Medieval & Renaissance Costumes
Medieval & Renaissance Halloween Costumes
The word "Renaissance," is defined as a "rebirth or reconstruction." This period in history marked the rebirth of the ideas and values of civilization and the revival of cultural achievements in all forms of art, fashion and music. It was a time when Shakespeare was in the prime of his career and Sir Francis Drake had spanned the Globe. It was a magical world of medieval knights, dragons and jesters; it was the historical age of the Renaissance Era.
Clothing during the Renaissance Era always reflected the social status of the person wearing it. Fashion for the wealthy meant spending the majority of their money on clothing. The more elaborate the tailoring and craftsmanship the more expensive the clothing was to help establish a reputation of wealth for the owner. There would be no doubt as to who was of nobility. The noble women dressed gracefully with a sense of romance and elegance. Their gowns were voluminous, empire waists with skirts heavily pleated and supported underneath by hoopskirts. Sleeves were puffed and necklines were adorned with high-standing collars with delicate lace.
Men's fashions became square in cut and elaborately trimmed. Their breeches were lengthened and tunics were decorated with lace edges and frills at the neck and sleeves. Shoes were square toed and wide brim hats were used to complete the look.
In order to control fashion and restrict luxuries from the lower classes, the royals passed a law decreeing that commoners could only wear one color of clothing. Not to be chastised, the lower classes would put two fabrics of materials together and slash the outer garment so as the material underneath could be seen. Medieval and Renaissance costumes can be seen in their full glory by performers at Renaissance Faires across the country.