Entries by Topic Category

415 A-Line Skirt 5 901 American Look 5 852 Animal Skins 2 417 Armani Suits 5 980 Aso Oke Cloth 2 418 515 Bases 3 473 Bathing Costumes 3 608 902 Berber Dress 2 421 853 361 300 Bloomers (Nineteenth Century) 3 611 Bloomers (1900-18) 4 668 Bold Look 5 855 473 Boubou 2 422 168 670 362 516 76 517 Casula 1 169 904 78 216 558 Chlaina and Diplax 1 122 123 79 Cloaks (Native American Cultures) 2 364 Cloaks (Mayans, Aztecs, and Incas) 2 395 616 Coats and Capes 3 559 Codpiece 3 474 673 905 560 Cote and...

Liii

Europeans during the Age of Exploration that began in the fifteenth century. Volumes 3 through 5 offer chronological coverage of the development of costume and fashion in the West. Volume 3 features the costume traditions of the developing European nation-states in the fifteenth through the nineteenth centuries, and looks at the importance of the royal courts in introducing clothing styles and the shift from home-based garmentmaking to shop-based and then factory-based industry. Volumes 4 and 5...

For More Information

Dictionary Ancient Roman Costumes

Costume of Ancient Rome. New York Chelsea House, 1987. Yates, James. Solea. Smith's Dictionary Articles on Clothing and Adornment. Texts secondary SMIGRA* Solea.html (accessed on July 24, 2003). See also Volume 1, Ancient Egypt Sandals Volume 1, Ancient Rome Calceus r, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages Volume 2 Early Cultures Across the Globe SARA PENDERGAST AND TOM PENDERGAST SARAH HERMSEN, Project Editor

Revised

C. 476 Upper-class men, and sometimes women, in the Byzantine Empire (476-1453 C.E.) wear a long, flowing robe-like overgarment called a dalmatica developed from the tunic. c. 900 Young Chinese girls tightly bind their feet to keep them small, a sign of beauty for a time in Chinese culture. The practice was outlawed in 1911. c. 1100-1500 The cote, a long robe worn by both men and women, and its descendant, the cotehardie, are among the most common garments of the late Middle Ages. 1392 Kimonos...

Early Asian Cultures

He Asian societies that began in modern-day China are among the oldest known human societies on earth. Though they were at least as developed and sophisticated as early civilizations in Mesopotamia (centered in present-day Iraq) and Egypt, these Asian societies have received far less study and attention in the West. In the last century, however, with the modernization of the ancient nations of China and Japan, people in the West have come to know a great deal about early Asian cultures. Many...

Byzantine society

Byzantine society was very hierarchical, which meant that people lived at different levels of rank and status. At the top of the society was the emperor, who made the major decisions affecting the empire. He was aided by an inner circle of advisers and bureaucrats. There was also a Byzantine senate, which prepared laws for approval by the emperor. Emperors usually chose their successor, either a son or a trusted adviser. The emperors ruled with the help of a strong and well-trained army that...

P

W eople took great care covering their feet during the seventeenth century. Fashionable footwear changed shape during the century, and middle-class and wealthy people eagerly purchased the new shoe styles in order to remain in fashion. Shoes and boots continued to be made on straight lasts, the basic sole pattern, so that a shoe would fit either foot. However, significant changes were made to shoe fastenings, toe shape, sole height, and the decorations applied to the upper, or tops of shoes. By...

Headwear of Early Asian Cultures

Ver thousands of years of Chinese and later Japanese history, many different forms of headwear and hairstyles were worn, depending both upon fashion and upon the restrictions that were placed on fashions at any given time. In this brief accounting, just a few of the most distinctive of those styles will be discussed. One thing that should be remembered is that both the Chinese and Japanese people have deep black hair. Hair coloring was not used in either of these Asian cultures.

Changes in the twentieth century

As both China and Japan modernized in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, most people adopted Western cus- toms in headwear and hairstyles. Following the rise of communism in China after 1949, however, hairstyles became much simpler. (Communism is a system of government in which the state controls the economy and all property and wealth are shared equally by the people.) The Communists wanted to strip away the differences between people, and they discouraged women from wearing...

American Cultures

Native American War Body Paint

I Native Americans across the North American continent adorned their bodies in a variety of different ways. From designs applied directly to the skin to elaborate ornaments crafted of symbolic materials, Native American body decoration was very important to the religious and social life of tribal members. In many tribes the skin was considered a canvas on which to paint or tattoo designs. Although warriors used paint to prepare for battle, body painting was not only used for war paint. Painted...

Fragrant Oils and Ointments

I he Egyptians, write fashion historians Michael and Ariane Batterberry in Fashion The Mirror of History, were as clean as any people in history. They bathed regularly, shaved their bodies of any excess hair, including that on the head, and used fragrant oils and ointments to keep their skin smooth and sweet smelling. The first female queen of Egypt, Queen Netocris, who is believed to have ruled around 2170 B.C.E., recommended regular bathing and scrubbing with a paste of clay and ashes. To...

Fibulae

Fibulae Greek Modern

A ncient Greeks fastened their clothes with fibulae. Fibulae, which resembled safety pins, secured the large panels of fabric that Greeks draped around their bodies. Although they began as a necessity for holding clothing in place, fibulae later became decorative fashion items. The first fibulae were carved from the leg bones of birds, which some scholars believe to be the source of the pins' name since fibula is also the name used for a particular leg bone. The earliest metal fibulae date back...

