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The clothing of the Middle Ages, like everything else was decided by the pyramid of power. The pyramid of power was the Middle Ages Feudal System. Medieval clothes provided information about the rank of the person wearing them. From the 11th through the 14th centuries, medieval clothing assorted according to the social standing of the people. The clothing worn by nobility and upper classes was clearly different than that of the lower class. Medieval clothes provided information about the status of the person wearing them. The clothing and fashion during the medieval era of the Middle Ages was conquered and highly influenced by the Kings and Queens of the era. Only the wealthy could dress in fashionable clothes.
During the 11th century the ladies dresses of the early Middle Ages were influenced by the classical styles of the Greek and Roman women. Their dresses were tight to display the elegance of their figure.
Other clothing was made so high as completely to cover the neck. Dresses were embroidered and luxuriously decorated. Some dresses consisted of two tunics and of a veil or drapery, which was thrown over the head and fell down before and behind, thus entirely surrounding the neck. A long tunic reaching to the heels, fastened in at the waist and closed at the wrists. A tunic might be worn with or without sleeves. During the 12th century the female clothing of the time consisted of two tunics, the under one being longer but less capacious than the other. The sleeves of the clothing came down tight to the wrists, and being planted in many folds, whilst those of the latter open out, and only reach to the elbow. The lower part, the neck, and the borders of the sleeves are trimmed with ornamented bands. The waist was encircled by a girdle just above the hips. A long veil, finely worked, and fastened on the head, covered the shoulders and hung down to the feet, completely hiding the hair, so that long plaits falling in front were evidently not then in fashion. The under dress was made of various colors, whereas the gowns or outer tunics were often white.
During the 13th century a cap was worn made of linen with lappets hanging down over the shoulders. A robe was fastened round the waist which had long bands attached to the sleeves near the wrists. The tight gown, fastened at the collar by a round buckle, and two bands of stuff forming a kind of necklace.
She also used the long cloak with the clothing and closed shoes, which had then begun to be made pointed. Colored bands were attached to their shoes, which were tied round the ankles like those of sandals, and showed the shape of the foot. Women, in addition to their head-dress, often wore a broad band, which was tied under the chin, and gave the appearance of a kind of frame for the face. The surcoat was at first a garment worn only by females, but it was soon adopted by both sexes. The surcoat was originally a large wrapper with sleeves, and was thrown over the upper part of the robe and clothing. The surcoat was then made without sleeves. The under garment, which was made of more costly material, might be seen.
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