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Exciting cultural changes began in Italy about mid 1
century !hen scul"tors#
"ainters# and !riters began to identi$y !ith the ancient ci%ili&ation o$ 'reece ( Rome)
These Italians belie%ed that 1*** years o$ dar+ness ( ignorance se"arated them $rom the
Roman era ( their times) They belie%ed that there has been a ,re-birth. o$ classical arts
( learning# a Renaissance# deri%ed $rom the Italian !ord ,renascere. meaning reborn) It
!as a "eriod o$ "ro$ound transition as medie%al institutions crumbled ( a ne! society (
culture began to a""ear) It can be %ie!ed as a time o$ transition $rom medie%al to modern
%ie! o$ man ( the !orld)
The renaissance started as interest in $orms o$ classical scul"ture ( architecture
es"ecially in Ital# gre! ( became a broad cultural ( intellectual mo%ement !hich gained
im"etus to!ards the end o$ the 1
The renaissance artists "ainted realistically# ( this a""roach extended in
re"resentation o$ clothing)
The technology $or ma+ing cloth did not change much $rom the 1iddle Ages to the
Renaissance) The s"inning !heel !as !ell established by this time in Euro"e) 0eonardo
2a 3inci in%ented a bobbin ( $lyer mechanism $or the s"inning !heel that# had it been
"ut into use# !ould ha%e s"eeded u" the "rocess o$ s"inning enormously) 4n$ortunately#
li+e so many o$ da 3inci5s in%entions# it remained $or another# a 'erman in%entor# to
actually "ut into use in the mid 15oos)
6ool ( sil+ !ere "rimarily loomed in Italy) 6ool !as im"orted !hile sil+ !as
culti%ated locally) It is "ointed that Italy !as the most im"ortant( luxurious centre in
Euro"e to manu$acture textiles) ,Her !oolen cloth !as unsur"assed $or 7uality8 her
!o%en sil+s !ere uni7ue in their s"lendor).
C9ST41E C91:9NENTS ;9R 1EN 1**-15*
294<0ETS: =nee length doublets !ere !orn !ith hose)
H94::E0AN2ES: 0ong or short# most hou""elandes had !ide# $unnel-sha"ed or
hanging slee%es)
H4=ES:Hu+es !ere "laced o%er doublets)

Shoes: !hile "ointed# Italian shoe styles did not ha%e the extreme "i+ing seen in other
"arts o$ Euro"e)
HAIR: Although hair !as short# the bo!l cut does not seem to ha%e ado"ted in Italy)
C9ST41E ;9R 691EN 1**-15*
H94::E0AN2ES: 1any hou""elandes had imaginati%e cut slee%es)
HAIR: ;oreheads !ere bared ( $ashionably high# as the rest o$ Euro"e) Italian !omen
co%ered their hair less com"letely than !omen else!here)
HEA22RESS: 1any o$ the head co%ering !ere more turbans li+e "ossibly a re$lection
o$ closer contacts !ith the 1iddle East) In the second 7uarters o$ the century !omen
!ore large# round# beehi%e sha"ed hats)
About the beginning o$ the second hal$ o$ the century Italian costume ( that o$
Northern Euro"e di%erged# !ith !ide di$$erences until the early 15**s) The hou""elande
!as su""lanted by ne! ( distinctly Italian styles regional %ariations# es"ecially those o$
3enice# !ere e%ident)