Foot Decorating

Famous Costumes History

A foot decorated with henna, a reddish powder or paste. Reproduced by permission of Jeremy Horner CORBIS. The foot has had religious and social significance in India since ancient times. Deities are represented by a set of divine footprints on items ranging from paintings and woven shawls to amulets ornaments that are worn to protect the wearer. The feet of older people are revered by youth, lovers show their affection for each other by caressing each other's feet, and Indian mothers take...

Sakkos and Sphendone

Greek women covered their heads in a variety of ways starting in 500 B.C.E. Evidence of their headwear has been found on sculptures and in writings from the period. A type of cap called a sakkos was worn by many. The sakkos could be a soft woven cap with a tassel hanging from the center or a piece of material wrapped around the head. In either case the sakkos completely covered the hair, which was tied into a bun, except for the bangs or curls by the ears. Sometimes women wore a stephane, a...

Fr

History Costume Middle Ages

Rom as early as 100 B.C.E., administrators of the Roman Empire (27 B.C.E.-476 C.E.) had brought parts of Europe under the control and governance of Rome. By the second century C.E., Rome's influence spread throughout most of western Europe, from Spain north to Britain, and Germany south to Italy. When the Roman Empire collapsed in 476 C.E. after years of attacks by hordes of raiding barbarians from the north, including Goths, Huns, Franks, Angles, Saxons, and Vandals, much of the civilization...

Makeup

Greek women embraced the use of makeup to enhance their beauty. Evidence of how females made up their faces can be found in such different places as on palace frescos, paintings directly on the wall, from Knossos, the royal city on the ancient Greek island of Crete, dating back to 1500 B.C.E. and in the descriptive poems written during the Greek Classical Period from 500 to 336 B.C.E. Although the practice was limited to women of wealth and influence, probably because of the cost, makeup was...

The Costume of the Discovered Peoples

Here is a great deal of information known about the costume traditions of many of the ancient cultures. The clothing, hairstyles, and decorative customs of ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, India, China, Japan, and other societies, for example, have all been written about in many books. And from about midway through the Middle Ages (c. 500-c. 1500 C.E.) onward there are vast sources of information about the costume worn in Europe. Artwork, monuments and buildings, and written documents are all...

Ancient Chinese dress

Organized societies emerged in China as early as 5000 B.C.E., or about the same time as they did in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, modern-day Iraq. By about 1875 B.C.E. these societies grew complex enough to organize large areas of land and people into the first of the Chinese dynasties, organized societies ruled by members of a particular family. These dynasties controlled China, though not without interruption, until 1911 C.E. Beginning with the earliest Xia dynasty (1875 1550 B.C.E.), we can...

Fifteenth Century Body Decorations

The fifteenth century was a time of transition in the ways that people ornamented their bodies. The use of jewelry and accessories became more and more prevalent and showy over the course of the century, reflecting the growing richness of the various kingdoms of Europe and paving the way for the absolute excess of display that occurred in the sixteenth century. As in the early Middle Ages (c. 500-c. 1500), bathing was not a regular practice throughout most of Europe, except for in Italy....

Native American Cultures

I ative American tribes of the North American continent and the peoples of the Subarctic and Arctic have a long and rich history. Archaeologists, scientists who study past civilizations, believe that people have lived in North America from about 13,000 B.C.E. Our knowledge of Native American cultures begins with the first European contact in the tenth century C.E. between the Vikings and the Arctic Inuit, or Eskimo peoples, but becomes much more detailed in the early 1500s and 1600s when first...

The end of the empire

Like the Roman Empire before it, the Byzantine Empire experienced a number of challenges to its rule. Efforts to expand Byzantine rule under Emperor Justinian led to conflicts with Persians, North Africans, and the Ostrogoths living in Italy. Over the thousand years of Byzantine rule, battles with these and other surrounding peoples led to the expansion and contraction of the empire. Beginning in the eleventh century C.E. Christian armies from western Europe began to travel through the...

Costume traditions of the discovered peoples

Taniti Native Costumes

The earliest information that we have about the costume traditions of the discovered peoples comes from descriptions about them from European explorers and colonizers. These Europeans, however, did not seek to preserve, record, or maintain the costume traditions of the people they discovered. For the most part they believed that Western culture was superior and that the dress worn by the people they encountered showed that they were uncivilized, primitive, and barbarian. European contact led to...

Footwear of African Cultures

The available evidence about ancient African cultures suggests that most Africans did not wear shoes for much of their early history. Although many northern tribes had contact with people who wore sandals and shoes, including the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, and later Arabs and Persians (from present-day Iran), a complete record of when or how Africans adopted foot coverings does not exist. The most common depictions of Africans from statues, artwork, and examples of traditional dress still...

Footwear of Oceania

Pacific Island Dress Designs

escriptions from early explorers and early photographs show that most of the peoples of Oceania went barefoot. No information about the development of traditional footwear in Oceania is known. Although many people in the island countries now wear Western-style sandals and shoes, especially in the urban areas, those living in the most remote areas continue to go barefoot. Lal, Brij V., and Kate Fortune, eds. The Pacific Islands An Encyclopedia. Honolulu, HI University of Hawaii Press, 2000.

Clothing of the Byzantine Empire

The Byzantine costume tradition took its form from the Roman Empire (27 B.C.E.-476 C.E.) and its color and decorative tradition from the Orient and the Middle East. The Roman roots are easy to understand. After all, the Byzantine Empire began in the fourth century C.E. as the Eastern Roman Empire its capital, Constantinople, was for a short time the capital of the entire Roman Empire. From the Romans the Byzantines inherited their basic clothing forms, the tunic and toga for men, and the...

