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Gothic Review

Early Gothic-13th & 14th Centuries

These peasant women wear chemises (white) and cotes. They have veils draped and wrapped around their hair. The peasant men in the background are wearing braies and chemises and possibly cotes. They have hats on to shield themselves from the sun.

The peasant man on the right wears a cote with a magyar or dolman sleeve. This sleeve is fitted from elbow to wrist and gently curves into the torso under the arm instead of creating the right angle that is typical with a "T-shaped" garment. This new cut of sleeve provided an added ease of movement and prolonged the life of the garment.

Notice that even the peasants are wearing pointed shoes.

This image shows us many of the key differences between the male surcote and the cote-hardie. The surcote is fitted through the torso, with a moderately full skirt. It is worn over a cote with fitted sleeves. We see the cote revealed under the surcote sleeve which features a short tippet.

The cote-hardie is a shorter garment that opens center front and closes with buttons. It is thought to have evolved from the surcote. The cote-hardie generally has a short skirt that is attached at a dropped waist seam (hidden by his belt here).

It becomes difficult in the next period to distinguish the cote-hardie from the garment called the doublet/pourpoint/gipon. At this time, the doublet/pourpoint/gipon seems to refer to a sleeved, quilted and/or fur lined garment that is worn between the chemise and cote-hardie for warmth.

Another new garment for men and women is the houppelande (worn by the man at the right). It was a long and full garment that is somewhat associated with the garnache and herigaut.

The houppelande is fairly fitted through the shoulders and drops into a full, unshaped garment below the shoulders. It is generally belted at the natural waist or at the hip-line. It often features a standing collar (carcaille) and some form of decorative sleeve: bagpipe, pendant, or a variety of hanging sleeve. Here we see a large pendant sleeve with dagged edges.

He is wearing a chaperon on his head in the turban-like new chaperon style.

This drawing portrays many of the key identifiers for the 13th/14th Centuries.

1. tippets on sleeves (trailing streamer-like extensions --either part of the sleeves or detachable)

2. dagged edged chaperon

3. the use of buttons (the crowned man wearing the cote-hardie in the center of the image has many down his center front closure)

4. the practice of parti-coloring

5. pointed shoes and pedules (hose with attached soles)

6. the ram's horn hairstyle on the women



This lady lifts the skirt of her surcote to reveal the hem of her cote and pointed shoes. She is wearing the ram's horn hairstyle, but has draped her wimple over the braided buns to conceal them.

She would also be wearing a chemise and hose.

There is a variety of options in the realm of fashionable feminine dress during the Gothic period. Personal aesthetics, combined with disposible income, resulted in a greater occurrence of individualized fashion.

All three of these women wear variations of the cote and surcote.

The lady on the fair left is wearing the version of the surcote, sometimes referred to as a "sideless gown." Introduced late in the 13th century, this style becomes quite popular by the time we reach the second half of the 14th century. The deep armholes are sometimes referred to as the "windows of hell." This refers to the fact that the female form is only obscured by a tightly laced cote.

The woman in the center wears a basic cote & surcote combination (similar to the one pictured above). The surcote here is rather unfitted.

The woman on the right wears a fairly fitted surcote that prominently features fitchets (slits through which the hand could pass to access an alms purse or pouch attached to a belt underneath) and tippets. All three of these styles coexisted.

At some point duirng the 14th century female cote/surcote also takes the name gown or kirtle. All three terms are acceptable. It would still common to wear an under gown and a over gown, however, regardless of what name you give them.

The men in this image wear cote-hardie variations. The man on the left is showing the sleeves of his pourpoint (AKA doublet) on his forearm. The parti-colored hose are most likely tied to their pourpoints with laces (AKA points).

"Points" is a Middle Ages term that refers to the metal tip (an aiglette) that is used to finish the end of a lace. FYI, the piece of plastic that finishes a modern shoe is still called an aiglette.

The man on the right wears a chaperon with a long liripipe.

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