The Costumes of Old Europe
Medieval fashion was greatly influenced by the wealthy people of Old Europe, particularly royalty. The costumes of Old Europe were highly elaborate and innovative, setting the standards for the world of fashion in those times. The wealthy dressed in fashionable clothes made of silk, damask, velvets, and even brocades.
Clothing for women in the Medieval Period varied depending on their social status. The wealthy wore extravagant clothes made of silk with intricate embroidery while those belonging to the lower class wore clothes made of wool. Generally, the clothes for peasants and noblewomen had similar cuts and styles but made with different materials.
• Wearing kirtles or tunics over a skirt was highly popular. Such fashion pieces were very typical of this period.
• On special occasions, women wore long trailing gowns and sleeves. The wealthier they were, the more extravagant their gowns.
• Dresses had tight lacing at the hips to give the effect of long slender forms.
• The richer women loved embroidery.
• They wore headdresses which were thin and pointed, and some would even wear high double horn headdresses.
• They also wore leather, studded belts, and pouches.
In Medieval times, men's clothing was more loose, baggy, and comfortable. The status of a man would also be evident in the way he dresses.
• Men wore poulaines or pointed leather shoes.
• Tunics were short, reaching the waist instead of the longer ones used in earlier times.
• Tight stockings were commonly worn to display well-shaped legs.
• They wore surcoats which eventually evolved into armored surcoats for wear by the army.
• The Houppelande, an outer garment with wide sleeves, was worn by men of higher stature, usually those who were professionals or belonging to wealthy families.
In Europe, the Medieval Period saw an attachment to jewelry such as gold, ruby, and diamonds. Jewelry would reveal much about a person's standing in the society. During Medieval times, the people also exhibited an inclination towards the use of accessories such as purses and bags.
In the modern era, the costumes of Old Europe have seen a revival of sorts. Over the years, many designers have been inspired by these styles of clothing, applying the patterns to create fashionable clothes. A lot of people are also trying to make similar costumes on their own. These costumes are definitely worth looking into, as they are the perfect reflection of the rich art and culture manifested in the Medieval Period.