11001200 in Fashion

1100–1200 in Fashion: General Trends

In western world, costume during twelfth century i.e. 1100 to 1200, was simple and it varied only in particulars from the fashion of the earlier centuries.

Like earlier centuries, there were two styles of dress for men as following:

  • A short, knee-length dress derived from daily-use dress of the later Roman realm
  • Short tunics used by the attacking barbarians and a long (ankle-length) dress come down from the outfits of the Roman upper classes and inspired by Byzantine dress

Wool was the main fabric for garments of all classes. The linen inner items were considered as more comfortable for skin and they were worn increasingly. Only wealthy people could wear silk clothes as it was costly enough.

Fur was incorporated as an internal lining to make the cloth warm. The use of vair, the pelt of the squirrel was very much popular.

The main features of upper class fashion for both the gender were body-fitting clothes, full skirts, and long flaring sleeves.

Both for men and women, new French fashion during 1100–1200 was the bliaut or bliaud. It was a lengthy outer tunic with full skirts from the hip portion, tight sleeves up to the elbow. And then it is flared up into a trumpet form.

Earlier the bliauts were more or less fitted and bloused to some extent over the belt at the waist section. Afterward, the bliaut was tailored in such a way that it fitted tightly to the body, and the belt or girdle was enfolded twice around the waist. It was entangled in front of the tummy.

1100–1200 in Fashion: Men’s Clothing

In twelfth century, common men used to wear knee-length tunics most of the times whereas men belonging to higher class wore long tunics, with hose and coverings or cloaks.

Men during that period used to wear the following clothes:

  • Shirt
  • Braies
  • Chausses
  • Outer tunics
  • Doublet

Apart from this, rural lower class men wore the chaperon in the shape of hood with shoulder-length mantle attached to it.

1100–1200 in Fashion: Women’s Clothing

Women’s clothing during 1100- 1200 was mainly an undertunic known as a chemise, chainse or smock, normally made of linen, over which one or more ankle-to-floor length tunics was worn.

1100–1200 in Fashion: Working Clothes

If the carvings and pictures during 1100-1200 century are to be believed, working class women used to wear ankle-length tunics and belt it at the waist portion.

Women who worked at French court were seen wearing loose tunic known as cotte or the form-fitting bliaut over a full-length chemise with fitting sleeves. The bliaut was consisting of a flaring skirt and fitting sleeves up to the elbow and then broadening to wrist in a trumpet form.

In mid-century, a new fashion was seen in the form of a gown known as bliaut giron. It was cut in two pieces, a tight fitting upper portion with a beautifully pleated skirt affixed to waistband beneath.

In England, the designer gown was broad at wrist portion whereas the gowns seen in France were not trumpet-shaped from the elbow.

Linen braies, long tunic with chausses and ankle-high shoes, short tunics and chausses, braies and a coif are the clothes men wear while doing works like haymaking, digging, pruning grapevines, harvesting grapes etc.

1100–1200 in Fashion: Hairstyles

Following the customs of Christianity, married women used to wear veils over their hair. The veil was divided in the center and hung down in long ponytails that could be extended with false hair.

During later part of the century, the use of wimple was started in England. The wimple was made of a linen cloth and it covered the throat, sometimes the chin too. The wimple was fixed firmly with the head under the veil.

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