Women's clothing during the medieval period consisted of a tunic, also known as a shirt, chain, or robe. It was usually made of linen and was worn over one or more tunics that reached the ankles. Other garments included hose, skirts, dresses, belts, overcoats, girdles, capes, hoods, and bonnets. Wealthier women wore fabrics such as silk and fine linen while lower classes used wool and thicker linen.
Skirts became more popular than petticoats and headdresses in various forms were also important elements of fashion. Women wore long robes or kirtles with a fitted cut to the body, long skirts, and long flared sleeves. The neckline was lowered and cut in a straight line at shoulder height and the bodice extended to the hips. The skirt was gored and very loose and long.
An overcoat with no sides was often worn on top with large armholes and a front panel (known as the plastrón) that was usually adorned with fur.The term 'work clothes' referred to clothing provided by employers as part of their salary. Medieval clothing changed dramatically during this period due to the introduction of more advanced materials such as linen and silk, dyeing of wool which remained the most important material for clothing, more advanced textile techniques, and increased international relations. This led to increasingly intricate and elegant clothing among the wealthy classes until the Renaissance. Coats of different lengths inspired by clothing from the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries were also available.During the Norman rule in 1100 there were some very significant changes in medieval clothing.
Benedict stated that monks' clothes should be simple but comfortable and they were allowed to wear linen headwear to keep their heads warm. During the 15th century fashion was characterized by a series of extremes and extravagances with Houppelandans being among the outfits that were introduced at the beginning of this era. New types of medieval clothing also protected people from hot, cold, or humid weather.The clothes of the aristocracy and wealthy merchants were made according to fashion trends while wool was the thick material used in early medieval period for almost all garments. People's clothing reflected their social status; slaves and poorest peasants could only use wool for their garments.
Clothes were also used as a way to recognize someone's position in the feudal system and their social status among a group of people. The most flamboyant clothing of this period was the revealing double sand hose from Italy.
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