Ancient practices to the present day

Each group of discovered peoples experienced a different path from the time of discovery to the present. In North America, Native Americans were slowly overwhelmed by the gradual populating of the continent by white people in Africa, the slave trade provided the dominant exposure to Europeans for many years in Oceania, contact with Europeans was irregular and generally peaceful in Central and South America, the ancient empires disappeared as Native people from the island of Tahiti greeting...

Changing styles

By the end of the Roman Empire the toga, which had once been required wear for Romans, was worn only on ceremonial occasions. The Byzantines, who tended to prefer simple flowing clothes to the winding and draping of the toga, did away with the toga altogether. They chose as their most basic of garments the dalmatica, a long, flowing men's tunic, or shirt, with wide sleeves and hem, and the stola for women. Unlike the Romans, the Byzantines tended to be very modest about any display of flesh....

And Incas

Inca Religion

I eople in Central and South America went barefoot most of the time. The warm climate did not require clothing for warmth. However, foot coverings did make the rugged terrain easier to manage. Mayan, Aztec, and Inca royalty and soldiers wore various styles of sandals. Typically these sandals were made of leather from a goat, llama, or sheep, or from plant fibers and tied to the foot with leather or woven fabric straps. The Incas wore an unusual type of sandal called usuta, which had a short...

Europe in the Fifteenth Century

15th Century Clothing Germany

B urope at the dawn of the fifteenth century operated much as it had for the previous several hundred years. The majority of the people, known as peasants, worked on small farms and paid some form of tax to a local lord, who provided the land on which they worked and also offered protection. These lords, who might be dukes, barons, or even kings, were the leading figures in the various kingdoms, states, duchys (the territory ruled by a duke), and other small regions by which most of Europe was...

General hair care

Hairdressing was very important among most Native American tribes since the beginning of their civilization. Men and women washed their hair with plants such as soapwort or yucca. Hair was shined with animal grease, or fat, and was sometimes colored or decorated with colored clay. Brushes were carved out of wood or made of bundled grasses, stiff horsehair, or porcupine hair. Men often plucked their facial hair, although the men of the Aleuts in the Arctic and the tribes of the Northwest, as...

Berber Dress

The nomadic Berber people trace their African roots back to 2000 B.C.E. (Nomads are peoples who have no fixed place of residence and wander from place to place usually with the seasons or as food sources become scarce.) Over the years since then their dress has changed with the influences of invading cultures. Influenced by the past colonization of ancient Romans, whose power was felt in the region from about 509 B.C.E. to 476 C.E., many Berbers continue to wear a haik, a large cloth wrapped...

Spiritual decoration

When making jewelry, Native Americans selected materials for their spiritual or magical qualities. Animal claws, crystals, shells, sticks, cornhusks, beads made of grass seed, dried rose hips, silver-berries from silverberry shrubs, and later metal and glass beads, among other things, were used to create necklaces, bracelets, armlets, and earrings, as well as many other unique adornments worn by both men and women. Hunters of northeastern and other tribes would adorn themselves with animal...

B

Map Barbarian Tribes

'eyond the borders of the great early empires the Roman Empire (27 B.C.E.-476 C.E.), the Byzantine Empire (476-1453 C.E.), and early empires in India and China lived bands of people whose level of civilization lagged well behind that of the powerful empires. Within the borders of empires were farmers, traders, institutions of learning, government, laws, and order outside the borders of empires, at least according to those within, were barbarians, crude people who lived without order or law....

Tattooing

Tattooing was practiced among members of Native American tribes for thousands of years. Native Americans tattooed themselves by cutting their skin with sharp objects and rubbing dye into the cuts. Cactus needles, fish bones, pine needles, bird bones, sharp stones, or other sharp objects pricked the skin and pigments such as charcoal, cedar-leaf ashes, or other materials were used to make red, blue, or green tattoos on the skin. People, especially men, would often tattoo themselves, though some,...

Grouping native peoples by region

More than three hundred different tribes lived across North America. Each tribe had distinct cultures, clothing styles, social organization, and language dialects. Because similarities did exist between tribes living in similar regions, anthropologists, those who study cultures, often group tribes into regional categories. The regions most concentrated on are the Southeast, the Northeast, the Plains, the Southwest, the Great Basin, the Plateau, California, the Northwest, the Subarctic, and the...

The costume revolution of the late fifteenth century

Several important trends came together in the late fifteenth century to mark a real change in costume styles across Europe. The first, mentioned earlier, was the general rise in wealth across the con- tinent. Increased political stability and expanding trade meant that more people in the growing European cities could afford the finer things in life, notably clothing. The growing wealth allowed people to wear a variety of different fabrics, including silk, taffeta, and velvet, along with the...

Jewelry

Although Roman clothing styles in general are known for their simplicity and lack of ornament, the widespread use of jewelry provided Roman women with a rare opportunity for display. (The only form of jewelry worn by men was the signet ring, often a gold ring with a decorative stone at its center.) Fashion historians believe that the Romans inherited their love of jewelry from the Etruscans who lived in Italy before the establishment of the Roman Republic in 509 B.C.E. The Etruscans had a great...

How much do we really know

The artifacts left by these cultures include clay and stone statues, carvings on palace walls, carved ivory, some wall paintings, and jewelry. These items illustrate the clothing, hairdressing, and body adornment of these cultures as well as how these cultures idealized the human form. While these visual forms provide costume historians with a great deal of information, of even greater interest are the written tablets that have been discovered. The development of written language in Mesopotamia...

