Europe in the Middle Ages - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

From as early as 100 B.C.E., administrators of the Roman Empire (27 B.C.E.–476 C.E.) had brought parts of Europe under the control and governance of Rome. By the second century C.E., Rome's influence spread throughout most of western Europe, from Spain north to Britain, and Germany south to Italy.

Clothing of the Middle Ages - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

The Middle Ages (c. 500–c.

Bliaut - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

The bliaut was a long gown worn by wealthy men and women beginning in the 1100s. Along with the houppelande, a long, full, outer garment, the bliaut was one of the long garments most associated with the late Middle Ages (c.

Cote and Cotehardie - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

Among the most common garments from late in the Middle Ages (c. 500–c.

Ganache and Gardcorps - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

Ganaches, also spelled garnaches, and gardcorps were over coats worn by men of all social classes during the Middle Ages (c. 500–c.

Hose and Breeches - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

Since the early Middle Ages, European men had worn breeches, loose-fitting trousers that were held at the waist with a belt or a draw-string. These might have a stirrup to secure the hem of the breeches inside a shoe, or they could be loose at the ankle.

Houppelande - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

The houppelande was a long, very full outer garment from late in the Middle Ages (c. 500–c.

Leg Bands - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

Leg bands were a form of legwear for men that marked a transition from the clothing habits of ancient Rome to those of Europe in the later years of the Middle Ages (c. 500–c.

Mantle - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

The mantle was an all-purpose overgarment that was worn consistently throughout the Middle Ages (c. 500–c.

Pourpoint - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

As knights came to wear increasingly heavy metal armor in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, they needed some form of comfortable undergarment to provide padding for their body. The pourpoint was that garment.

Tabard - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

The tabard, a decorated, open-sided smock, had its origins in the Holy Wars known as the Crusades. Beginning in the late eleventh century, knights from western Europe began to journey to the Middle East to try to "reclaim" the Christian Holy Lands from the Muslims who lived in present-day Israel.

Headwear of the Middle Ages - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

People living in Europe during the long period of history known as the Middle Ages (c. 500–c.

Beret - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

A soft, brimless cap, round in shape, the useful beret (from the Latin birretum, meaning "cap") has been worn by many different peoples from ancient times into the twenty-first century. Usually made from sturdy wool felt, a strong fabric that prevents the passage of wind and water, the beret is designed with a tight-fitting crown that helps hold the hat on the head without the use of elastic.

Bowl Haircut - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

The bowl haircut, especially popular among European men from the twelfth through the fifteenth centuries, is one of the simplest of styles to create. It is a plain short haircut, with straight bangs on the forehead, and the rest of the hair left the same length all the way around.

Coif - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

Worn by women, men, and children throughout the Middle Ages (c. 500–c.

Hoods - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

One of the most distinctive forms of headwear worn in the Middle Ages (c. 500–c.

Ram's Horn Headdress - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

Wealthy Europeans in the Middle Ages (c. 500–c.

Steeple Headdress - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

The steeple headdress, which became popular among women in France and then throughout Europe in the fourteenth century, was one of the most distinctive forms of headwear worn in human history. The steeple headdress began simply as a stiff cone whose wide end sat on the crown of the head, with the point jutting up and slightly back.

Tonsure - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

One of the most mysterious and striking of medieval hairstyles was the tonsure (TON-shur). Beginning in the seventh and eighth centuries, members of Christian religious orders began to shave the top of their head in order to show their purity and chastity.

Wimple - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

The wimple, also spelled whimple, was a very common head covering for women of the Middle Ages (c. 500–c.

Body Decorations of the Middle Ages - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

The Middle Ages (c. 500–c.

Gloves - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

Gloves as a fashion accessory, rather than as a necessity to keep the hands warm, date to about the twelfth or thirteenth century, late in the Middle Ages (c. 500-c.

Purses - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

One of the most used fashion accessories in history traces its beginnings to the Middle Ages (c. 500–c.

Footwear of the Middle Ages - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

The footwear worn in the Middle Ages (c. 500–c.

Crackowes and Poulaines - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

Crackowes and poulaines are two different names for decorated leather shoes with very long, pointed toes, which were very popular among fashionable young men of the late fourteenth and early fifteenth century. At their most extreme, crackowes or poulaines (also sometimes called pistachios) had toes that extended twenty-four inches beyond the wearer's feet and had to be supported by thin chains that connected the toe to the knee.

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