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Fashion In The Middle Ages Essay

1172 words - 5 pages

The clothing of the Middle Ages, like everything else was decided by the pyramid of power. The pyramid of power was the Middle Ages Feudal System. Medieval clothes provided information about the rank of the person wearing them. From the 11th through the 14th centuries, medieval clothing assorted according to the social standing of the people. The clothing worn by nobility and upper classes was clearly different than that of the lower class. Medieval clothes provided information about the status of the person wearing them. The clothing and fashion during the medieval era of the Middle Ages was conquered and highly influenced by the Kings and Queens of the era. Only the wealthy could dress in fashionable clothes.
The clothes worn with a knight’s suit of armor gave both comfort and protection to the knight. The parts of a medieval knight's suit of armor were a complex series of garments, chain mail and iron plate. The pieces of a knight’s suit of armor covered the most exposed parts of a knight's body. Knights would wear under clothes consisted of a linen under-shirt and linen under-pants, woolen stockings covered the legs. A knight's underclothes were important. It prevented the armor from chafing the knight’s skin. A padded garment known by various names such as aketon, consisted of a quilted coat which was either sewn or stuffed with linen or even grass. This served as padding for additional armor worn over the top.
The ladies dresses of the early Middle Ages were influenced by the classical styles of the Greek and Roman women. Their dresses were tight to display the elegance of their figure. Dresses were embroidered and luxuriously decorated. Some dresses consisted of two tunics and of a veil or drapery. The veil was thrown over the head and fell down before and behind, surrounding the neck. The shoes were long and pointed. Queens, princesses, and ladies of the nobility wore in addition a long cloak lined with ermine. Their head-dresses consisted of very large rolls, surmounted by a high conical bonnet. Over time women began to dress different every hundred years. Dresses started to become shorter and had more of a loose fitting.
The Medieval Lord Clothing was still influenced by the classical styles of the Romans and changed through the different eras. Clothes were loose and belted. A social position was determined by the head-dress or hat. The cap was made of velvet for persons of rank. The Crusades also gave rise to the general use of the purse, which was attached to the belt by a cord of silk or cotton, and sometimes by a metal chain. Clothes of a noble consisted of breeches, stockings, shoes, the coat, the surcoat and the head-dress. The ordinary material of the surcoat for the rich was cloth, either scarlet, blue, or reddish brown, or two or more of these colors mixed together. Shoes were generally made pointed, this fashion of the polish points was followed throughout Europe for nearly three hundred years. Stockings or trunk hose...

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