Gothic Costume History
The costumes of Gothic time are usually divided into two periods: Early Gothic and Late Gothic. The costumes of the Early Gothic (1200-1350) period are more elegant, more sophisticated and simplier in cut than the Romanesque period. Necklines were lower, a little at first and trimming was not so heavy as before. The heavy double-sleeve went out by 1200 and the forearm was revealed because sleeves became tight. Shorter tunics emerged and the cote-hardie reached to the knee and a little above it but women's clothing was invariably long. Late Gothic periods that range from 1350-1450 and styles changed relatively quickly during this time. The period changed from the earlier flowing draperies that metamorphosed, finally, into fabrics that became more and more stiff. In the fifteenth century the extremes were in mostly the upper silhouette. There were crisp pleats, tight belts, padded doublets, and increasingly popular leg-o-mutton sleeve, all the items foreshadowing the squareness of the next hundred years.
In the early Gothic period men wore hair at a pleasant and sensible length often in a bob to the jaw line with a bang across the forehead. Blond hair was popular so many people bleached their hair. Few men wore beards and if they did they were trimmed into two points. Men in the late Gothic period wore hair bobbed also with neatly curled ends and more men began wearing beards that were neatly trimmed accompanied by a small mustache. Later in the period they would wear their hair cropped much like the modern manner of men's hair.
Women in the both periods wore their hair loose and flowing upon their shoulders until they were married where they hair was confined in a bun at the nape. In the earily period women would wear many types of hair pieces to cover it, such as wimple and gorget. The gorget would actually cover the neck while the wimple would cover the head. Later in the period women's necks were exposed but their hair was covered by netting or reticulations like round cages. Nor hair was visible and was plucked to have a high hairline and thin eyebrows.
Colors for this period are jewel like hues much like painting from Jan van Eyke's work. The colors were reds, greens, blues and golds, soft but intense. Interspersed with these colors were brown gray and tan of humbler garments. One particular color that you could associate with the earlier period would be vermillion.
Notable Gothic Costume Elements
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