primrose oil pregnant sleepy and tired guggulsterones side effects non-narcotic pain medication side effects of too much coffee does accutane cause nose bleeds how to get off prednisone commissure of lip mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists how to buddy tape pinky toe define vena cava cause of appendix blue emu cream vagina burns after sex support groups for people with herpes mu-13 what is adenocarcinoma lung cancer levy jennings chart allergic skin reaction treatment pill with 555 arm and hammer powder fresh deodorant can u get high on ambien herbal birth control pills over the counter yeast infection treatments birth control besides the pill pictures of hives on body pinched nerve in lower back remedies swollen neck lymph node athletes foot sole pain clinic spokane wa constant ear pain in adults cerebral edema definition look up dogs side effects of b12 shots does fish oil cause acid reflux salt water sinus rinse numb chin syndrome wikipedia how long it takes to conceive gaviscon generic name does contrave give you energy natural stool softener pins in arm narrowing of the intestine viagra from india safe hard bump on penile shaft vitamin b1 side effects help for dry skin list of muscle relaxants opana vs oxycodone strength random jaw pain hpv 16 and 18 treatment neupro patch placement reasons why i pee so much imitrex and tramadol treatments for stomach flu vocal cord images how to get over pneumonia faster dental discharge instructions veterinary aortic valve leak symptoms angina pectoris is white v 2355 safeway prescription refill 93/31 withdrawal bleeding birth control gas and ibs what causes purple toes foods that contain purine lymph nodes neck pain adderall and marijuanas vicodin and vyvanse weird feeling after sex mirena and cramps what is esgic is clonidine a benzo sentry natural defense spray reviews examples of calcium dye free motrin chamomile tea inflammation treat chemical burn narcotic induced constipation treatment cure a sore throat effect of depression alcohol and medication interactions side effects of aloe causes of cystic fibrosis drug for constipation childhood stomach pain how do doctors diagnose pink eye lower thyroid levels bone marrow test pain fluid on your heart mdma drug test how long home remedies for swollen finger poppy seed tea high shoulder popped out of socket como amamantar a mi bebe 10 facts about smallpox vicodin es dosage nicotine patch nightmares night time hives what does fluconazole do what not to eat for diverticulitis beeswax chemical formula aldosterone receptor antagonist the glucose-sodium cotransporter what is alavert used for hot flashes treatments what is post menopausal how to irrigate a colostomy baby temp under arm add what does turf toe look like nasal spray for children hydrocodone syrup for dogs ul 15 pill pain in my back headache in side of head cellulitis medical definition nervio citico inflamado itchy bumps on buttocks pictures dose of ketamine new clinical trials bee pollen nutrition best nausea medicine what in nyquil makes you sleep gout uric acid level treatment for black tongue skin tags on neck cause otc meds for flu breast milk not coming out fluconazole 200 mg side effects do herpes pus premature ovarian failure in teenager healing deep wounds blink gel tears ingredients what does benzoyl peroxide do thrush back of tongue strep stomach ache percocet 60 mg rooster comb shot blue emu anti itch cream what does adrenaline mean what is cryptorchism acne medication 10 benzoyl peroxide what is vitamin 3 i just cant stop drug testing information tylenol tension headache ingredients wisdom teeth swollen cheeks immune globulin injection spine x ray pictures effects of sunstroke side of neck pain titanium dioxide dangerous porphyria cutanea tarda treatment ordering vicodin online alcohol and cold equaline sleep aid ear infection shot how to treat soft corns what is pravastatin used to treat haldol and dementia eye bruising after head injury metformin and chf calories in corn tortilla 6 inch side effects from pneumococcal vaccine massive stroke recovery prognosis what are cortisone injections how to give a heparin injection planters wart on ball of foot what type of drug is seroquel does pedialyte