An analysis of fitted dress styles depicted in the art of the late 14th/early 15th century
A paper written in February 2003 by Tasha Kelly
Since writing this paper, I have examined more art sources and found that while my data sampling would be slightly skewed by these come-lately sources, my larger conclusions are still validated by them. In one exceptional case, I got confirmation that an ambiguous source cited in my paper does, in fact, portray a dress style that I maintain was likely to have been less popular than many historical clothing enthusiasts tend to believe. This style is a fitted dress with long, fitted, buttoned sleeves and buttons along the center-front closure. It is a style most commonly (but questionably) named a “cotehardie” in historical costuming circles. The ambiguous source was a rubbing of the English memorial brass for Eleynore Corp, circa 1391 (or 1361, depending on the source) and is cited in my paper as Figure 27. My source, Brass Rubbings by Muriel Clayton, dates this brass to 1391, but provides a small, unclear reproduction. The larger, clearer picture of this brass is the first example of the questioned fitted dress style I had seen as of the first writing of this paragraph (6/25/2003). Many thanks to Vanessa Giddings for providing the clearer copy.
Update: I have gathered a few more artistic sources of the feminine fitted dress so often called a “cotehardie”. Click here to see the few found to date. (October 15, 2003).
When reading this paper it helps to have the figures, which begin on page 25, available for viewing next to the text. You may want to either print the whole thing out in color and place the figures side-by-side with the text, or print out the text and view the figures on your screen.
You can download the paper in two ways. If you have Windows XP and Word XP, the Word document link below is recommended, as you will get better resolution for the images. I cannot guarantee that the download will work for any other versions of the Windows OS or Microsoft Word. You can also view the paper in .PDF, which only requires that Adobe Acrobat Reader be installed on your system. Some graphic detail may be lost.
Please note: depending on the speed of your connection and your computing device, the PDF could take a little while to load.