An Interaction with Renaissance Costumes

Woolen dresses were the major part of clothing during medieval period. Linen was used to make undergarments. Long length of costumes in bright colors designed with embellishing materials like embroideries, jewelries other ornate were the indication of wealth people had. Royals and wealthier people had elaborate and extravagant medieval clothing. Like in modern age, medieval people envied royals and aristocrats for fashion. Noble ladies were the leading trend setter of that time. During late middle ages noble men wore hose and jacket with skirting or pleating or a tunic alongwith surcoat. It was voluminous gowns, attractive headgears for women.

Moralist and the preachers wore long woolen habits. Most of the dresses were to emulate Roman clothing. Even among the monks and nuns it was easier to designate them on the basis of habits’ color.

It was black for Benedictines, white or undyed wool for Cistercians. Monks were allowed to wear linen coifs in order to keep head warm and their clothes were also comfortable and plain. To get permission to wear woolen socks the poor Clare Sisters and nuns had to petition the pope.

Renaissance peasant costumes were far from the richness of wealthy people’s renaissance dresses. Linen, sheepskin, cotton and wool were the fabrics used in making of their costumes. But on late 14th century or in early 15th century cotton too became a luxurious fabric, no longer available to poor people. Because major quantity of cotton were imported (exported from India) thus heavily taxed by the rulers and became out of reach of common and poor people.

Even peasant women wore long gowns with tunics, minus all the shimmering effects which were present in gowns of noble ladies.

Their tunics were sleeveless and use a cloth headdress to cover head called wimple. The common renaissance clothing for peasant men was tunics and stockings. Cloaks of sheepskin, mittens and woolen caps were worn on chilly winter days. Wooden patens were used to cover leather boots to keep feet dry. They seldom laundered outer wears but the inner garments made of linen were washed routinely. It seemed that when they set around fire for warmth, smoke of it permeated into outer garment and acted as deodorant.

In early middle age medieval costumes of women consist of Kirtles, tunics worn to ankles that to worn over a shirt. During their public appearances they wore shorter kirtles. It was obvious that affluent women wore luxurious costume.

During the medieval eras fur was used to line the garments of rich. They especially imported the exotic furs and feathers to decorate their renaissance clothes. Jewelries were grand and lavish. The value of wealthier people’s costume remained constant or even increased because of material used in making so, in harder times wealthier people use these costumes as a source of income or security against loan. The technique of cutting gems was not in its best form thus most of them lacked luster.