And Barbarians

Goths And Gauls

Ur lack of knowledge about the costume traditions of nomads and barbarians is especially severe in the area of body decoration and accessories. While even prehistoric humans left wall paintings and carvings and small statues that indicated that they wore tattoos and painted their bodies, we have no such records from the barbarian tribes that ransacked Europe in the last years of the Roman Empire (27 B.C.E.-476 C.E.). It is simply not known whether such groups as the Huns and the Goths had body...

More extensive recording

African Beads Styles 1950

Our knowledge and understanding of African civilization began to expand in the mid-fifteenth century, when Europeans first landed on the west coast of the continent. The Portuguese, followed by the Dutch, British, French, and others, established links between Africa and Europe. Although they had first come in search of gold and other precious trading commodities, Europeans quickly started developing the slave trade, which involved the export of captured Africans. The first shipment of humans...

Body Decorations of Oceania

History Body Decoration

I n the warm climate of the thousands of islands that make up Oceania, people wear few clothes. Uncovered, their skin is considered a blank canvas for decoration. Among the many different cultures living on the islands, body decoration is very important to social and religious practices. Body painting is a temporary method of adorning the body. Much as westerners wear dress clothes to weddings, the peoples of Oceania paint their bodies for rituals and festive occasions. Other body markings are...

Costume of the early fifteenth century

The clothing of the early fifteenth century continued the traditions from the late Middle Ages. Both men and women continued to wear the houppelande, a long gown that covered the body from the neck to the floor. Houppelandes were made in a variety of fabrics, from simple wool to rich silk and velvet. Women's houppelandes were increasingly tailored so that the gown fit closely across the upper body, while the skirt billowed outward. Women also wore the bliaut, another long gown. Increasingly men...

Renaissance of learning and culture

Beginning in the late fourteenth century and escalating in the fifteenth century, two regions began to lead a rebirth, called the Renaissance, of learning, culture, and commerce. This Renaissance began in Italy, especially around the city of Florence, and in a region known as Burgundy, which included parts of modern-day France and Holland. The Italian states developed banking and trading systems that helped stabilize the economy throughout Europe. The duchy of Burgundy also grew very wealthy....

O

Ancient Statues Braids

Carving of a Roman man with long braids. Both men and women wore braids and curls in their hair. Reproduced by permission of Araldo de Luca CORBIS. Carving of a Roman man with long braids. Both men and women wore braids and curls in their hair. Reproduced by permission of Araldo de Luca CORBIS. ne thing is made very clear by the statues, coins, and paintings that provide our evidence about the hairstyles worn in ancient Rome women changed their hairstyles very often. Though there is no one...

The power of the pharaohs

River Nile Costumes

The first Egyptian cultures formed along the banks of the Nile River in northern Africa sometime before 4000 B.C.E. Ever since that time, the Nile has been at the center of Egyptian culture. One of earth's great rivers, the Nile's waters allowed for the development of agriculture in a dry land, and communities formed along its banks. The Nile flows north from Lake Victoria in present-day Uganda through Sudan and into Egypt and empties into the Mediterranean Sea. In ancient times Egypt had been...

Steeple Headdress

Steeple Headdress

The steeple headdress, which became popular among women in France and then throughout Europe in the fourteenth century, was one of the most distinctive forms of headwear worn in human Mary of Burgundy, standing center, wears a tall steeple headdress draped in a long veil. Reproduced by permission of Bettmann CORBIS. Mary of Burgundy, standing center, wears a tall steeple headdress draped in a long veil. Reproduced by permission of Bettmann CORBIS. history. The steeple headdress began simply as...

Footwear of Nomads and Barbarians

Costume History

s with their clothing, the footwear of nomads and barbarians was made out of the skins of the animals that they hunted and, in some cases, herded. Though we have very little physical evidence about the footwear worn by such peoples as the Gauls, Celts, Huns, and Goths, we do know that their animal hide footwear came in two basic styles. The first style, which was similar to primitive footwear worn by prehistoric humans, consisted of a single piece of animal hide wrapped up over the top of the...

Indian Body Decorations

ecorating and accessorizing the body plays an important part in ceremonial as well as everyday life in India, today as well as in the past. Sculptures trace the history of body decoration to the earliest civilizations in the Indus Valley, which flourished along the Indus River in modern-day Pakistan. Literature and paintings also document Indian body adornment traditions, many of which have been practiced in some form since 2500 B.C.E. Indians use colors and patterns of makeup for various...

Muffs

Marybelle Bigelow

H eating the castles and great halls of wealthy people in the seventeenth century was not easy, especially in the cooler countries in the north, such as England and Scotland. Stone walls and fireplaces in nearly every room could not keep rooms warm enough when the days grew cold. Though people had many layers of clothing to keep their bodies warm, their hands remained exposed and cold. The solution to the problem of cold hands, which seems to have gotten worse during the seventeenth century,...

High Heeled Shoes

Men Braies Italian Renaissance

Height was a central feature of seventeenth-century fashion. People accentuated their height with tall hairstyles, long flowing gowns, long straight jackets, and high-heeled shoes. Introduced in the late sixteenth century as a wedged cork heel and adopted from the very high chopine, high-heeled shoes became the dominant style of footwear for both men and women during the seventeenth century. The heel of seventeenth-century shoes developed into an arched sole with a large square-based heel. At...

