OVERVIEW

Womenswear

Wikipedia writes:

“Women’s fashions of the 15th century consisted of a long gown, usually with sleeves, worn over a kirtle or undergown, with a linen chemise or smock worn next to the skin. The sleeves were made detachable and were heavily ornamented. The long-waisted silhouette of the previous period was replaced by a high-waisted style with fullness over the belly, often confined by a belt. The wide, shallow scooped neckline was replaced by a V-neck, often cut low enough to reveal the decorated front of the kirtle beneath.”

“Various styles of overgowns were worn. The cotehardie fitted smoothly from the shoulders to the hips and then flared by means of inserted triangular gores. It featured sleeves tight to the elbow with hanging streamers or tippets. The tight fit was achieved with lacing or buttons. This style faded rapidly from fashion in favor of the houppelande, a full robe with a high collar and wide sleeves that had become fashionable around 1380 and remained so to mid-15th century. The later houppelande had sleeves that were snug at the wrist, making a full “bag” sleeve. The bag sleeve was sometimes slashed in the front to allow the lower arm to reach through.”

Paradise

Fig. 1 - Giovanni di Paolo (Giovanni di Paolo di Grazia) (Italian, 1398-1482). Paradise, 1445. Tempera and gold on canvas, transferred from wood; 47 x 40.6 cm (18 1/2 x 16 in). New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 06.1046. Rogers Fund, 1906. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Portrait of a Woman with a Man at a Casement

Fig. 2 - Fra Filippo Lippi. Portrait of a Woman with a Man at a Casement, ca. 1440. Tempera on wood; 64.1 x 41.9 cm (25 1/4 x 16 1/2 in). New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 89.15.19. Marquand Collection, Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1889. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Menswear

Wikipedia writes:

“The basic costume of men in this period consisted of a shirt, doublet, and hose, with some sort of overgown (robe worn over clothing)…. From around the mid-15th century very tight-fitting doublets, belted or tailored to be tight at the waist, giving in effect a short skirt below, were fashionable, at least for the young. Sleeves were generally full, even puffy, and when worn with a large chaperon, the look was extremely stylish, but very top-heavy. Very tight hose, and long pointed shoes or thigh-boots gave a long attenuated appearance below the waist, and a chunky, solid one above. The doublet was often elaborately pleated, especially at the back, the pleats being achieved by various means. In Italy both shirt and doublet were often high, tight and collarless at the front of the neck; sometimes they are shown higher at the front than the back.”

Portrait of a Carthusian

Fig. 1 - Petrus Christus. Portrait of a Carthusian, 1446. Oil on wood; 29.2 x 21.6 cm (11 1/2 x 8 1/2 in). New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 49.7.19. The Jules Bache Collection, 1949. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

CHILDREN’S WEAR

References:

Historical Context

Wikipedia: 1440-1449
Rulers:

Europa 1400. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Events:
  • 1441 – King’s College, Cambridge, is founded by King Henry VI of England
  • 1443 – Queens’ College, Cambridge is first founded by Margaret of Anjou.
  • 1444 – Cosimo de’ Medici founds the Laurentian Library in Florence.
  • 1446 – The hangul alphabet is created in Korea, by King Sejong the Great of Joseon.
  • 1447 – The Spanish Inquisition is revived.
  • 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 15th-century overview page for more research sources… or browse our Zotero library.

    Online

    “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.
    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.
    Watt, Melinda. “Renaissance Velvet Textiles.” The Met’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, n.d. https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/velv/hd_velv.htm.
    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
    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.
    Byrde, Penelope. The Male Image: Men’s Fashion in Britain, 1300-1970. London: B. T. Batsford, 1979. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/891905981.
    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, Phillis. Costume of Household Servants, from the Middle Ages to 1900. London: A and C Black, 1974. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1369922.
    Egan, Geoff, and Frances Pritchard. Dress Accessories, c. 1150 - c. 1450. New ed. 3. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, 2002.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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 Elizabeth Currie, eds. A Cultural History of Dress and Fashion: The Renaissance (1450-1650). London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2017. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/967107605.
    Woolley, Linda. Medieval Life and Leisure in the Devonshire Hunting Tapestries. London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 2007. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/74969103.
    Pinterest
    “1400-1450 Fashion in Paintings.” Pinterest, 1400s. https://www.pinterest.com/pocketmuseum/1400-1450-fashion-in-paintings/.
    “1400-1500 Extant Clothing.” Pinterest, 1400s. https://www.pinterest.com/pocketmuseum/1400-1500-extant-clothing/.
    “1400-1500 Fabrics & Textiles.” Pinterest, 1400s. https://www.pinterest.com/pocketmuseum/1400-1500-fabrics-textiles/.