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CLOTHES AND COSTUMES OF EUROPE IN 14th AND 15th CENTURY

Introduction: Fashion in Europe in 14th and 15th century was characterized by a series of extremes and extravagances from voluminous gowns called houppelandes with their floor-length sleeves to the revealing doublets and hose of Renaissance Italy. Hats, hoods and headdresses assumed increasing importance and were swagged, draped, jeweled and feathered.

Types of fabrics used in Europe:

Wool was the most popular fabric for all the classes followed by linen and hemp. Wool fabrics were available in wide range of qualities, from rough dyed cloth to fine or dense broadcloth with a velvety nap. Wool fabrics were dyed in rich colours notably red, green, gold and blue. Fur was worn mostly as a lining layer by those who could afford it. The new fashionable fur were dark brown sable and marten followed by wild animal furs such as lynx. Silk weaving was well established around Mediterranean, often silk velvets with silk-gilt wefts were increasingly seen in Italian dresses and in the dresses of the wealthy throughout the Europe.

CLOTHING
WOMENS FASHION:
Women s fashion consisted of a long gown usually with sleeves, worn over a kirtle or undergown with a linen chemise or smock worn next to skin. The long-waisted silhouette was replaced by high-waisted style with fullness over the belly, often confined with a belt. The wide, shallow scooped neckline was replaced by V-neck often cut low to reveal the decorated front of the kirtle beneath. Various styles of overgowns were worn. The tight fit was achieved with lacing or buttons. Sleeves were very long usually covering half of the hand and often highly decorated with embroidery. Sleeveless overgowns were very popular and the gamurra sleeves displayed were often of rich figured silks. Cotta: A lighter-weight undergown for summer wear. A sideless overgown called giomea was worn with the gamurra or cotta.

The verdugada or verdugado was a gown with a bell-shaped


hoop skirt with visible casings stiffened with reeds.

Surcoat: A ceremonial garment for royalty.


HEADDRESSES AND HAIRSTYLES
A variety of hats and headdresses were worn in Europe.

1. The crespine: A thick hairnet or snood that confined the hair on the sides of the head. Gradually the fullness at the sides of the head was pulled upto temples and became pointed like horns. The crespine later called the caul sat on the back of the head with the hair pulled back from the forehead. 2. Very fashionable women shaved their foreheads and eyebrows. 3. Women also wore the chaperon, a draped hat based on hood and liripipe and a variety of related draped and wrapped turbans. 4. Hennin : The most extravagant headdress of Burgundian fashion was a cone shaped cap with a wire frame covered in fabric and topped by a veil. 5. Women wore their hair very long, wound with ribbons or braided, and twisted up into knots of various shapes with the ends hanging free. 6. Blonde hair was considered desirable.

MENS FASHION:
Basic costume of men consisted of a shirt, doublet and hose with some sort of overgown. Men of all the classes wore breeches, a loose undergarment usually made of linen and held up by a belt. Hose made out of wool were used to cover the legs and were generally brightly coloured. Early hose sometimes had leather soles and were worn without shoes or boots.

Over the shirt was worn a doublet. From around the midcentury very tight-fitting doublets, belted or tailored to be tight at the waist, giving in effect a short skirt below, were fashionable, at least for the young.

Sleeves were generally full, even puffy and were worn with a
large chaperon.

As doublets became shorter, hose reached to the waist rather


than the hips, and were sewn together into a single garment with a pouch or flap to cover the front opening; this evolved into the codpiece.

HEADGEARS
1. In mid-century, a bowl haircut with hair shaved at the back of the neck was stylish. 2. By the end of the century, shoulder length hair became fashionable, a trend that continued into early 16 th century. 3. Hood remained a common component of dress for all the classes. 4. A brimless scarlet cap gained immense popularity. 5. Hats of various styles-tall crowned with small brims or no brims, or low crowned with wider brims pulled to a point in front, also became popular.