1350-1399

Womenswear

Wikipedia writes of fashion in this period:

“The innermost layer of a woman’s clothing was a linen or woolen chemise or smock, some fitting the figure and some loosely garmented, although there is some mention of a “breast girdle” or “breast band” which may have been the precursor of a modern bra.

Over the chemise, women wore a loose or fitted gown called a cotte or kirtle, usually ankle or floor-length, and with trains for formal occasions. Fitted kirtles had full skirts made by adding triangular gores to widen the hem without adding bulk at the waist. Kirtles also had long, fitted sleeves that sometimes reached down to cover the knuckles.

As one might imagine, a woman’s outfit was not complete without some kind of headwear. As with today, a medieval woman had many options- from straw hats, to hoods to elaborate headpieces. A woman’s activity and occasion would dictate what she wore on her head.”

Fig. 1 - Unknown artist. . Source: Pinterest

Der Wälsche Gast

Fig. 2 - Thomasin von Zerclaere (Italian, 1186-1235). Der Wälsche Gast, 1380. Leaves, bound, vellum, ill; 352 x 252 mm cm (13.9 x 10 in). New York: The Morgan Library and Museum, MS G.54. Gift of the Trustees of the William S. Glazier Collection, 1984. Source: Pierpont Morgan Library Dept. of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts

The Bishop of Assisi Giving a Palm to Saint Clare

Fig. 3 - Anonymous. The Bishop of Assisi Giving a Palm to Saint Clare, ca. 1360. Tempera and gold on oak panel; 33.8 × 21.7 × 0.45 cm (13 5/16 × 8 9/16 × 3/16 in). New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters Collection, 1984.343. The Cloisters Collection, 1984. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Pilgrimage of Human Life

Fig. 4 - Guillaume de Deguileville (French, ca. 1295-1358). Pilgrimage of Human Life, 1348. New York: The Morgan Library and Museum, MS M.772. Purchased, 1931. Source: The Morgan Library and Museum

Menswear

Wikipedia writes of menswear in this period:

“The innermost layer of clothing were the braies or breeches, a loose undergarment, usually made of linen, which was held up by a belt. Next came the shirt, which was generally also made of linen, and which was considered an undergarment, like the breeches.

An overgown, tunic, or kirtle was usually worn over the shirt or doublet. As with other outer garments, it was generally made of wool. Over this, a man might also wear an over-kirtle, cloak, or a hood. Servants and working men wore their kirtles at various lengths, including as low as the knee or calf. However the trend during the century was for hem-lengths to shorten for all classes.

During this century, the chaperon made a transformation from being a utilitarian hood with a small cape to becoming a complicated and fashionable hat worn by the wealthy in town settings. This came when they began to be worn with the opening for the face placed instead on the top of the head.”

Initial A with the Battle of the Maccabees

Fig. 1 - Anonymous. Initial A with the Battle of the Maccabees, ca. 1360–70. Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment; 20.4 x 15.1 cm (8 1/16 x 5 15/16 in). New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 23.21.4. Gift of Bashford Dean, 1923. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Vows of the Peacock

Fig. 2 - Jacques de Longuyon (Belgian). Vows of the Peacock, ca. 1345–50. New York: The Morgan Library and Museum, MS G.24. Gift of the Trustees of the William S. Glazier Collection, 1984. Source: The Morgan Library and Museum

Der Wälsche Gast

Fig. 3 - Thomasin von Zirclaere (Italian, ca. 1186-1235). Der Wälsche Gast, 1380. Leaves, bound, vellum, ill; 35.2 x 25.2 cm (13.0 x 9.9 in). New York: The Morgan Library and Museum, MS G.54. Gift of the Trustees of the William S. Glazier Collection, 1984.. Source: The Morgan Library and Musuem

CHILDREN’S WEAR

The Adoration of the Magi

Fig. 1 - Bartolo di Fredi (Italian, 1353–1410). The Adoration of the Magi, ca. 1390. Tempera and gold on wood; 148.6 x 89.2 cm (58 1/2 x 35 1/8 in). New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1975.1.16. Robert Lehman Collection, 1975. Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art

Jeu des échecs moralisé

Fig. 2 - Jacobus de Cessolis (Italian, 1250-1322). Jeu des échecs moralisé, ca. 1350-1360. Leaves, bound, vellum, ill; 30.8 x 22.8 cm (12.12 x 8.9 in). New York: The Morgan Library and Museum, MS G.52. Gift of the Trustees of the William S. Glazier Collection, 1984. Source: The Morgan Library and Museum

