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 it came to my attention that I know quite a bit about the shapes of medieval and renæssance clothing but much less about the medieval fabric colours- both how they were used and how they were made – so I decided to educate my self and share what I learned in the process. I decided to investigate both the fabrics used and the colours and dyes.
In this post I take a closer look at the medieval use of colours and dyes. I also look at who wore what colours and a bit about the symbolic use of colour.
Knowing about medieval fabric when sewing your own garment for reenactment make your clothing look more historically accurate and more real. In the medieval and renaissance period what fabric you wore as much as the shape and pattern of the dress would indicate your social standing. A medieval peasants would not wear the same clothing as the rich or the nobles.
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?
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).
This is my research post about what men in Denmark wore in the middle ages. In general I am most interested in the common people than in the nobles and the Church, but they will properly be mentioned. I will try to gather information and sources on what people wore in the middle ages and early renaissance. Most Danish medieval events is set in the early 1500’s around the reformation. Most of the infomation here is for European middle ages as it is apparently really hard to find anything (at least online) on the specific Danish fashion. It seems very likely that the nobles would have kept up with European fashions as the nobility of Europe were quite international at that time.
For people who know a lot about medieval dress history in Denmark there is probably not much new to find here, so think about it as an introduction or as my own research notes.
What did medieval female underwear look like? Did they wear a bra? What about underpants? How about strays or a corset? I try to answer these questions and more about medieval female underwear in this post.
This is a post about my research about female undergarments during the middle ages and renaissance. It is mostly a photo reference post. At the end there is a list of neat links.
What did medieval commoners wear?
An overview of medieval fashion for common people in the 11th to 16th century.
While the fashion of the nobles changed quite a lot between 1000 and 1550, the clothing of the common people, particularly the peasants, changed but slowly. There were however changes both the the male and female dress. This post is mostly peasants and workmen and other country dwellers. I think I will do a separate post on artisans, craftsmen, merchants and other city dwellers. My focus here is on Northern Europe.