C9ST41E ;9R 1EN 15*-15**
Shirt or camicia: !orn next to the s+in as an undergarment# shirts !ere %isible at the
edges or o"enings o$ the outermost garments) Shirts !ere made o$ coarse# hea%y linen $or
lo!er class men# ( $iner# so$ter linen $or u""er class men) 'ussets !ere used under the
slee%e to "ermit ease o$ mo%ement) 0engths ranged $rom bet!een !aist ( hi" to abo%e
the +nees)
294<0ET: The length o$ the doublet %aried $rom !aist-length to belo! the hi") In
longer lengths# sometimes doublets !ere cut !ith a small s+irt) ;our seams# $ront# bac+ (
both sides "ro%ided $or close $itting sha"es) 2oublets o$ten had a distincti%e nec+-line
$inish that dis"layed the high le%el o$ s+ill o$ Italian tailors) At the center o$ the bac+ a
dee" 4-sha"ed "iece !as cut out)
The lobourer !ears his >ac+et o"en ( detached $rom his hose in order to allo! him to
mo%e $reely) The camicia can be seen at the hi" line) The loosened hose are rolled belo!
the +nee ( o%er the hose he !ears shoes# "robably leather# that came to the an+le)
H9SE: Attached to the doublet# hose !ere cut either as t!o se"arate or seamed together
at the crotch) 2oublet ( hose !ere !orn $or labour ( !ar$are by men exce"t $or those o$
u""ermost classes) Ho!e%er by the end o$ the century $ashionable young men too+ to
!earing the doublet ( hose !ithout an outer >ac+et)
?AC=ETS: ?ac+et styles o$ the last hal$ o$ the 1**s had these $eatures:
1id century- $itting smoothly
0ast hal$ o$ the century- $itted o%er the shoulders ( u""er chest# and then $ell in $ull
"leats $rom a sort o$ yo+e) ;ullness !as belted at the !aistline)
To!ards the end o$ the century- slee%eless >ac+ets seamed at the shoulder ( o"en under
the arms) This !as $ull ( "leated !orn !ith belt or !ithout belt)
S0EE3ES: Their construction could be 7uite com"lex) The earliest $orms o$ slee%es cut
in t!o sections) 9ne section !as $ull ( some!hat "u$$ed $rom shoulder to elbo!# ( the
other section !as $itted $rom elbo! to !rist) 0ater one "iece slee%es !ere $ull at the
shoulder ( ta"ering to the !rist) E%en later slee%es !ere narro!ing to $it smoothly $or
the length o$ the arm) 6hen slee%es !ere too tight to "rohibit easy mo%ement# o"enings
!ere le$t through !hich the long !hite shirt could be seen) 9"enings !ere closed !ith
laces) Attachment o$ slee%es could be done in these !ays:
Se!n into the body o$ doublet or >ac+et)
0aced into the armhole ( the $abric o$ the camicia "ulled through the o"enings to $orm
decorati%e "u$$s) I$ laced# slee%es !ere interchangeable $rom one garment to another)
Hanging slee%es attached to the >ac+et# $or ceremonial occasions)
CERE19NIA0 R9<ES: These !ere $ull-length go!ns that !ere !orn by state o$$icials
( la!yers) :laced o%er doublet ( hose ( >ac+et as their# outermost layer# robes o$ten had
hanging slee%es)
94T299R 'AR1ENTS: 1en !ore o"en ( closed ca"es) These %aried in length as the
>ac+et %aried# but al!ays co%ered the >ac+ets com"letely) 9$ten they !ere trimmed in $ur
or lined in contrasting colors)
HAIR ( HEA22RES: @oung men cut their hair in medium or longer length that ta"ered
$rom belo! the ears in $ront to about the shoulders in the bac+ ( !orn either straight or
curly) 9lder men cut their hair shorter) 1en !ere clean-sha%en)
A %ariety o$ hat styles are seen in "aintings# including turban li+e styles# brimless
"illbox styles# either so$t a rigid high to7ues ( hats !ith so$t cro!n ( u"turned brims or
round cro!ns ( narro! brims)

