Q:

What did women wear during the renaissance?

A:

Quick Answer

During the time of the Renaissance, most women wore similar flowing styles, although lower class women couldn't afford many of the fabrics used by women in the upper classes. All outfits started with a loose fitting linen smock that was worn to protect outer clothing from sweat. At least one petticoat was also generally worn underneath a long skirt to make the gown fuller and keep the wearer warm.

Continue Reading
What did women wear during the renaissance?
Credit: Print Collector/Getty Images Hulton Archive Getty Images

Full Answer

Women of the lower classes wore clothing for function rather than ornamentation. The majority of their outfits were made of linen, wool or sheepskin. They often wore loose-fitting corsets or chose to forgo a corset altogether. Women in the lower classes also frequently chose not to wear the fashionable bum rolls and farthingales. Bum rolls were a type of crescent-shaped cushion that women wore around their hips underneath their clothing. Farthingales were a hoop skirt used to hold dresses and skirts away from the body. These differences arose because of the expense of extra ornamentation, and because women of the lower classes needed freedom of movement to work effectively alongside their menfolk and in their homes.

Women of the upper classes more often wore dresses with tight-fitting, low-cut bodices that left their necklines bare. They also wore full skirts that hung down to their ankles with bum rolls and farthingales worn underneath. Their gowns were often made of heavier fabrics that restricted their movements, such as velvet and brocade, but they also wore delicate and expensive gowns made of satin and silk. They did this to display their wealth overtly and as a sign that they had no need to be able to work.

Learn more about Historical Dress

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What clothing styles were popular in the 1980s?

    A:

    Some popular clothing styles from the 1980s include shoulder pads for women's business wear, miniskirts, leg warmers, large earrings and fingerless gloves. Some other 80s styles include parachute pants, Members Only jackets, UNITs boutique clothing, oversized women's tops and stirrup pants.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What was the fashion sense like in 2001?

    A:

    In early 2001, fashion in the United States featured a dark and conservative tone, but changed to printed patterns, softer fabrics and black and white apparel following the attacks of September 11, 2001. Reflecting society's emotional response to the terrorist attacks and gloomy outlook for the economy, fashion designers replaced militaristic clothing featuring dark black and green tones for cheery, soft colors to lift consumers' spirits and encourage spending.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the traditional style of Turkish clothing?

    A:

    The traditional style of Turkish clothing is mostly casual attire made with cotton and wool fabrics. Most of the clothing is functional and comfortable. Traditionally, men and women often wore similar clothing. Since men and women both traveled frequently on horseback, they required comfortable and flexible attire.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How did the Renaissance affect the role of women in society?

    A:

    Although it was originally thought that the Renaissance was a period during which women achieved a greater degree of equality with men, the assumption has been challenged by modern writers claiming that even women in the upper classes still held only limited roles in Renaissance society. In spite of the fact that Renaissance women had greater opportunities to acquire a humanist education, they were unable to make use of that education in the areas of commerce and business unless they were doing so in conjunction with their husbands' enterprises.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore