As ArmStreet, we are the best-known brand in medieval dresses, established more than a decade ago. The concept of our medieval dresses store is based on high-end workmanship with natural fabrics, unique and period designs. At the words ‘medieval dress’ many of us will likely imagine the flowing sleeves, disgustingly long trains, and bouffant gowns... However, real medieval dresses belonged to the time of religious dictate, which had had a significant impact on the way women looked.
However, any mention of medieval fashion turns out too loose and lacks details without specifying an exact period. Tracking features of the evolution of women's dresses can be accomplished dividing the global Medieval era into three stages for clarity: early, high and late medieval dress fashion.
In 9-10th centuries, due to the widespread dissemination of the Christianity, that strictly divided men and women, dress came into use as the main female garment. Medieval gowns of the Dark Ages, lasting approximately from the 6th to the beginning of the 11th century, were more like tunics than dresses in the modern sense. Defined by a mixture of Byzantine, Norman, and Antique styles, the top medieval dress of a simple A-shape was decorated with embroidery at the collar, sleeves, and hem. There was no separation between the bodice and skirt of the dress, so women used belts to emphasize their waistline. Starting from the early 11th century, especially respectful attitude towards pregnant women was reflected in fashion in form of draperies in the abdominal, high rise and strongly flared bottom of the medieval dress.
High Middle Ages, generally comprising the 11-13th centuries, are known for the Crusades and a roaring trade with the eastern countries, which have brought silk and muslin to Europe. Previously inaccessible bright colors came into the daily life of the nobles. The amount of fabric and the number of folds determined social status. That was also when beautiful medieval dresses gained trains, and general cut has been transformed, becoming narrow in the shoulders and wider at the bottom due to the additional gores. Dresses featured rectangular or semi-circular neckline and hanging sleeves coming down to the ground, goffered or with flared cuffs. These of monstrous proportions streamed in every breeze, like sails. All attention was focused on the pattern, so choose one which is not burdened with gold and jewels for this period.
The grounding of cutting affected the shapes of the Late Middle Ages. 14-15th centuries styles did not depend on the width of the loom anymore. Silhouette of the medieval dress has got elongated proportions and finally become less closed, revealing the physical attractiveness of women. Narrow bodice got slits to show the whiteness of the chemise, neckline widened up to the shoulders. Newish set-in sleeves replaced preceding tied up or pinned sleeves. The dress could even have several pairs of different colors, but note you have to sew them on and off daily. Draped dresses were the most fashionable, and you want to get one made of velvet with floral patterns to be on trend.
Overall, fashion changed throughout the Middle Ages, there were equally fashionable and outdated styles. Of course, it wasn’t that fast as nowadays, when clothing is mass-produced and easily accessible, and yet, a fashion-conscious lady was unlikely to buy medieval dress her mother was wearing when she was young, and would be ashamed of wearing their grandmothers’. Stay current and check a plenty of medieval gowns for sale, created by professional ArmStreet’s designers, tailors, and workshop. Reasonable prices and worldwide delivery embrace a wide range of customers, so each girl could get her own medieval dress to become a princess for a day!