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Medieval avaOne of the most popular questions about female vintage costumes is “How many layers did they wear?”. Let’s find out. We will use examples from 1460-80s, but the basic layers were similar throughout the Medieval times. A 15th-century female attire wasn’t very complicated and pretentious – rather it was pretty, elegant, and feminine. And just look at these extraordinary headdresses!


Undergarments: linen chemise, woolen hose with braided garters, shoes. Hair is already tied up and braided.




Kirtle next: here a flat-fronted kirtle in silk damask, lined with silk, back lacing.




Spiral lacing at the back is chosen this time. Kirtle would have been worn on its own in a domestic environment – but rarely outside (for an upper-class lady that is).




Detachable sleeves could be pinned on or laced on (later option) for warmth or for a more complete domestic look.




Next layer: the gown. Here a Burgundian style. Black silk damask, with silk lining and rabbit fur trim. Different gowns could be worn with different kirtles for variety.




Belt next.

Bling next: a high born lady would be displaying her jewelry to show off her status.

Headdress: first a fillet in velvet – it keeps the hair away and is a secure base for the main headdress. The little loop is handy for re-adjusting the whole headgear. A linen coif could have been worn, too, or a hood/veil at home.




Truncated henin next – different styles of henins were worn, with different arrangements of the veils.




Same dress with a different henin and veil arrangement, as well as different jewelry.




Close-up of belt and rings.




Last thing – pattens! They protect the shoes from wet and muck. So, close-up of pattens.




A cloak or a mantle could be worn for colder conditions, too.

Winter and summer wear would differ – light fabrics for summer, heavier wools and additional layers for winter.




Here is a summer gown in light silk with silk kirtle.




Woolen kirtle and a veil. Kirtle fit and cut alone could support the bust quite well. For more support, linen bands were used.




And another intricate outfit.





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Every culture has features and peculiarities, familiar only to the people of this nation. And it’s very interesting to learn about traditional clothing from natives. That’s why if you have something to say about your national costume, please, do it using comments. Tell us things which you know about your country’s cultural heritage. Other people will discover something new for them thanks to you.

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