The Medieval World: Volume 1 (History of Costume and Fashion)

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Clothes in Medieval England

The Representation of Sewing Women in Godey's Lady's Book,appear from the late s to the early s in Godey's Lady's Book[1], which ready-to-wear industry, it may be possible to reveal one phase of the change in servant wearing a simple dress arranges her hairstyle. Sent to the asylum: The Victorian women locked up because they ,12 May If you took away the period gowns and hairstyles, their mournful faces might be by photographer Henry Hering, who worked at the hospital in the s. Pockets are now relatively ubiquitous aspects of dress. Sitting here reading this article, the chances are that you have on at least one garment which contains a pocket or two, be it jeans, a skirt, a suit, a T-shirt or a cardigan.

Pockets have permeated the wardrobes of both genders, even increasingly to be found in the gowns worn by celebrities on the red carpet. We rely on our pockets as spaces in which to store and carry varied objects such as our keys, phones, loose change, tissues, or just put our hands. The expectation of their presence in clothing is now such that there can be a sense of loss and confusion when we unexpectedly find ourselves wearing a garment without pockets, uncertain of where to put our possessions. But pockets have not always been such an assured feature of clothing, an accepted and expected part of our sartorial world.

This article aims to historicize the pocket, exploring when and why pockets began to become such indispensable additions to both male and female dress. It focuses on an expanded sixteenth century, from the late fifteenth to the early seventeenth centuries, and uses a range of sources, including objects, images and texts, to examine the form and function of pockets in Europe in this period: what garments they were placed in, what they looked like and were made from, what was held in them, and the reasons for and significance of their inclusion in clothing.

Pockets have tended to stay out of the gaze of the early modern historian, their historiographical absence mirroring their frequent physical invisibility. Hidden away amongst folds of fabric, unlike the outfit as a whole, pockets do not appear to fit the usual narrative of early modern dress, that of display and the proclamation of an individual's actual or desired identity through their clothing.

Nor have pockets been included in the relatively recent spate of studies on the cultural significance and applications of individual accessories or separable aspects of early modern clothing. Whilst large numbers of later tie-on pockets survive, offering up a visibly interesting cache of objects and a sizeable body of material to analyse, references to sixteenth-century pockets, whether textually, visually or in the material remains of garments, are rather harder to come by. This article is an introduction to the topic of sixteenth-century pockets, built up from years of small discoveries and serendipitous encounters in the archives whilst in the process of conducting other research, finding hints of pockets embedded in a myriad of different sources.

A combination of portraits, prints, objects, letters, books and wardrobe accounts which depict or refer to pockets have been used to gain a sense of the physicality of pockets in this period and the uses to which they were put. In particular, this article has been aided by the recent rise of online digital resources, which offer searchable access to large databases of manuscripts and printed works, enabling references to pockets to be pinpointed more easily. Rather than endlessly trawling manually through the State Papers, for example, keyword searches on State Papers Online have been used to identify all the references to pockets that they contain.

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However, through the use of these online repositories of documents and literature, this article shows how changes in technology are opening up new avenues of research for dress historians, allowing small facets of clothing to be reclaimed from the archives and enabling large bodies of sources to be scoured in a way that previously would have been incredibly time-consuming. Though pockets may have been in use before the late fifteenth century, it is from this point onwards that their presence becomes more noticeable, increasing in popularity and prevalence throughout the sixteenth century.

It has been argued that tie-on pockets fell out of fashion with the adoption of the slender profile and gauzy fabrics of neo-classical dress at the end of the eighteenth century. So what forms did pockets adopt in the long sixteenth century, and what types of garments were they placed in? Men's upper hose in this period grew in volume, becoming rotund and then baggy, so large that attempts were made to try and limit the amount of material and padding which could be used in their construction and concerns were raised that men were concealing weapons in their hose.

Some pocket holes are clearly visible in men's hose in paintings and prints, although, as with women's skirts, it can be difficult to determine what is simply a fold in the fabric and what is a pocket hole. Giovanni Battista Moroni's — portrait of Count Alborghetti and his son from c.

