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?
It has come time to look at what the men of the city were wearing in the medieval period. As usual I am interested in the period between 1000 and 1550. I will look both at workmen’s clothing, merchant and artisans’ clothing in the period. The post is structured into these three categories and the pictures is arranged chronologically. This is a work in progress and I will note the date here when it was last edited.
Last edited: 17/5 2017
Early in the 1400’s, the (liripipe) hood remained a common component of dress for all classes, although it was frequently worn around the neck as a cowl or twisted into the fantastical shapes of the chaperon. Hats of various styles—tall-crowned with small brims or no brims at all, hats with brims turned up on one side for variations of the coif, or low-crowned with wider brims pulled to a point in front—began to compete with the draped chaperon, especially in Italy. A brimless scarlet cap became nearly universal for young Florentines in particular, and was widely worn by older men and those in other cities.1
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).