What Did Queens Wear in the Middle Ages?

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In the Middle Ages, queens wore clothing inspired by the fashions of women in ancient Greece and Rome. They often wore two tunics, a long bottom one and a shorter top one cinched with a belt, and favored closed-toe shoes, trailing coats and caps made of linen with lappets hanging over the shoulders.

Fashion did not change much during the Middle Ages, but between 1400 and 1500, fashion for women shifted from long dresses with trains to floor length hemlines. Sleeves also became longer, and they were often embroidered or fringed. Queens of the era adorned themselves with gold, silver, pearls and precious stones.

Dresses or tunics of the era were often very fitted, and they frequently went up to the neck. Additional coverage was provided by a band that was tied under the chin and attached to a hat. Tight jackets reaching just to the hip line were trimmed in fur and worn over tunics.

Queens as well as men from the nobility wore bands around their shoes to emphasis the shape of their feet. The bands were tied like straps from Roman sandals.

During the crusades, queens and other women began carrying purses which were silk bags tied to their belts with a cord.