In western countries, the fashion trends witnessed experiments with various form of garments. Mid-fourteenth century marked the development of recognizable fashion in outfits. The straight line of stitching of earlier centuries was replaced by the curved lines. The tailoring process, for which humans could get fitting clothes, had started in this century only. The use of lace and buttons in this century itself, made the clothes more fitting.
The length of female hem-lines decreased over the period and by the end of 14th century men were more fashionable after leaving out the long loose-fitting over-garment of earlier centuries. They preferred tailored top that came beneath the waist. That outline is reflected in men’s dress even today. The most important material for preparation of dresses was wool. Linen, silk and fur were also used as materials and silk was very much expensive.
From 14th century onwards, the western fashion continued to change at a rate not known to other civilizations, both ancient and contemporary. The textile business was growing continuously all over the century and it became a major part of the economy for several areas including England and Italy. Clothes were costly enough and employees including highly positioned officials were normally supplied with one dress annually as part of their wage.
Woodblock printing of dresses was known throughout the 14th century and it was more common by the end of that period.
The clothes of men during this century were mainly as follows:
The braies or breeches, a baggy undergarment made of linen were used as the inmost layer of dress and they were held up with the belt. Then shirt, made of linen, was also used as the undergarment.
Bright colored hose or chausses made of wool were worn to cover up the leg. They had leather sole sometimes so that the user will not have to wear shoes. Hose were normally attached with the breech belt. Sometimes it was tied to the breeches, or to a doublet..
A doublet was a jacket with buttons and it was of hip length. Garments such as cotehardie, pourpoint, jaqueta or jubón were also similar with doublet and they were put on over the shirt and the hose.
Men were seen wearing a gown, tunic or kirtle over the shirt or doublet. Like other external outfits, it was usually made of wool.
Men in 14th century were also using headgears and other accessories like belt, belt pouches or purses, long daggers, plate armour etc.
If we look for the information on underwear of women in 14th century, the inmost layer of clothing for women during that period was a chemise or smock made of linen or wool. In some cases information has been found on use of a "breast girdle" or "breast band", which is understood to be the ancestor of a modern bra.
Women were seen wearing hose or stockings even though their hose usually reached till the knee
Both men and women used to go to bed naked. But a few married women wore chemises while going to bed showing modesty and holiness. Lower class people went to bed wearing the under garments as their bed were made of straw mattress and there were hardly any sheets.
Women wore loose or tight fitted gown known as cotte or kirtle over the chemise. They wore several types of overgowns over the kirtle. Working women used cloaks or mantles. Married women were seen using some head coverings.