Leggings

In cool weather or rough terrain men and women of nearly every Native American tribe wore leggings to protect their legs. Leggings were snug or loose-fitting tubes of animal hide that covered each leg individually. Men's leggings covered the leg from waist or thigh to ankle. The top of the leggings was tied to a string, belt, or sash wrapped around the waist, and sometimes the leggings were gartered, or tied, at the knee. The leggings resembled crotchless pants and men wore them with...

Indian Footwear

I n the chilly Himalayan mountain northern regions of India, a variety of boots and shoes have been made over the centuries to protect the feet from cold and rainy weather. These boots and shoes are made of leather, wool, and plant fibers. But since the weather in most of India is warm, shoes were not necessary, and for much of history, Indians went barefoot. Without the need for footwear, Indian culture developed a unique history of praising the feet. Mothers massage the feet of their babies....

Egyptian Footwear

or more than half of the recorded history of ancient Egypt there is almost no record of the use of footwear. The main source of evidence for this period, the pictorial stories found in tombs known as hieroglyphs, showed every class of person, from the ruling pharaoh king or queen , to the lowly worker, going barefoot. This may not mean that people never wore some foot protection, but it does seem to indicate that footwear was of very little importance. Historians are not sure why sandals were...

India

Costumes India Indian History

I ndia is a vast subcontinent, or landmass that is part of a continent but is considered an independent entity, that contains many varied geographical regions. The Himalayan mountain range, which includes the highest mountains in the world, stretches across the north of the country along its border with Tibet. Three of India's largest rivers originate in the Himalayas the Indus, the Ganges, and the Brahmaputra. These rivers feed a vast flat plain at the foothills of the Himalayas called the...

Chinese customs

Conical Hat History

As best is known, men in early Chinese societies wore their hair long but tied it up in a knot that they wore close to the top of their head. This custom changed dramatically in 1644 C.E. when the Manchu people took control of the throne, founding the Qing dynasty 1644-1911 . The Manchus were of a different ethnic group than the majority of the Chinese people, who were known as Han Chinese. Upon taking power the Manchus established a law that required that all Han Chinese men shave the front of...

Breechclout

Buffalo Deer Rabit

A breechclout was a garment designed to cover the genitals. Although breechclouts were worn by some women in the Southeast and by young girls before puberty in many tribes, they were an important male garment that symbolized male sexuality and power in many tribes. Breechclouts were worn by men in every Native American tribe, with the exception of those living in climates warm enough to wear nothing at all. Breechclouts could be made out of bark fiber, grasses, feathers, tanned beaver, rabbit,...

Foot Binding and Lotus Shoes

For over a thousand years, tiny feet were symbols of feminine beauty, elegance, and sexuality in China. In order to achieve the goal of tiny three-inch lotus feet the lotus was a kind of flower , most young Chinese girls had their feet bound tightly with strips of cloth to prevent growth. Once the process was completed, the deformed feet were placed into beautiful, embroidered lotus shoes, tiny pointed slippers that were made especially for bound feet. Though no one knows exactly when foot...

Headwear of Nomads and Barbarians

O ne of the things that most shocked the Romans about the barbarian tribes who attacked the outposts of the Roman Empire in the fourth century C.E. was the wildness of the barbarians' hair. Since we have no written records, paintings, or sculptures of these early peoples, we must rely on the accounts of outside observers, who were often the victims of attacks. Nearly every account emphasizes that barbarians wore their hair long. Women wore their hair very long and often braided it and let it...

Seventeenth Century Body Decorations

What People Wore The 17th Century

Hile the sixteenth century was an age of excess in ornamentation, the seventeenth century is often thought of as an age of elegance, with greater care for the manner of display than for its abundance. Nowhere is this contrast more evident than in the use of jewelry. While people displayed their wealth in the sixteenth century by sprinkling jewels across their garments, hair, and bodies, people in the seventeenth century were more likely to wear just a few well-chosen jewels to demonstrate their...

Fifteenth Century Clothing

History Costume Middle Ages

I he fifteenth century saw transformations in the nature of costume and culture that are key to our understanding of Western fashion. Up until the fifteenth century, the clothing customs of most cultures had been determined by tradition, the availability of certain kinds of fabric, and the skill of the tailor. Ancient Egyptians wore similar clothing for nearly thirty centuries, for example, and the long wool garments worn by Europeans in the sixth century were not that different from those worn...

Distinctive Egyptian culture

Egyptian Hieroglyphics Thoth

Though ancient Egyptian culture existed for nearly thirty centuries, many elements of the culture stayed quite similar over this vast span of time. Religion remained very important to the Egyptians. Religious rituals accompanied every part of Egyptian daily life. One key belief held by Egyptians was that of eternal life. They believed that life would go on after death, so they preserved UNRAVELING THE MYSTERY OF HIEROGLYPHS Ever since the final decline of the ancient Egyptian Empire people have...

Cro Magnon man

Overlapping somewhat with Neanderthal man was the subspecies from which modern man is directly descended, Homo sapiens sapiens, better known as Cro-Magnon man. Cro-Magnon man first began to appear around forty thousand years ago in various parts of the world, as far apart as Borneo, in Malaysia, and Europe. At first Cro-Magnon man was much like Neanderthal man in his use of tools, his methods of hunting and gathering food, and his creation of rough forms of clothing. But there were important...

The Protestant Reformation

One of the forces that had united Europe throughout the Middle Ages was the religious unity provided by the Roman Catholic Church. That unity crumbled in the fifteenth and especially the sixteenth century, and this collapse actually contributed to the strength of the monarchies. The most powerful force behind the decline of the Catholic Church was a historical event called the Protestant Reformation. The Reformation began in 1517 when German priest Martin Luther 1483-1546 posted a series of...

