Renaissance Costume History
Around the 1490's is when costume historians can agree that the new dress for Renaissance began. This was the period of clothing that could be said that excessiveness in all areas of costume began. Different countries took the news styles differently. For instance, the northern European countries were distorting the natural figure by padding sleeves, doublets and stockings. Italy did not go as far as the North, and England and France followed Italy's lead while they stuck to more medieval influenced styles. Germans went to the greatest extremes making improvements on the natural silhouette. They put large puffs at the head, shoulders, thighs; small puffs, like boils, over chest, back, arms, legs and feet. They put feathers on many on everything from wide-brimmed hats to the knees. Clothing at this time followed suit with all other types of creative expression at this timeit went over the top into new discoveries.
Permanent characteristics in all countries are summarized as thus: rich heavy materials, in voluminous amount, large sleeves, close body garments, large hip-clothing, wide-toed, heelless shoes and covered heads masculine and feminine.
Most men's hair was bobbed but the length of your hair was chosen by individual taste. The could be straight or curled according to the nature of the wearer. As the sixteenth century advanced men wore their hair shorter almost like modern hair. The men wore variations of the low-crowned, brimmed cap and was often turned up all around or with just one side turned up.
Women wore the low-crowned hat in the same fashion as the men. Women either wore their hair with elaborate structures in their hair like the Germans or with just a kerchief. They had the hair covered with some kind of headdress. Some names of headdresses are: crescent, kennel, gable, transparent half-dome bonnet, or the gorget and wimple. Peasant women wore the cote of the earlier period and handkerchiefs or collars around their neck. They looked like what we associate dress of the Puritans.
Colors of this period are strong, often dark colors. Black velvet was a staple fabric of the period, especially in headdresses. White linen was another accent against colors of gold and burgundy for collars and wrist ruffles.
Notable Renaissance Costume Elements
This page is the property of Scott R. Robinson and may not reflect the opinions of CWU nor any of its departments
Material on this web site may be used for educational purposed, if this footer is included.
Grateful appreciation is extended for all the links that assist in sharing this information with my classes.
All Rights Reserved © 2000 - 2010