A Glimpse into Medieval Clothing History

The Middle Ages was a period of great change in Europe, with the fall of the Roman Empire and the introduction of new cultural influences, fabrics and technological advances in clothing. During this period, the style of medieval clothing that people wore continued to change, mainly due to the demands of the king. Wool was the most common material used for clothing, although luxurious fabrics such as velvet, damask and silk were also available for those who could afford them. If you were wealthy, you would have a variety of clothes in the latest styles and colors.

However, if you were a poor peasant, you could only have one robe. The most important thing that began to happen during this period was the dyeing of wool, which continued to be the most important material for clothing. Tudor clothing had a very different style and King Henry VIII introduced sumptuary laws that stipulated that the poor could not wear the real colors in their Tudor clothing. The taste for colors was the brighter the better, with crimson, blue, yellow, green and purple being the most popular options in all types of clothing.Underwear for men during this period consisted of an inner tunic or shirt with long, tight sleeves that were generally made of linen.

Shoes were made of fabric or leather and closed with inner laces, a strap or a buckle. The most flamboyant clothing of this medieval period was the revealing double sand hose from Italy.Unfortunately, there are very few garments that have survived from medieval times due to their value and fragility. This meant that clothing from medieval times itched, was difficult to wash and dry, and was very hot in summer. Clothes were generally the same for all classes but with important differences in decoration and materials used for wealthier people.The Middle Ages lasted more than a millennium and during this time clothing became an indicator of status, wealth and occupation until the Renaissance.

Sumptuary laws prohibited lower classes from dressing above their social position.

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