Ancient

He most powerful of the ancient empires, the civilization that became the Roman Empire rose from humble origins as a city in central Italy. At the height of its power, the Roman Empire stretched from Spain in the west to present-day Syria in the east, and from Egypt in the south to Britain in the north. The story of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, including what the Romans wore during this fascinating era, has captivated historians for two thousand years. Legend has it that the city of...

Snuff Boxes

Pics Snuff Boxes

Europeans first began snorting snuff, the pulverized form of tobacco, in the early seventeenth century, and within one hun- EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY BODY DECORATIONS 591 Snuff boxes came in a variety of sizes and shapes. Often the box was accompanied by a quill or a spoon used to stir the snuff or raise it to the nostrils. Reproduced by permission of Massimo Listri CORBIS. dred years it was widely used by men and women alike. Snuff boxes, tiny decorative containers for the powdered herb, became a...

Clothing of the Middle Ages

Middle Ages Clothing

The Middle Ages c. 500 c. 1500 was, as its name implies, a great age of transition. The Roman Empire 27 B.C.E.-476 C.E. , which had provided the structures of civilization across Europe for nearly five hundred years, collapsed in 476, and bands of nomadic people who the Romans had called barbarians Goths, Huns, Vandals, Franks, and others took control of much of western Europe. Roman trading networks, civil administration, and learning disappeared, to be replaced by the cruder social...

Headdresses

Tutankhamen Body

Egyptian aristocrats and pharaohs, or emperors, wore a wide variety of headdresses. Egyptians often wore wigs to protect themselves from the heat of the climate, and they likely wore headdresses for the same reason. Many of the headdresses depicted in the hieroglyphics, or picture drawings, found in Egyptian tombs indicate that headdresses also had a ceremonial purpose. The pschent, worn by the pharaoh to symbolize his or her power over all of Egypt, was the most famous headdress, but there...

Siyala

Body Templates For Costume Design

The scars indicated a person's rank and age in society and were essential for attracting those of the opposite sex. permission of Bojan The Berbers living in northern Africa used body decoration not only as a way to beautify themselves but also as potent protection against illness and evil spirits. One of their most unique forms of decoration was known as siyala. Siyala was a type of body decorating that could be applied as tattoos or as body paint, and it was made of...

Japanese Fashion By Social Class

Although we know that people lived on the islands that make up the modern nation ofJapan from as early as 13,000 B.C.E., our first real knowledge of Japanese culture comes from the period when Chinese influences began to be felt, in about the sixth century C.E. Japan borrowed many Chinese customs, including rule by emperors, growing rice, the Buddhist religion, and many clothing traditions, including the wearing of robes for the wealthy and trousers and simple tunics for the poor. During the...

Head Flattening

Head flattening is the practice of permanently elongating the skull by wrapping young children's heads while their skulls are BODY DECORATIONS OF AFRICAN CULTURES 437 still forming. African cultures reshaped the skulls of their members to increase an individual's beauty and to improve social status. Among the people who practiced head flattening, an elongated head indicated a person's intelligence and spirituality. The Mangbetu people of the present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo wrapped...

Footwear of Native American Cultures

The North American continent has been occupied since 10,000 B.C.E. and active civilizations have been recorded across the continent as far back as 3,000 B.C.E. The continent's wide variety of climates required the people living in different regions to wear different footwear. For the most part, the inhabitants of the southern regions and the temperate regions of the north preferred to go barefoot, even in the snow. Footwear was used, however, especially for traveling. Crude sandals made from...

Ice Skates

17th Century Shoe Last

During the seventeenth century, ice skating became a popular winter activity. The idea of gliding across ice had intrigued people for thousands of years, and ice skates had evolved from extremely primitive foot coverings into sleekly designed footwear. Early skaters tied animal carcasses on their feet to chase oxen and horses across the ice. The oldest surviving ice skates, made of the leg bones of large animals and leather straps, were found in Switzerland and are believed to date from 3000...

On

Chibis Bear Costume

Ne of the more common hats worn by men during the sixteenth century and into the seventeenth century was the copotain. Generally black in color and made of a thick felt, the copotain had a medium size brim, ranging between one and three inches, and a tall rounded crown. It was sometimes worn with a hatband, a band made of leather or fabric that ran around the crown just above the brim. Popular throughout Europe from about the 1550s onward, the hat became particularly associated with...

Roman Clothing

Roman Woman Coloring Page

The ancient Romans took the clothing traditions of the past and adapted them into one of the most distinctive costume traditions in all of history. The greatest influences on Roman fashion came from the Etruscans, who developed an advanced society in Italy hundreds of years before the Romans became powerful, and from the Greeks. It was from these two cultures that Romans inherited their love of draped garments. Yet Romans were also influenced greatly by the surrounding peoples they conquered...

Dressing for a warm climate

Images Modesty Pouches For Breast

Egypt's climate was very warm, as it is today, and Egyptian dress provided the perfect complement to this warm weather. Both men and women tended to dress very lightly. For nearly 1,500 years it was very rare for men to wear anything on their torso, or upper body. For the upper class and the pharaohs, the main form of dress was the schenti, a simple kilt that tied around the waist and hung about to the knees. Working men wore first a loincloth, a very small garment that covered just the private...

Prehistoric Footwear

Prehistoric Costume

As with many other elements from the life ofprehistoric humans, little can be known about the nature of footwear at that time. Archeologists, scientists who study the physical remains of past cultures, have discovered fragments of leather shoes and foot-wrappings from a variety of different locations that give some insight into how prehistoric peoples protected their feet. The oldest known shoes are ten-thousand-year-old sandals found in a desert area of eastern Oregon other finds include...

