Female headgear in the 1300’s

In the 1300’s woman would wear anything from uncovered braids, to veils over barbet and fillet, caul and crespine, depending on rank, wealth and time.

Last edited: 17/5 2017

I gather pictures of head gear. I find them in illuminated manuscripts, sketches and in paintings. Some of the pictures are quite small and a bit blurred, but I thought it was important to have pictures from different sources rather than just the famous high quality ones. I gather pictures of head gear. I find them in illuminated manuscripts, sketches and in paintings. Some of the pictures are quite small and a bit blurred, but I thought it was important to have pictures from different sources rather than just the famous high quality ones.

Unmarried woman and uncovered heads

Unmarried girls would simply braid their hair. Quite a few woman also seem to have worn their hair in crespine/hair nets at the ears. Or in other hairstyles where the hair would be braided at the ear – like complicated ear buns.

Wimple, gorget and veil

While married woman in Northern and Western Europe would wear some kind of head covering. Wimple/gorget and veil was still worn by older women, widows and nuns. Wild and elabrate headwear became is the name of the game when noble woman choose how to finish an outfit. Though veils seem to be worn in the first half of the century.

Barbet and fillet, caul and crespine

The barbet was a band of linen that passed under the chin and was pinned on top of the head. The barbet was worn with a linen fillet or headband, or with a linen cap called a coif, with or without a couvrechef (kerchief) or veil overall. It passed out of fashion by mid-century. The barbet and fillet or barbet and veil could also be worn over the crespine, a thick hairnet or snood. Over time, the crespine evolved into a mesh of jeweler’s work that confined the hair on the sides of the head, and even later, at the back. This metal crespine was also called a caul, and remained stylish long after the barbet had fallen out of fashion.

Cauls, the cylindrical cages worn at the side of the head and templers added to the richness of dress of the fashionable and the well-to-do. Other more simple forms of headdress included the coronet or simple circlet of flowers.1

Other hairstyles worn by noble women

Commoner’s hairstyle

Possibly the most comfortable 1200’s and 1300’s headgear is the cap, which is also called St. Birgitta’s Huva.2

Otherwise I mostly find simple veils wrapped around the head or possibly a wimple/gorget and veils. Sometimes combined with a hood with an open small tale.

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