;99T6EAR: :ointed toes begin to round o$$ at the $ront to!ards the end o$ the century)
0eather soled# $ooted hose !ere by $ar the most "o"ular $oot!ear $or men) 6hen !orn
shoes $itted closely ( !ere cut high across the inste"# ( belo! the an+lehome)
C9ST41E ;9R 691EN: 15*-15**
CA1ICIA: 1ade !ith the 7uality o$ $abric %aried !ith the status o$ the !earer) It !as
made $ull-length# to the $loor) Slee%es !ere long# some !ere cut in raglan styleA seams
running $rom belo! the arm at $ront ( bac+ to the nec+ rather than being set into the
armholeB)Nec+lines !ere embroidered# or binded or smoc+ed or edgings !ere added)
Although camicia !as an undergarment "oor !omen are sho!n only !earing camicia
!or+ing in $ields)
2RESSES: 'arments o$ u""er class !omen had straight cuts ( s"lendid a""earance) <y
care$ully mani"ulating the layers o$ camicia# dress ( o%erdress ( choosing contrasting
$abrics $or each layer# rich decorati%e e$$ects !ere achie%ed) 'arment !as made in either
o$ t!o !ays:
Cut in one "iece $rom shoulder to them# !ith a smooth $itting# yo+e-li+e construction
o%er the shoulder# then enlarged into $ull "leats or gathers o%er the bust-line) These !ere
6ith a bodice section >oined to a $ull gathered or "leated s+irt) These dresses usually
closed by lacing u" the $ront ( also sometimes at the side)
Slee%es !ere !ider abo%e the elbo! ( $itted belo! or close $itting slee%es !ith o"enings
to dis"lay the slee%es o$ camicia) Sometimes they also had hanging slee%es)
94T299R 'AR1ENTS: 1antles or ca"es !ere both o"en ( closed# o$ten lined in
contrasting $abric ( sometimes matching the dress !orn) A decorati%e ca"e# $astening to
the dress at the shoulder but not co%ering the shoulder or u""er arms# ( extending into
long train at the bac+ !as also used)
HAIR( HEA22RESS: Italian !omen dressed their hair elaborately# !earing a ,to+en.
head co%er in the $orm o$ a small >e!eled net set at the bac+ o$ the head or a sheer# small
%eil) 'irls dressed their hair sim"ly# curled into long tresses) 6omen arranged a bun (
le$t loose hair at the bottom !ith curls# braids or loo"s o$ hair)
;99T6EAR: 6omen5s shoes a""ear to ha%e been cut in same lines as those o$ men)
[email protected]: They had created master"ieces $rom "recious stones# "earls# gold ( sil%er#
ma+ing nec+laces# earrings# brooches ( interesting hair ornaments) A chain o$ metal or
"earls became "o"ular !hich !as !orn across the $orehead !ith a >e!eled decoration at
the center o$ the $orehead) This !as called a $errioniereA$air o!n yayB
C9ST41E ;9R 1EN ( 691EN 1C
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Styles become sub>ect to S"anish ( ;rench in$luences as a result o$ the occu"ation o$
large areas o$ Italy by these t!o "o!ers) 3enice remained inde"endent# ( 3enetians
continued to !ear some styles that had uni7ue 7ualities)
;9R 691EN
CA1ICIA: 6hite linen camicie o$ten had embroidered nec+lines ( cu$$s) <lac+ !or+#
blac+on !hite embroidery !as "o"ular)
294<0ET: Close $itting styles sometimes !orn !ithout a >ac+et to create an extremely
narro! silhouette# lasted only a short "eriod) Some had dee"# s7uare nec+lines to sho!
o$$ embroidered camicie)
H9SE: Attached to doublets# hose had a distinct# usually "added# cod"iece)
?AC=ETS: Some styles had short slee%es# ending >ust belo! the shoulder line# !hich
allo!ed a contrast bet!een the >ac+et ( slee%e o$ the doublet)
'96NS: Silhouettes gre! !ider ( $uller) <odices became more rigid# a re$lection o$ the
increasing S"anish in$luences) S7uare# !ide ( lo! nec+lines "redominated) 6aistlines
!ere straight in the early "art o$ the century# and then gradually began to dis"lay S"anish
in$luenced 3-sha"es in the $ront)
HEA22RESS: Turbans li+e Tur+s !ere seen more "rominently)
2ISTINCTI9NS IN C9ST41E ;9R 1EN ( 691EN: 15
( 1C
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<asic clothing !as similar in %arious states o$ Italy# but regional di$$erence did exist)
3enetian !omen !ore go!ns !ith !aistline located >ust belo! the bosom) ;abrics a""ear
to be less hea%y) Shoes !orn in 3enice had exce"tionally high heels) 6omen bleached
their hair to light blonde shades) They arranged their hair at the $ront abo%e the $orehead
in little# t!in ,horns.# this ha%e been an extreme in 3enice) 3enetian men o$ the 15

century !ore garments !ith !aistlines located at the !aist or slightly belo! at the bac+#
3-sha"ed in $ront) <y the 1C
century styles $or men !as in$luenced by S"anish ( ;rench
styles) The highest o$$icial !ore long robes !ith !ide slee%es8 the !ider the slee%e# the
more im"ortant the ran+) These costumes !ere not gi%en by 3enetian nobility until the

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