Wr

Ancient Roman Flower Wreaths Women

Reaths are circular decorations usually made of flowers, vines, leaves, or other materials fashioned in the shape of leaves or flowers. In modern times wreaths have most often been used as a household decoration, displayed on a table or hung on a door. However, in ancient Greece, beginning around the sixth century B.C.E., wreaths were a common personal adornment. Worn on the head as a sort of crown, wreaths not only served as decoration but often indicated a great honor, such as a victory in...

Usuta Designers

Footwear Worn Incas

Usuta, the unique footwear of the Incas, were a type of sandal worn by both men and women. The soles of usuta covered the bottom of the foot but ended at the balls of the foot. This left the toes exposed to help grip the ground of the mountainous terrain where the Incas lived. The soles of usuta were made from the un-tanned, or untreated, skin from the necks of sheep. Because the un-tanned usuta soles became soft in water, Incas removed their usuta in wet weather. Usuta were attached to the...

Footwear of the Byzantine Empire

Ancient Mesopotamia Clothing

W ainting, sculptures, jewelry, and ornaments from the Byzantine Empire, which stretched across much of present-day Greece and Turkey from 476 to 1453 C.E., leave us with a rich record of the clothing and decorative traditions of this powerful empire. Very little is known about Byzantine footwear since the long draped clothing of the Byzantines, which reached to the floor, tended to hide the feet. The sculptures and paintings that have survived offer us just fleeting glimpses of Byzantine...

Body Decorations of the Byzantine Empire

Names Famous Fashion Designers

Byzantine emperor Justinian I, with crown, displays the intricately jeweled clasp that fastens his cloak. Reproduced by permission of the Granger Collection. Lt the beginning of the Byzantine Empire 4761453 C.E. , Byzantine customs surrounding body decoration and accessories closely resembled those of their fellow Roman countrymen. Byzantines in the capital city of Constantinople developed public baths similar to those found in Rome, and public bathing was a daily ritual for many. Byzantines...

Between East and West

The influence of Roman customs was very great in the early years of the Byzantine Empire. Byzantine people called themselves Romans, they spoke Latin like Romans, and they dressed in Roman clothes. They inherited the Greek and Roman love of learning and preserved many documents from these civilizations in their libraries. Much of what we know about ancient Greece and Rome comes from Byzantine libraries, which were not destroyed by barbarian invaders. Yet the influence of Rome slowly faded. In...

Barbe Renaissance Headwear

During the late Middle Ages c. 500-c. 1500 and early Renaissance, a married woman was generally not considered properly dressed without a head covering of some sort. There were many types of head coverings and other accessories that covered not only a woman's head and hair, but also modestly draped her ears and neck so that only her face was visible. One of these accessories, which was popular during the 1300s and early 1400s, was the barbe, a more formal version of the wimple, another form of...

Eighteenth Century Body Decorations

Eighteenthcentury Costume

Lany of the body decorations and accessories of the seventeenth century continued into the eighteenth century. Women and some men made their faces pale with white makeup made from lead powder, a corrosive substance that led to health problems for many and death for some. Red cheeks were also quite fashionable. Wealthy people used rouge made of crushed red beetles, called cochineals, on their cheeks. Others dabbed berry juice on their cheeks. In addition, women and some men continued to paste...

Cloaks

Native Woven Designer Capes Ponchos

A cloak, or outer draped garment that looks like a cape, was used by almost every Native American tribe since the beginning of their civilizations. Made of a square, circular, or rectangular piece of cloth, a cloak was most often pinned at the neck and draped over the shoulders and hung down the back to the ankles. Another style of cloak was made out of a piece of cloth with a hole cut in the center for the head and looked like a modern poncho. Cloaks could be made of antelope, buffalo,...

Roman Body Decorations

Rome Necklace

L oman attitudes toward the grooming and decoration of their bodies changed dramatically over the course of the long history of their civilization. From the serious and simple habits of the eighth-century-B.C.E. founders of the city of Rome, Romans became increasingly concerned with bathing, jewelry, and makeup. By the time of the Roman Empire 27 B.C.E.-476 C.E. , bathing had become an elaborate public ritual, wealthy Romans imported precious jewels from throughout their vast empire, and women...

Prehistoric Life

Egyptian Loin Skirt

'cientists believe that the earliest stages of human evolution began in Africa about seven million years ago as a population of African apes evolved into three different species gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans. Some three million years later early humans stood nearly upright and had developed larger brains, about half the size of the modern brain. By 2.5 million years ago it appears that these protohumans, as early humans are known, began to use crude tools such as chipped stones. Beginning...

Eighteenth Century Footwear

Ancient Egypt Shoes

The display of wealth through fashionable clothes was also seen on the feet in the eighteenth century. Both men and women of wealth wore fancy shoes that signaled their status, a trend that died out by the end of the century. Women wore high-heeled shoes made of colorful silk or delicate leather, sometimes decorated with gold and silver lace and braid. Although women wore heavily decorated silk dresses, their shoes were rarely made from matching material to do so would be much too expensive....

Clothing of African Cultures

Nigerians Traditional Dress Men

The evolution of African clothing is difficult to trace because of the lack of historical evidence. Although artifacts from Egyptian culture date back to before 3000 B.C.E., no similar evidence is available for the majority of the African continent until the mid-twentieth century. Sources from Arab culture refer to the people of northern Africa by the eighth century C.E., but much of early African clothing history has been pieced together from art, oral histories, and traditions that are...

