Wednesday, January 28, 2015

European Medieval Renaissance Maiden Outfit

In European history, the Middle Ages, or Medieval period, lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the collapse of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: Antiquity, Medieval period, and Modern period. The Medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, the High, and the Late Middle Ages.

Everyday lives of medieval peasants were extremely harsh as the majority of them worked as farmers.  They lived in small dwellings called cruck and were comprised of a wooden frame plastered with mud, straw and manure.  The dwellings had a thatched roof and the floor was lined with straw.

Their dress was plain and simple, only dressing up during one of their festival days.  Since they had to work the fields they needed durable layered clothing.


Peasant outfit


The first layer of clothing was a chemise.  The chemise was made mainly from muslin because it was washed the most.  It was made out of white colored material, because it was often bleached and boiled to remove the soil.  The function of the chemise was to protect the outer clothing from body perspiration.  Though the typical color was white, I have chosen to do mine in lavender and instead of muslin, I have used eyelet cotton material.  The chemise slips on and off the body.  It has an elastic neckline and the sleeves have an elastic hem.

Next layer of clothing is the skirt.  The skirt is made of quality cotton in a patchwork design.  Main colors are lime, purple and beige.  The skirt is trimmed with lavender lace at the hemline.  The skirt has a suspender sewn into the waist line for holding up the hemline of the skirt.  The suspender is made from ribbed ribbon and has a gold imitation gold leaf toggle closure.  Though peasants often wore more than one skirt, my outfit only features one skirt.

The last layer is a corset.  It is made from quality cotton.  The print is purple and lavender flowers.  It has eyelet and ribbon trim down the front.  It is completely lined and fastens in the back with velcro.

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