Renaissance era which came into existence during 14th century brought a new wave of fresh ideas and imaginations into the people. The period which is marked as the rebirth from the long black history of Tudor era boots the feeling of self respect and reliance. Advancement in technology and emergence of middle class made the drastic change in the living standard of common people which reflected in their living way, the way they eat, dressed and behaved – everything was changed about them.
Costume which is the inseparable part of every civilization had its significance in medieval history too. The designers of that period were greatly influenced by German and Italian garments and mostly used for designing the wardrobe of rich people, who were not only the trend setter but also they took the piece of clothing as a means of showing wealth; they basically wore ‘wealth’. People of lower section did not have reach to such a magnificent costume, they wore the cloths as a means of need and utility.
The fabrics used for making the wardrobe of wealthy people were basically dark in color to show off the rich embroidery, valuable gems and stones. Cotton which was considered as poor men’s costume was now expensive fabric and taxed heavily while importing. Not only cotton; silk, brocade, damask and velvet were also expensive fabrics. Expensive medieval costumes were like investment for its maker because of its rich fabrics and valuable stones and gems stitches on it. On the other hand shipskin, lenin and wool were the fabrics for lower class people.
The Elizabeth symphony laws of Tudor era which was based on material and color of fabric were still into existence but its effect was narrowing with passage of time. People started showing their agony and disliking for such laws like in case of a law which debarred people from wearing multicolor dresses, they used slashing technique to bring the contrast in fabric which was considered as rebellious behavior towards the authority.
Medieval costumes were divided into many layers for both men and women. Earlier three pieces of clothing underskirt, bodice and robe were considered then it came to one and then again to the five pieces of underskirt, skirt, bodice, vest and collar. Unlike Tudor period’s circular designs of clothing, barrel- shaped and square shaped were in fashion for men and to get that look medieval costumes were widened at shoulder. Pirates were also seen in the expensive and extravagant renaissance dresses and accessories except lower crew members.
Renaissance era for its outfits can be considered as revolutionary. The artisans and craftsmen explored their views beyond the boundaries to bring the new changes, accepted the good happening around them and made their tailoring technique advance. It is fun to be in the attire of bygone eras as well as a great learning experience about past of our heritage.