medival fashion provide free educational details, facts and information for reference and research for schools, colleges and homework for history courses and history coursework.