help with constipation drug lookup for nurses category 3 drugs krill oil v fish oil 44-344 pill what class of drug is hydrocodone hatley family dentistry little rock inverse psoriasis treatment z pack antibiotic for uti high heart beats per minute wart on eye otc eye allergy drops whats wrong with my body.com hair transplant side effects long term rheumatoid arthritis and methotrexate uses for thistle morphine sr vs er pfizer kalamazoo address target poppy seeds azt for hiv types of tooth decay nasacort vs zyrtec who makes gold bond infected big toe treatment blood in urine young male waldenstroms macroglobulinemia treatment vertical ridges on nails what cause hepatitis pregnancy after iud removal mirena calcium vitamin or mineral street value of drugs d10 iv solution vitamin d supplement during pregnancy start of period tylenol 3 breastfeeding coupon for nuvigil i stoved my finger effects of vitamin c overdose tapering off prozac side effects what is arthrotec 75 birth control pill brands comparison poison ivy on genitals internal shingles pain definition of antitoxin chloramphenicol brand name lock and key definition what is sid in medical term rite aid sitz bath coffee ground poop hpv vaccine schedule symptoms eye infection proper dosage of magnesium allergy eye drops prescription prevacid solutab price premature baby facts hydrocodone watson 349 aluminum based antacids side effects can i take creatine with water tear in retina symptoms chronic asthma cough l4 l5 s1 spinal fusion can you drink alcohol with augmentin hair dye allergy treatment expired antibiotic ointment cialis 40 mg at what age does puberty stop is my incision infected upper back burning pain left side stiff neck sinus colon diseases list skin disorders blisters canker sores on side of tongue side effects of marajuna is coffee considered a drug stridex face wipes what are signs of miscarriage acnevir gel review what is the heimlich foods that promote healing after surgery clomiphene citrate clomid t gel therapeutic shampoo extra strength definition of umbilical sciatica exercises to avoid habitrol vs nicoderm does aluminum have an odor promethazine dm syrup yellow rimadyl 100mg chewable tablets what triggers bipolar disorder vinegar on warts test lor 10 pill my back and legs hurt drug insurance for seniors can you inject cocaine what is klonopin prescribed for dosage for cyclobenzaprine sharp pain in upper left back cracked tail bone anucort hc 25 mg suppository price low dose aspirin regimen sciatica pillow cvs buy codeine promethazine cough syrup online liver biopsy side effects smoking weed once while breastfeeding powdered magnesium citrate over the counter for poison ivy baby orajel teething swabs fluoxetine hot flashes how to kill yourself using pills ketoprofen cream 20 is throwing up bad what does lortab do skin blotches from sun prn medical acronym famous actresses who died young invokana patient reviews what is shigellosis disease constant itchy feet when should i take l arginine bad cramps no bleeding sentinel heartworm pills effects of meth how to lower testosterone in women single blister on arm esophageal and gastric varices cvs caffeine caplets eclampsia after delivery diverticulitis flare up relief is promethazine dm a narcotic taurine and seizures discount pharmacy coupons signs of edema genteal mild to moderate eye drops how is heparin administered turmeric curcumin side effects left neural foramen voltaren gel walmart blisters on vigina lips sumatriptan succinate 50 mg round white pill watson 932 i got a headache buy drugs online without prescription increased cervical mucus sore neck and headaches pediatric allergist baton rouge long term tpn side effects perioral dermatitis home remedies what should my pulse be vicodin for sore throat dosage of hydrocodone on cpap but still exhausted topical testosterone for women similar to kratom how strong is vicodin what is a fractor xanax tapering schedule acid reducer pills arimidex for men dosage my dog ate antibiotics medical abbreviation mcg treatment for peripheral neuropathy in feet pill i-2 round legs feel weak and shaky long term effects of seroquel walmart antifungal cream azithromycin tablets usp terbutaline drug class mayo clinic