Roman de la Rose

Fig. 3 - Guillaume de Lorris (French, ca. 1200 –1240). Roman de la Rose, ca. 1390. Leaves, bound, vellum, ill; 28.7 x 21 cm (11.2 x 8.2 in). New York: The Morgan Library and Museum, MS G.32. Gift of the Trustees of the William S. Glazier Collection, 1984.. Source: The Morgan Library and Museum

References:

Historical Context

Wikipedia:
Rulers:

Europe during the 14th Century. Source: GifeX

Events:
  • 1350 –  A fashion for mi-parti or parti-colored garments made of two contrasting fabrics, one on each side, emerges in the mid-14th century for men. The gown for men is abandoned and instead a tight top over the torso, with breeches or pants below, is worn.
  • 1351 – Edward III of England establishes an embroidery workshop in the Tower of London.
  • 1367 – King Richard II of England (reigned 1367-99) is credited with having invented the cloth handkerchief. The item “little pieces [of cloth] for the lord King to wipe and clean his nose,” appears in the Household Rolls (accounts)–the first documentation of their use.
  • 1380 – Women’s shoulders are revealed for the first time in low-necked fitted dresses. Clerics and critics are predictably outraged. They also accuse women of padding their busts to give them a better appearance.

Primary/Period Sources

Resources for Fashion History Research

To discover primary/period sources, explore the categories below.
Have a primary source to suggest?  Or a newly digitized periodical/book to announce?  Contact us!

Digitized Primary/Period Sources

“DMMapp - Digitized Medieval Manuscripts App,” n.d. https://digitizedmedievalmanuscripts.org/app/.
“Medieval Manuscripts on the Web (Digitized Manuscripts),” n.d. http://faculty.arts.ubc.ca/sechard/512digms.htm.

Secondary Sources

Also see the 14th-century overview page for more research sources… or browse our Zotero library.

Online

“1300–1400 in European Fashion.” Wikipedia, 1400s. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1300%E2%80%931400_in_European_fashion.
“Fashion History of the High and Late Middle Ages - Medieval Clothing.” Bellatory, n.d. https://bellatory.com/fashion-industry/FashionHistoryoftheHIghandLateMiddleAgesClothingo-the11th-15thCentury.
Breiding, Dirk H. “Fashion in European Armor.” The Met’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, n.d. https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/afas/hd_afas.htm.
Breiding, Dirk H. “Fashion in European Armor, 1300–1400.” The Met’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, n.d. https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/afas14/hd_afas14.htm.
Victoria and Albert Museum. “Fashion up to the 17th Century Reading List,” January 13, 2011. http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/f/reading-list-fashion-up-to-the-17th-century/.
“Glossary of some medieval clothing terms,” n.d. http://www.personal.utulsa.edu/~marc-carlson/cloth/glossary.html.
“Late Medieval Fashion Redressed.” La cotte simple, n.d. http://cottesimple.com/.
Breiding, Dirk H. “The Decoration of European Armor.” The Met’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, n.d. https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/deca/hd_deca.htm.

