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The Renaissance Battle of the Sexes Online!



Renaissance Clothing

Typical clothing of noble women of the Renaissance consisted of flowing gowns and headwear ranging from Italian turbans, to headdresses shaped like hearts or butterflies, and tall steeple caps. Hats were very important in determining the social class of a person of the Renaissance. Laws were passed in many cities against their extravagant headpieces, but many women didnít seem to care. One quote regarding the extravagance of hats worn by women: "I know some women who have more heads than the devil. Every day they put on some new headgear, I see some wearing them shaped like tripe, some like a pancake, some like a dish. If you could only see yourselves, you look like a lot of owls and hawks!"

Wealthy women often used wool to line their garments. Much of their jewelry was imported and often used as security against loans. During the Renaissance, diamonds became very popular, and soon after, laws were formed to control who wore what jewelry. This control allowed all who would view the woman to know her social status simply by what she wore. Additionally, women would wear their keys on a key belt in open view of others, and the more keys that she would show, the higher her status. Keys themselves implied the status you had, since a larger status person would have access to more rooms and need more keys.

Peasant women wore long gowns with sleeveless tunics and to cover their hair, they wore wimples. During the winter, they spun wool into threads that were woven into cloth to make their sheepskin cloaks and woolen hats and mittens to protect them from the cold and rain. Their outer clothes were rarely washed. However, linen underwear was laundered on a regular basis, anywhere from once every other week to less than once a month. To cover for this lack of cleanliness, the smell of wood smoke acted as a deodorant.



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Note: This page has been created as a result of research done by students at Plymouth-Salem High School as part of a Humanities class. All data presented, unless otherwise noted, derives from these research materials. Any inaccuracy of information is accidental. Thank you for visiting our site!

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