osteoarthritis pyridostigmine bromide (mestinon) when should pregnancy test be taken lamictal and dizziness how to use cannabis oil when to start allopurinol tazorac discount card antara side effects does fiber help with diarrhea commonly known as lockjaw pulse too high infusion therapy for ulcerative colitis phenylephrine while breastfeeding is metronidazole a sulfa drug early signs of herpes outbreak comfort zone cat diffuser nettle leaf capsules ondansetron pediatric dose pregnancy and dry mouth scoliosis and spinal stenosis combination t plus shampoo will viagra make me bigger paranoid personality disorder mayo clinic d-amphetamine salt combo lo loestrin fe similar birth control when do babies stop nursing gas symptoms in adults strained my lower back what to do for swollen ankles arthri d3 ingredients swollen feet from sitting all day what is croup in spanish diverticulitis and antibiotics what is stress b complex blisters in baby mouth what are symptoms of tonsillitis yeast infection while on your period symptoms of carotid artery problems fastin diet pills lump on your testicle urine catheter pain pro-air very bad diarrhea how to make fake oxycodone pills do pee tests test for alcohol tadalafil best price 20 mg rash itch relief horse chestnut tablets doxycycline treat chlamydia cut on labia chronic regional pain syndrome type 1 natural medicines for anxiety plan b doesnt work for overweight how to treat yeast infection what causes blisters on genital area schedule n drugs xanax vs klonopin is methadone water soluble medication reminder devices ir medical term tomlyn nutri cal for cats side effects of inositol colcrys vs colchicine a broken arm where is the human appendix located herpes brain symptoms gi bleed nursing interventions sharp pain under big toenail why do my legs always hurt treatment for sore heel weird feeling in head benadryl sinus infection what is gastroschisis zanaflex vs baclofen white tissue in urine early pregnancy rx stands for pharmacy sudden ear ringing and muffled hearing how you get h pylori tylenol 3 while pregnant animal tumblr themes sudden dizziness and lightheadedness my ear is throbbing with pain narrowing of the mitral valve what is claritin used for how to treat vomiting in children dilaudid side effects non prescription pain meds for dogs too much senna saf gel wound care potassium rich foods list printable does emg test hurt pill information and pictures ranitidine acid reflux whats a goiter what does going cold turkey mean cream to remove black spots t-26 cipro for anthrax how to take pulse on neck how long do styes last ulcers on the eye causes of lymph node swelling cymbalta what is it left side of head aches white bumps on baby bottom wart of foot benefits of cannabis list half life of wellbutrin prevnar side effects nitrous oxide high effects withdrawal from heroine puremoist rewetting drops para que sirve aciclovir 400 mg symptoms of swelling of the brain flexeril 10mg uses safflower oil health bladder spasm relief weight lost pill does lexapro cause nausea uti and lower abdominal pain knee feels cold patch of bumps on back lisinopril post nasal drip zinc rite aid another name for vitamin c articular facet definition basil herb benefits swollen ankles from pregnancy pure ephedrine powder symptoms of tearing your acl women one a day vitamins causes of uric acid sinusitis blood mucus epinephrine and adrenaline amoxicillin prescription without insurance flat genital warts images can uterine polyps turn into cancer stress test with thallium painless bump on vagina what to take for cough androgel from canada what type of vaccine is hpv head injury after car accident magnesium gluconate liquid sore lips and mouth appetite stimulant pills over the counter essential tremor head mild withdrawal symptoms 106 s yellow pill smell of period blood why is tsh high in hypothyroidism cranial fluid leak symptoms how to elevate feet during pregnancy tongue warts hpv pictures of corns on your feet causes for eyelid swelling juleber birth control band aid rash pictures triamcinolone acetonide ointment usp 0.025 sore throat sign of cancer neupro patch recall how to reduce sex drive subliminal threshold definition does green tea cause heartburn



Related Articles
« MO »
About the Author
Kyshah Hell is an accomplished chameleon that dreams in color not black and white. This somewhat Celtic Yankee W.A.S.P. fancies herself a Gothic Glamour Punk. “I could never pigeon hole myself into a single category. I have too much fun playing dress-up across the board.”

Ms. Hell lives in Danbury, CT. with the love of her life, Steve, and her soul mate Glamour Puss, the pre-requisite black cat. Send accolades and anti-Goth slurs to her via e-mail.
« MO »

   

   

   

   

   


Status Through Fashion in the Middle Ages
Kyshah Hell
The ingenuity of the poor and the excesses of the wealthy dually contribute to the story of clothing. Status symbols, possessions by which one’s social or economic prestige is measured, are in every crevice of our culture. They are so numerous that society can hardly keep track of what is “in” or “out”. In Medieval Europe status symbols were much easier to decipher. The story of clothing was new and uncomplicated and is a story of the haves and the have-nots.
When the Roman empire fell, the only large power left in Europe was the Church. This was reflected in the modest dress of the age. During this time “barbarian” tribes such as the Goths, the Vikings, and the Huns dominated Europe. Fear and ignorance governed the Western world. Europeans were concerned with survival and clothing had to be functional. But by the year 1000 AD, people began to concentrate on things other than the afterworld. The first Crusade successfully captured Jerusalem in 1099 AD. This brought new fabrics and construction techniques to all of Europe. By the 13th century cities were being settled and a prosperous merchant class was rising. For the first time in Medieval history, a disposable income was possible. Because cloth was such a highly prized commodity, wealth was best showcased through clothing.
The Middle Ages can be defined in three parts. The Dark Ages lasted from 500 to 1000 AD. This portion was characterized by the Christianization of Europe. It was the time of Charlemagne’s rule and the Viking raids. The Middle Period covers 1000 AD to 1300 AD and begins with the Battle of Hastings and the Crusades. Clothing began to change in this time because of the increase in trade routes. The high Middle Ages, from 1300 AD to 1500 AD, encompass the black death. The black plague killed one third of Europe’s population, make people a more valuable commodity. The Middle Ages end with the fall of Constantinople and the beginning of a time of discovery, the Renaissance.
Historians must rely on paintings, manuscripts, and sculpture for accurate descriptions of Medieval clothing because very few garments survive prior to the 16th century. During the Middle Ages, very detailed images of both commoners and nobles were rendered. The Bayeux tapestry, which tells the events that lead up to the Battle of Hastings in 1066, is the oldest source for clothing of the everyday man of the Middle Ages. From these items, one can gage what was worn and how it was worn.
Dark Ages
Representations of European dress before 900 AD are rare. It is difficult to actually tell what was worn in the Dark Ages, but we do know that the clothing worn around 500 AD was very basic. The bliaut, a long overgarment, was worn by both sexes. It was loose enough to be put on over the head and had bell sleeves for women and was straight to the wrist for men.
As technology progressed women began lacing the bliaut up the back and sides to achieve an hourglass shape but this mainly appeared after the crusades. Men wore leather belts and leg warming fabric wraps. A mantle, or cloak, was worn by both sexes. It was a basic rectangle of fabric that was pinned at one shoulder. There is no evidence to suggest that women wore underwear at all during the Middle Ages, but both sexes wore a basic long sleeved linen undershirt or chemise that was knee length for men and ankle length for women. It was in the style of the basic, no-frills modern poet shirt. This garment became longer as women eventually began tucking the bliaut into a high belt. This was followed by the ladies of the court who wanted to show off their wealth in the undergarment. Men’s underwear was a folded garment that wrapped between their legs and belted or tied at the waist. Women were expected to cover her hair after marriage with a veil. This sign of Christian chastity and modesty lasted for all of the Middle Ages and is still seen in some parts of Europe today. A young woman would either fashion two plaits on either side of her head or wear her hair loose.
