Medieval Combat Society

Costume

Costume

Fashion in fourteenth-century Europe was marked by the beginning of a period of experimentation with different forms of clothing. Costume historian James Laver suggests that the mid-14th century marks the emergence of recognizable "fashion" in clothing and Fernand Braudel concurs. The draped garments and straight seams of previous centuries were replaced by curved seams and the beginnings of tailoring, which allowed clothing to more closely fit the human form.

Also, the use of lacing and buttons allowed a more snug fit to clothing.During the course of the century the length of female hem-lines progressively reduced, and by the end of the century it was fashionable for men to omit the long loose over-garment of previous centuries (whether called tunic, kirtle, or other names) altogether putting the emphasis on a tailored top that fell a little below the waist — a silhouette that is still reflected in men's costume today. 

Armour at this time also underwent a transition from predominantly maille through individual plates used to protect key areas and through to the full harness of plate mail.

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