In Italy, it was compulsory for noble women to wear 4 layers of clothing. This combined with heavy fabric made walking very difficult for noble ladies.Pointed shoes which confined your foot into a very uncomfortable shape were very fashionable.
During certain periods of the medieval era, it was considered fashionable for women to have a rounded belly, resembling pregnancy. I think I like this one!. Having a rounded belly, full hips, and a soft, curvaceous figure meant you were a fashion icon of the period. Niceee..Do you want to know more? Read on.
But despite all these, When exploring the names of different styles worn throughout the Middle Ages, it’s clear to me that fashion was as diverse as it was functional.
Early Middle Ages
Men’s clothing in the early Middle Ages
Women’s clothing in the early medieval periodThe women wore a long garment which was fashioned like the Peplos of the Ancient Greeks. It was worn over a sleeved undergarment. It was belted or girdled and personal items were hung from it. The Peplos-like garment was decorated with embroidery, metal appliqué, and woven bands. Towards the later period, women wore layered tunics. These tunics were decorated with silk and wool embroidery and woven bands. During the last century of the dark ages, women wore ankle-length tailored gowns. The gowns had distinctive borders sometimes in contrasting colors. The sleeves were straight with a slight flare at the end. They were often decorated. With the arrival of gowns, belts and girdles went out of fashion. Women also wore a sleeveless outer garment with or without a hood.
Central Middle AgesThis is counted as roughly from the 11th century to the 13th century.
Men’s clothing in the central Middle AgesThe men’s clothing did not change much at the beginning of the central Middle Ages. They continued to wear tunics, trousers, and cloaks. By the 12th century, considerable changes were apparent in men’s clothing. There were two types of tunics. One type was short in length. The other Tunics became form-fitting with a long skirt with a slit in the Center that went thigh high. The sleeves were close-fitting and bell-shaped at the wrists. They were worn with or without a girdle. The girdle was also used to hang swords. The necklines of the tunic were either diagonal or horizontal from the neck to the shoulder. There was also another type of tunic called a super tunic. It had loose and pendulous cuffs which were elbow length and sometimes were lined with fur. The super tunic was always worn with a girdle. The commoners wore tunics which was shorter in length with tubular sleeves which were rolled up. By the thirteenth century, different kinds of super tunics existed, all of them voluminous and worn with or without a belt. Some of the tunics had attached hoods. The early form of pockets called fitchets also appeared during this era. The cloaks, mantles, and stockings remained unchanged. The nobility continued to wear crisscrossed leg bandages above the level of knees.
Women’s clothing during the central middle agesThe women’s dresses consisted of an under tunic called chemise or smock and an over tunic called kirtle. The “kirtle” was an underdress, usually belted at the waist. The chemise or smock was a knee-length loose-fitting garment made of linen. The poor wore chemise made of rough cloth. The chemise was usually sewn at home. The kirtle was also called cotte or cotehardie. It was shaped like a dress and was worn over the chemise. Early kirtles were loose garments without a seam at the waist. The sleeves were tight but wide at the wrists. A belt or a girdle was later worn with a kirtle. The Kirtles and belts were decorated with gold or silk tassels and knobs. Over the kirtle, women wore a surcoat. The surcoat was an outer garment that was ankle-length, loose, and with or without sleeves. The wealthy class had their clothes made of silk or fine linen. The poorly used wool or coarser linen for their clothes.
Late Middle AgesThis period is supposed to span 13th to 15th century
Men’s clothing during the late middle agesDuring the late Middle Ages, men’s clothing became more form-fitting. For the higher classes, doublet, a form of jacket replaced tunics. It was close-fitting and reached knee length. Gipon was a type of doublet which was worn over a shirt. It was mid-thigh length and was worn with a belt. Another outer garment of this era was called cotehardie. It was a tight-fitting knee-length garment buttoned or laced down to the waist level at the front. Down the waist, it flared into a skirt with the middle part open. The sleeves of the cotehardie were complex and decorated. A belt was worn with cotehardie. The poor continued to wear tunics or super tunics.
Women’s clothing during the late middle agesDuring the late Middle Ages, women continued to wear a chemise, kirtle, or dress and surcoats. The kirtles became more form-fitting with a fitted bodice that had lower necklines and a skirt gathered or pleated into the waist seam. The skirts became popular and they were sometimes over three meters in diameter at the bottom. The bodice was laced up the front, back, or at the sides. The kirtle or dress was worn with a decorated belt or girdle. In the late Middle Ages, a particular type of surcoat came into fashion. It was floor-length and sleeveless with exaggerated armholes. The armholes were open from shoulder to hip revealing the gown or kirtle worn underneath. Imported luxurious garments were widely used in female clothing. But they were very expensive. Not many women could afford a large number of clothes. The wimple was a type of veil worn by women during the late medieval period, in Europe. It covered head, neck, ears and chin, leaving just the face exposed. During the medieval era, fashion choices were used to distinguish and reinforce social hierarchies. There were sumptuary laws that prohibited certain classes from using clothing worn by other classes. These laws aimed to maintain social order by visibly indicating a person’s social status and preventing people from dressing above their station. Thus rich and poor were kept separate. If you are looking for pictorial representation of simple medieval costumes, here is one – as simple as you get for people of various occupations and social strata. All clothing info from : References: ;