Fabrics were hand woven by most peasant women from scratch. If a women was good at it, she could use these fabrics for barter and sale. In this time period cloth items were naturally colored and often not very comfortable. Linen was used for undergarments because it was more comfortable than wool and it was easily washed. Contrary to popular belief, Medieval people washed these linen garments on a regular basis. Whether people took regular baths or not is questionable. The very wealthy could afford imported silk from Asia. Heavily embroidered or richly patterned fabrics were prized. Card weaving and group finger weaving were popular all over Europe. Women would use long strands of this weaving for belts and trimming garments. English women were considered the best Medieval embroiders and these items were traded all across the continent.
During the Dark Ages, wealth was shown with jewelry. The broach used to hold the mantle together was the main decorative item. Gold, pearls, and uncut stones were incorporated in the designs. Fine fabrics, good weapons, and armor all indicated wealth. Fur pelts of ermine and gray squirrel were used as lining and trim for garments. Rabbit and sheepskin lined the garments of the less affluent. Throughout much of Western history pale skin has been an indicator of wealth. Peasants working outside could not avoid the sun. It is only in the 20th century that tan skin became popular in the Western world.
Romanesque and Early Gothic
In the 11th Century, we see the construction of garments improving; shearing scissors had been used in Europe to trim animals as well as cut fabric but they were cumbersome and made for uneven cloth. After the Crusades the soldiers brought back scissors made exclusively for fabric. These smaller scissors made a vast improvement in the construction of garments. Sumptuous fabrics, such as damasks, velvets, and satin, were also brought to Europe along with better weaving techniques.
The French have always been known for setting fashion trends, but around 1000 AD, it was the Italians who added a third garment for women. The surcoat had a long round neck and long wide full sleeves. It was slit up each side to the waist and this was used to accentuate the colors of the cotehardie or under dress. The surcoat replaced the blait, which became the cotehardie, as the outer garment in the 12th Century. The cotehardie began to have tight sleeves for the women and the length was extended into a train. The surcoat was finally made side and sleeveless, with two small strips of fabric in the back and front holding the skirt to the collar, in the 15th century. The surcoat was often completely trimmed in fur.
This fashion was not adopted by peasants, but the newly emerging merchant class embraced them. Only wealthy women could afford all the yards of fabric it took to create this new style. Noble women were not allowed to expose their feet. Working peasant women wore an ankle length dress. The man’s tunic became shorter and his underwear became an outer garment. These breeches were knee length and wrapped into the leg warmers. Women in this period wore wimples, cloth veils draped over the head, around the neck and up to the chin. The barbette, a crown type accessory, secured the wimple.
A greater range of color was also coming into play. The brighter the fabric, the more wealthy the owner. It took a lot of expensive herbs as well as large quantities of other items to achieve a bright color. Red was a favorite of the nobles in this period. The cotehardie would be made from a bright colored fabric so it could be seen under the surcoat. Purple fabric was reserved for the extremely wealthy, such as a King and the Pope, because the formula for the dye was a closely guarded Byzantine secret. Only one family in the empire knew how to produce purple fabric so only a small amount was exported each year.
In the 13th century, tailors began to open shops in prosperous cities like London, Munich, Genoa, Florence, Vienna and Paris. The wealthy could have custom made garments and the less fortunate had access to fabric and sewing items. Buttons were brought back to Europe after the Crusades around 1200 AD. They most likely came from China and were used mainly as decoration. The buttons were made of bone, antler, and cast metal. Silver, ivory, and mother of pearl buttons were bought by the wealthy. Large loops with toggle type horn buttons had been in wide use to hold pieces of fabric together but no one in Europe invented the button hole until the Renaissance. Buttons were sewn on to the cotehardie from the elbow to the wrist. They would also be used to embellish the hemlines, collars, and cuffs of the surcoat.
Late Gothic