Books/Articles
Blair, John, and Nigel Ramsay. English Medieval Industries: Craftsmen, Techniques, Products. London: Hambledon and London, 2001. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/919917422.
Blanc, O. “From Battlefield to Court: The Invention of Fashion in the Fourteenth Century.” In Encountering Medieval Textiles and Dress: Objects, Texts, Images, edited by Désirée G. Koslin and Janet Ellen Snyder, 157–73. New Middle Ages. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002.
Boucher, François. 20,000 Years of Fashion: The History of Costume and Personal Adornment. Expanded ed. New York: H.N. Abrams, 1987. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/979316852.
Brown, Susan, ed. Fashion: The Definitive History of Costume and Style. New York: DK Publishing, 2012. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/840417029.
Buren, Anne van, and Roger S. Wieck. Illuminating Fashion: Dress in the Art of Medieval France and the Netherlands, 1325-1515. New York: The Morgan Library & Museum, 2011. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/921010074.
Burns, E. Jane. Courtly Love Undressed: Reading through Clothes in Medieval French Culture. The Middle Ages Series. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/929158561.
Byrde, Penelope. The Male Image: Men’s Fashion in Britain, 1300-1970. London: B. T. Batsford, 1979. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/891905981.
Carus-Wilson, E. M., N. B. Harte, and Kenneth G. Ponting, eds. Cloth and Clothing in Medieval Europe: Essays in Memory of Professor E.M. Carus-Wilson. Pasold Studies in Textile History 2. London: Heinemann Educational Books, 1983. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/11236147.
Crowfoot, Elisabeth, Frances Pritchard, and Kay Staniland. Textiles and Clothing: C.1150-c.1450. Medieval Finds from Excavations in London 4. London: HMSO, 1992. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/869768478.
Cunnington, C. Willett, and Phillis Emily Cunnington. Handbook of English Mediaeval Costume. 2nd ed. London: Faber, 1969. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/2924092.
Davanzo Poli, Doretta, ed. I Mestieri della moda a Venezia: serenissima: the arts of fashion in Venice from the 13th to the 18th century, Nov. 28, 1995-Jan. 20, 1996. Rev. ed. Brenta: Consorzio maestri calzturieri del Brenta, 1995. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/84353032.
Egan, Geoff, and Frances Pritchard. Dress Accessories, c. 1150 - c. 1450. New ed. 3. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, 2002.
Evans, Joan. Dress in Medieval France. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1952. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1008513009.
Grew, Francis, and Margrethe de Neergaard, eds. Shoes and Pattens. New ed., Reprinted in paperback. Medieval Finds from Excavations in London 2. Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 2013. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/876555501.
Harte, N. B., ed. The New Draperies in the Low Countries and England, 1300-1800. Pasold Studies in Textile History 10. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1008210658.
Hartley, Dorothy, and Francis Michael Kelly. Mediæval Costume and Life: A Review of Their Social Aspects Arranged under Various Classes and Workers with Instructions for Making Numerous Types of Dress. London: B.T. Batsford, Ltd, 1931. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/232439655.
Heller, Sarah-Grace. Fashion in Medieval France. Gallica, v. 3. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2007. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/813546498.
Hill, Daniel Delis. History of World Costume and Fashion. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2011. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/768100950.
Houston, Mary G. Medieval Costume in England and France: The 13th, 14th, and 15th Centuries. New York: Dover Publications, 1996.
Killerby, Catherine Kovesi. Sumptuary Law in Italy, 1200-1500. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2005. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/179736332.
Koslin, Désirée G., and Janet Ellen Snyder, eds. Encountering Medieval Textiles and Dress: Objects, Texts, Images. New Middle Ages. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/932582835.
Lloyd, T. H. The English Wool Trade in the Middle Ages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/967424115.
Monnas, Lisa. Merchants, Princes and Painters: Silk Fabrics in Italian and Northern Paintings, 1300-1550. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/644408684.
Netherton, Robin, and Gale R. Owen-Crocker. Medieval Clothing and Textiles. Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2005. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/474796956.
Newton, Stella Mary. Fashion in the Age of the Black Prince: A Study of the Years 1340-1365. Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 1980. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1008198396.
Piponnier, Françoise, and Perrine Mane. Dress in the Middle Ages. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/943018667.
Richardson, Catherine. Clothing Culture, 1350-1650. New York: Routledge, 2017. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/976442537.
Scott, Margaret. Visual History of Costume: The Fourteenth & Fifteenth Centuries. 1. London: Batsford, 1986. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/932531120.
Scott, Margaret. Fashion in the Middle Ages. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/777928739.
Spufford, Peter. Power and Profit: The Merchant in Medieval Europe. London: Thames & Hudson, 2006. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/65759006.
Sronková, Olga. Gothic Woman’s Fashion. Prague: Artia, 1954. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/540980951.
Stuard, Susan Mosher. Gilding the Market: Luxury and Fashion in Fourteenth Century Italy. Middle Ages Series. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/475529735.
Thursfield, Sarah. The Medieval Tailor’s Assistant: Making Common Garments, 1200-1500. Carlton: Ruth Bean, 2001. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/862103281.
Tortora, Phyllis G., and Sara B. Marcketti. Survey of Historic Costume. Sixth edition. New York: Fairchild Books, 2015. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/972500782.
Vincent, Susan J., and Sarah-Grace Heller, eds. A Cultural History of Dress and Fashion: The Medieval Age (800-1450). London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2017. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/967107605.
Wagner, Eduard, Zoroslava Drobná, and Jan Durdík, eds. Medieval Costume, Armour and Weapons (1350-1450). London: Andrew Dakers, 1957. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/785276934.