Late Medieval Fashion Redressed

How I stopped worrying and learned to love layers

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 print out the text and view the figures on your screen.

Download the paper in PDF format: PDF link

Please note: depending on the speed of your connection and your computing device, the PDF could take a little while to load.

4 thoughts on “How I stopped worrying and learned to love layers”

  1. Will you be re-linking this paper (How I stopped worrying and learned to love layers) sometime soon? The link isn’t working now, but I know that you’re re-doing the site. I read it a long time a go and it was such a good resource. I would like to review it again before I start my next garb project. 🙂
    Thanks, Kirsten

    1. Thank you for letting me know about this. I have 4 PDFs here, none of which are working. I’m looking into it and will hopefully have it all back up soon! Please check back.

  2. Pingback: Current Projects – Seat of my Pants

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: