This week I am focusing in on the use of short sleeves and loose sleeves on dresses in the medieval/early renaissance period, particularly in the 1400’s, give or take a few years. It seems like unlike earlier periods it became common to have short sleeves on the outer dress with a shift or an underdress beneath it. I am mostly looking at this using visual source material, such as paintings and drawings. I am mostly interested in Northen Europe. I am aware that short sleeves is a thing earlier in southern Europe.
At the marked this weekend a very sweet woman complimented my new dress and the beautiful mustard yellow colour. She when went on to say that not all markeds would allow it as it yellow was a sign of a woman being a prostitude. I was of course not trilled to hear this but I was also sceptical. Was yellow dresses really a sign of prostitution?
An overview of medieval female fashion from 1000 to 1300 (11th and 12th century) with lots of images from the source material as well as a short description of each type of garment. This post is focused on the upper classes.
The early medieval period does not have as much variation in the female dress as the later periods, but it does have some beautiful garments. It is interesting to see the female dress go from simple cotes and mantles over the elaborerte wide sleeved bliaut in the 1100’s and back to simpler cotes and cyclas in the 1200’s.
My personal favourite is the 1200’s fashion. If I didn’t have any restriction on which period to create a dress for that is the style I would go for. It just seem so comfortable and lovely.
An overivew of the fashion of medieval female headgear 1300’s (14th century). Hats, veils and hair styles though images from source material.
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
A number of different styles were worn throughout the century. Any of these styles could be topped by a padded roll, sometimes arranged in a heart-shape, or a veil, or both. Veils were supported by wire frames that exaggerated the shape and were variously draped from the back of the headdress or covered the forehead.
Nobel headgear became quite elaborate during the period – we have all see the “princess hats” which were actually worn for a period of time. Some are very high, other very wide and some gives really different head shapes. Married women would generally always wear something on their heads when out in public. Women are almost always shown to have their hair styled in some way even in pictures of them dressing or bathing. Both men and women would wear hoods with long tails called a liripipe (studshætte).