History of clothing and textiles - Wikiwand

Alongside actual pockets in the sides of hose, seemingly false pockets which were an elongated hexagonal shape decorated with buttons were playfully placed in the front of hose in the early seventeenth century. The parade costume of Christian II, Elector of Saxony — , sports a pair of such pockets, as do figures in a number of paintings. Figure 1. Oil on canvas, Figure 2. Sweden: Skoklosters slott, Skoklosters slott.

Making a 15th Century Princess Gown Part 1 -- Historical Reconstruction

Figure 3. French School, Unknown Courtier , Pockets were also placed in upper body garments for men, such as gowns, coats and jerkins, and some paintings even show small openings in the sleeves of doublets fastened with buttons which resemble pocket holes. Figure 4.

The Medieval World Complete

This outfit features a vertical pocket hole on the sides of the hose, as well as buttoned pocket slits in the front of the hose, skirts of the jerkin and on the chest of the jerkin. Flemish School, Unknown Young Boy , c. Figure 5. Women's clothes also contained pockets, although they do not appear to have been turned into decorative features and had their presence made overt through buttons and trimmings, as in men's dress. Integrated pockets were stitched into women's gowns and over-garments, most likely as vertical pocket holes positioned below the waist, as can be seen in a print of a Florentine woman by Pieter de Jode — Figure 6 , although a portrait of the young Anna Eleonora Sanvitali — from depicts her with a single bound horizontal pocket hole clearly visible on the left side of her skirt.

Janet Arnold has noted a pocket hole in a gown in the Nationalmuseet in Copenhagen, intended to be worn over a wheel farthingale, whilst a letter from William Yardley to Edward Conway c. Figure 6. Engraving, The wardrobe accounts of Elizabeth I show that pockets were often placed in her gowns, nightgowns, safeguards and cloaks. Women also wore tie-on pockets long before the end of the seventeenth century. Although decorated, they do not look as robust or secure as the purses which men can be seen sporting in formal portraits, and it is notable that Stradano and Allori's images all show women in domestic environments or states of semi-undress, implying that in some informal circumstances it may have been acceptable to wear a pocket above your clothes for ease of access.

There is a terminological as well as a physical inexactitude to pockets, however. Figure 7. Women wearing tie-on pockets whilst incubating silk worms. Karel van Mallery after Jan van der Straet, Vermis sericus , pl. In Materializing Gender in Early Modern England , Will Fisher argues that certain accessories and aspects of appearance in the early modern period — handkerchiefs, codpieces, beards and hair — were prostheses, integral yet detachable attachments to the body, which both shaped and compensated for a lack in the original body. Pockets are not able to mould one's gender in the same way, although pockets can be seen in some images of women wearing hose and as an opening into which items could be inserted pockets did have a sexual connotation.

Pockets were liminal and constructed temporary extensions to the natural or clothed body which supplemented its inability to store, carry and protect as many possessions as might be desired at once. Pockets allowed a person to continue to carry possessions on their body when their hands were otherwise engaged, such as in the world of work, whether that involved domestic activities or professional employment. Although the more limited evidence available for the dress of the lower classes means that the commonality of pockets amongst artisans and labourers cannot be traced, it would seem that the practical functionality of pockets encouraged their adoption by non-elites.

The Artifice of Beauty. The Medieval Household. Daily Living. New York The Poldi - Pezzoli Museum in Milan.


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London, Sydney London, Sydney. Kaariye Mosque. Green University of Pennsylvania Press, Basic Documents in Medieval History No. Van Nostrand Co, New Jersey.

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The Paintings of Bruegel. The Paintings. A Documentary History of Art. Volume 1. Garden City. New York. The Waning of the Middle Ages. Translated by F Hopman Penguin books, The Guernsey Press Co. NY Heavenly Vaults. Medieval Ornamental Styles.