A memorable style of the Middle Ages are the elaborate female headdresses. In the mid 1300’s, hair was braided and worn in buns over the ears. Hair nets woven from silk and gold thread held the buns in place. This style gave way to a whole fashion of rolled hair coverings and wildly imaginative headdresses. The best known headdress of this period is the butterfly. This style incorporated a hair cap and wires with sheer fabric draped over it; it was only in style for a short period right before the Renaissance. A steeple shaped hennin and the horned veil were both popular in this period. They both completely covered the hair which gave way to the late 1400’s style of plucked eyebrows and shaved foreheads. The hennin is a cone shaped hat that has a long trailing veil that is wound around and left hanging long. These styles could only be maintained by the idle rich. The elaborate preparation time as well as the slow deliberate way a woman needed to carry herself both lead to this conclusion. Many people, including peasants, thought these headdresses were outrageous and chastised and taunted the women who sported the style. Men had elaborate hoods of their own. The basic hood became a separate garment in the Dark Ages but it wasn’t until the late Medieval period that it became a turban. The 13th Century liripipe hat was a hood that extended into a long point in the back. At one point the extension became so long that it was draped over the arm. In Italy especially this long tail was wrapped around the head creating a turban in the 1400’s.
Life in general was easier by this time. A prosperous merchant class practiced trades all over Europe. Many people became wealthy in a short amount of time. The Black Plague ravaged the continent and left many with a clear path to this wealth. Various ways of displaying the new found money came into play. One obvious way was flamboyant consumption of fabric. Many men, as well as women would be seen in yard upon yard of fabric. Huge cloaked garments, called houppelande, were invented. This outer garment had enormous scalloped sleeves as well as a large train. The houppelande sometimes buttoned from the collar to the hem and it was worn by both sexes. A thigh length version was eventually worn as the male dress. This was worn with a high belt, tight hose, and long pointed leather shoes. At one point the shoe became so long that it was tied up to the ankle. Other garments became much more tailored and fit the body closely.
The better made the garments were the wealthier the person was. This has remained true throughout most of history. Sumptuary laws had to be passed by the government to keep the new merchant class from overstepping their place in society. Everything from the amount of fabric that could be used to the length of the shoes point was regulated. Laws of this nature appear all over Europe during the Middle Ages. Many people ignored these rules and punishment was not very severe.
The tribes of early civilization bartered with each other for what the other did not have. Luxury goods were prized in these primitive societies because wealth was power. These tribes were nomadic and the physical appearance was the easiest was of showing this power. As tribes began settling Europe they became known for the goods they could produce. Having luxury goods from another society made one important. The Scandinavians produced superior wools. The Vikings were known to be quite fashionable in their day. They actively traded to obtain the best in cloth good. The Italians wove fine fabrics. They gained knowledge from the East in weaving techniques and cloth manipulation. The best European cloth came from Florence and Venice. The French were known for setting the trends. In the Medieval period Paris was the center of civilized Europe. Most of Europe was settled by peasants. The basic clothing of these poor people remained simple and functional for all of the Middle Ages . The Nobles and the wealthy were few and far between and the aristocrats were the ones who had the time and money to be excessive. History remembers the winners and the Medieval nobles made sure, through the arts, that they would never be forgotten.
RESOURCES:

Books
When researching something of this nature, children’s books are often the most concise and a great starting point. The Eyewitness Books series has over 65 books on a plethora of subjects. They are great and I highly recommend you check out Medieval Life and Costume, ISBN: 0789460386 and ISBN: 0679816801 respectively.

In the children’s section you can also find the pop-up book Fashion through the Ages by Knight and Dalziel.
The Anatomy of Costume by Robert Selbie
Fashion by Mila Contini
Medieval Life and Costume by Herbert Norris

Websites
www.virtue.to/articles/butterfly.html
How to make Medieval headdresses, including the Butterfly hennin.
www.virtue.to/articles/arnolfini.html
More on the theory and construction of 15th Century headdress.
www.costumes.org
A good place to visit for costuming resources.