Medieval clothing was an important part of the culture and lifestyle of people living in the Middle Ages. During this period, clothing was used to indicate social status, as well as to protect from the elements. In this article, we will explore the different types of clothing worn during the medieval period, from the 5th century to the 15th century. In the early medieval period, women's clothing typically consisted of a linen shirt or tunic, and one or more robes or kirtles that reached to the ankles.
High-class fashion for both men and women featured a fitted cut to the body, long skirts and long flared sleeves. Fur was also used as an inner lining for warmth, as this period was affected by a mini-ice age. The simplest forms of medieval clothing appeared in the 5th century. The most flamboyant clothing of this period was the revealing double sand hose from Italy.
People began to strive for fashionable clothing in their environment, particularly women, and terms such as “outdated” began to be used to describe those who wore medieval clothing from a previous era. Wool was the main material used for medieval garments in the early medieval period. Slaves and peasants were only able to use wool for their clothing. During this time, fashion continued to change due to royal demand and the introduction of new materials such as fabric.
New types of medieval clothing also provided protection from hot, cold or humid weather. Starting with fashion from the 10th century and ending in the 15th century, this period covers British fashion from the Normans through the Middle Ages. High-quality medieval clothing, based on original historic men's fashion, is available today. Silk was discovered during this period but was too expensive for most people to use, except for decorative purposes on medieval clothing.
SPES offers a range of casual and everyday medieval clothing, as well as outfits based on historical sources that accurately recreate all elements of medieval men's clothing. Men wore knee-length robes for most activities, while upper-class men wore long robes with hoses and cloaks or capes.
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