Europe in the Fifteenth Century - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

Europe at the dawn of the fifteenth century operated much as it had for the previous several hundred years. The majority of the people, known as peasants, worked on small farms and paid some form of tax to a local lord, who provided the land on which they worked and also offered protection.

Fifteenth-Century Clothing - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

The fifteenth century saw transformations in the nature of costume and culture that are key to our understanding of Western fashion. Up until the fifteenth century, the clothing customs of most cultures had been determined by tradition, the availability of certain kinds of fabric, and the skill of the tailor.

Dagging and Slashing - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

Seen between the late fourteenth and sixteenth centuries, dagging and slashing were decorative techniques that were used to distinguish and beautify garments. Both techniques were used on the common garments of the day to add decoration in accordance with fashion trends.

Doublet - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

The doublet, a slightly padded short overshirt, usually buttoned down the front, with or without sleeves, was one of the essential men's garments of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The basic form of the doublet came from the pourpoint, a padded shirt that was originally worn by knights under their armor.

Fifteenth-Century Headwear - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

Like many of the fashion trends of the fifteenth century, the headwear worn during the fifteenth century underwent a shift after about the 1470s. In the first part of the century, headwear and hairstyles generally followed the conventions of the late Middle Ages (c.

Barbe - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

During the late Middle Ages (c. 500–c.

Fifteenth-Century Body Decorations - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

The fifteenth century was a time of transition in the ways that people ornamented their bodies. The use of jewelry and accessories became more and more prevalent and showy over the course of the century, reflecting the growing richness of the various kingdoms of Europe and paving the way for the absolute excess of display that occurred in the sixteenth century.

Fifteenth-Century Footwear - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

Europeans wore a wide variety of footwear during the fifteenth century, from simple pull-on leather moccasins to highly decorated poulaines, extremely long, pointed shoes. Shoes were generally made of leather, with either wood or leather for soles.

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