History Of The Plainwood Geta

Japanese Modern Boy Costume

Geta GAY-tah are the traditional footwear of all kimono-wearers in modern and traditional Japan. They are raised clogs shoes with a heavy, often wooden sole and are closely related to the low, wedge-shaped sandals called zori. Geta are usually made of plain wood with a V-shaped padded fabric thong into which the wearer slips his or her foot, inserting the point of the V between the big toe and the next toe. They are raised off the ground by two wooden pieces under the sole, their height...

The Sixteenth Century

Early 16th Century Clothing

He sixteenth century is widely considered to be one of the pivotal centuries in human history, a time when the overall organization and structure of human society went through a fundamental change. It was the high point of a larger historical period known as the Renaissance, which lasted from the late fourteenth through the sixteenth century. It was called the Renaissance because Europe saw a rebirth of learning, arts, and culture that had not been seen since the splendor of the Greek and Roman...

Fifteenth Century Footwear

Female Models Loincloths

Europeans wore a wide variety of footwear during the fifteenth century, from simple pull-on leather moccasins to highly decorated poulaines, extremely long, pointed shoes. Shoes were generally made of leather, with either wood or leather for soles. They might be held to the foot with laces or with buckles. Working people generally wore heavier leather shoes and boots, but the upper classes, who provide most of the information about clothing styles since they were the ones who often left the...

Doublet

Long Style Doublet

The doublet, a slightly padded overshirt as seen in this illustration, was one of the essential men's garments of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Reproduced by permission of Historical Picture Archive CORBIS. The doublet, a slightly padded overshirt as seen in this illustration, was one of the essential men's garments of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Reproduced by permission of Historical Picture Archive CORBIS. of bombast, or padding. During the late fifteenth and early...

Military Dress

Greek Leg Guards

arriors in ancient Greece developed many methods of protecting themselves in battle. Mycenaeans, who ruled Greece as early as 1600 B.C.E., crafted armor out of bronze plates. Soldiers wore suits made of bronze plates held together with leather straps. This armor protected the body from the neck to the upper thighs. Soldiers strapped additional bronze plates over their shins for leg protection and wore helmets made of boar's tusks. Mycenaean soldiers also carried a variety of different wooden...

Piercing

Ethnicity Piercings

Used to be pierced and stretched so that by the time she reached thirteen years old, the girl's earlobes hung almost to her shoulders. This practice signified wealth and virtue among women from ancient times, and females without stretched lobes were shunned or considered prostitutes. This particular custom began to disappear in the nineteenth century as Christian missionaries converted people in these areas. Piercing the nose has special significance in Indian culture. In rural areas female...

Eighteenth Century Clothing

Historical Clothing Layers

Men and women wore very different clothes at the beginning of the eighteenth century than they did at the end. The skill of tailors and dressmakers had developed to such an extent that clothing styles were lavished with attention to detail and ornament by midcentury. However, despite the growing skills of tailors, dress became simpler by the end of the century. The dramatic changes reflected the political and cultural changes during the century, including the American 1775-83 and French...

Sixteenth Century Footwear

16th Century Men Costume

Y the sixteenth century footwear construction methods had grown quite advanced. The shoes of common people were generally made of leather, and while they were fairly simple in construction they were also very durable. Soles were made of wood, cork, or extra layers of leather, and uppers, or the tops of shoes, were either tied or buckled in place. Shoemakers, called cobblers, also developed the ability to make very tall boots for riding or fieldwork. These boots came up to the thigh and had a...

Map Of Mesoamerican Civilizations

Maps Mesoamerica Civilizations

The jewelry worn by the Mayan, Aztec, and Inca people was rich in variety and quite beautiful. Without metalworking skills, Mayans made jewelry from many other materials. Mayan men wore nose ornaments, earplugs, and lip plugs made of bone, wood, shells, and stones, including jade, topaz, and obsidian. Necklaces, bracelets, BODY DECORATIONS OF MAYANS, AZTECS, AND INCAS Map of the Americas showing the Mesoamerican civilizations of the Middle Ages Mayans, Aztecs, and Incas. Reproduced by...

Egyptian Body Decorations

Egyptian Centerpiece

ncient Egyptians took great care with their bodies, from the way they dressed to the ornaments that they wore. The many ways that Egyptians decorated their bodies reveal their fascination with appearances. Caring for the skin was very important, especially to wealthy people. Egyptians washed their bodies often using fairly harsh soaps that stripped oils from the skin. To soften their skin they used a variety of ointments and creams. These might contain scents to perfume their bodies. The...

How To Fold A Cravat

Combat Cains And Walking Sticks

The cane emerged as an important fashion accessory for men during the seventeenth century and was every bit as important in a carefully dressed man's wardrobe as gloves and a hat. Although people had carried rough walking sticks or simple canes for centuries, it was during this period that these sticks became carefully crafted items carried by every gentleman. While the most common material for the body of the cane was a wooden shaft, the tops and bottoms of the cane were where a man could...

Sixteenth Century Body Decorations

16th Century Clothing For Poor People

The personal grooming habits of people in the sixteenth century seem strange to us today. On the one hand, wealthy people took great care with their hairstyles and, in the case of women, with their makeup. On the other hand, the practice of bathing was infrequent among even the wealthiest people and quite rare among the poorer classes. Europeans in the sixteenth century simply misunderstood the nature of disease and believed that they could get sick if they used water to clean themselves....