What Did Women Wear in Medieval Times?

Women's clothing in medieval times was quite varied, depending on the social class and the region. Working-class women typically wore ankle-length tunics with a belt at the waist, while wealthy and noble women wore floor-length tunics or sleeveless dresses made of luxurious fabrics and rich embroidery. Underneath, women wore a linen or wool shirt or tunic that was long-sleeved, loose and reached the feet. This was usually plain and undyed linen, and would have been washed as often as possible to help preserve the outer layers of clothing.

Men and women both wore tunics made of hemp or thick wool or linen over tights or tight pants. In the late medieval period (14th and 15th centuries), corsets became popular, although many peasant women couldn't afford these styles and continued to wear loose, utilitarian dresses. Sumptuary laws were enacted throughout medieval times that restricted the type of clothing that peasants could wear. The heuke (German) or huque (French) was a bell-shaped cloak that appeared in the 14th century and was an inherent part of women's clothing.

Printed dresses made of brocade or damask, silk or velvet with flowers, oriental designs, artichokes and pomegranates greatly enhanced women's dresses. Fur was also used to improve insulation and provide decorative ornaments; the most common were rabbit, lambskin, beaver, fox, otter, squirrel, ermine and sabre. The Gebende could be worn with a veil, a Schapel or a medieval pillbox hat (often white with a curly top or colorful and ornate). The Crusades and the Adventures of Marco Polo introduced new cultural influences, fabrics and technological advances in medieval European garments.

Bright colors such as purples, reds, greens, blues, yellows were all the rage among medieval gentlemen and ladies. To have a clear idea of women's fashion in medieval times, it is important to distinguish between different social classes. Women's fashion in medieval times is important not only for academic study but also for anyone interested in the history of fashion.

Leave a Comment

All fileds with * are required