Medieval Dress for the Beginner:
-The High Middle Ages
-The Late Middle Ages
Leg coverings (under construction)
Medieval Clothing Terms
is a glossary of terms compiled by I. Marc Carlson of the University of
Tulsa. This is an excellent glossary of terms, anything I would have
compiled myself would either not be as complete, or would take months
to research. Instead of meshing together varying definitions from
opposing sources, Carlson has elected to present them as separate
definitions from a variety of sources ~ a technique that I feel has
When a term has arisen, Carlson
started researching it by examining it with the Oxford English
Dictionary (2d Ed.) as a baseline. That means that if you see material
that is neither in quotations, with a clear citation, or set off in
italics, it is either a quotation or a paraphrase of material in the
OED2. This does not mean that the OED is the best source available - it
has a number of flaws. It is, however, a generally accepted source for
quality definitions. Material that has been set off in italics are
either titles or works, special words, or Carlson's own opinions.
I have expanded upon this list but have made no attempt to distinguish between my additions and the text of Carlson's original.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
- Ecclesiastical vestement; full-length white linen tunic, girdled with a cord and often embroidered on the front and around the hem. [Piponnier]
- Headdress in the shape of a long hood, lined with fur; worn originally by the laity of both sexes and later exclusively by clerics. [Piponnier]
- Ecclesiastical vestement; a rectangular piece of fabric, often embroidered, worn round the neck by the priest, under the chasuble. [Piponnier]
- 'A slit at neck of both male and female garments to make them easier to put on. Also a
decorative panel in front of the armhole' [Boucher]
- 'A slit at neck of garments for ease of donning. Also a decorative panel around armhole'
[Medieval Timeline in Fashion and Events
Amice, Aumusse, Amusse
- Amyse 14th
- Amisse 15th
- Ammes, Ammas, Ammys, Ames, Amys, Am(m)esse 16th
- Amis(e 16th-17th
- Amysse 17th
- Amos 16th, 19th
- Amice 16th
- From the Old French. aumuce, aumusse
- An article of costume of the religious orders, made of, or lined with grey fur. It
varied at different times in character and mode of wearing, being originally (it is said)
a cap or covering for the head; afterwards a hood, or cape with a hood; in later times a
mere college 'hood' or badge, borne by canons in France on the left arm.
- A cloth for wrapping round, a scarf, handkerchief, or other loose wrap.
- 'A simple head-dress in the form of a flat hood falling to the shoulders, worn by both
sexes. The clerical hood often included bands falling forward to the chest (13th and
14th centuries). From then on it was only worn by the canons, and as they developed
the habit of lifting the fold over the arm it finally became reduced to a simple band of
- 'Simple headdress in the form of a flat hood falling to the shoulders' [Medieval
Timeline in Fashion and Events (http://romancereaderatheart.com/medieval/timeline/)]
- It's not a term that is particularly medieval,
but it gets tossed around a lot in medieval clothing discussions. It means
'Armhole', or that roundish place in the body of a garment that the sleeve
gets set into.
- OED "Scye - The opening in a coat into which a sleeve is
inserted. 1st listed use is 1825 JAMIESON
Suppl. s.v. Sey, The sey of a gown or shift is the opening through which the arm
passes. Etymology is listed as "A use of a Scots and Ulster dialect word (written also sey, sci, si, sie, sy
in glossaries) meaning ‘the opening of a gown, etc., into which the
sleeve is inserted; the part of the dress between the armpit and the
chest’ (E.D.D.); of obscure etymology.
- Armseye is listed in a description of 'Dolman' (sleeves) in the OED, dated
- Italian term for a spherical headdress worn by women in northern Italy in the early 15th century. [Piponnier]
- 'Barbet, the Barbe of a woman's headdress.' Barbe in this case referring to 'beard' I
suspect. 'a piece of pleated cloth forming part of the headdress of widows or nuns and
worn over or under the chin so as to cover the neck or bosom.' [Kurath]
- 'Veil fixed above the ears either to the hair or to the head-dress, hiding women's chins
and necks. The barbet, with the cover-chief, form the whimple worn from the 12th
century to the 15th by old women and widows. It was compulsary for nuns who have
retained it' [Boucher]
- 'band put under chin and fastened on the top of the head, worn by women, 12th-14th
centuries.' [Medieval Timeline in Fashion and Events
- Undyed woolen fabric of homespun quality. [Piponnier]
Belt, Cingulum, Girdle
- A broadish, flat strip of leather or similar material, used to gird or encircle the
person, confine some part of the dress, and to support various articles of use or
ornament. See also Girdle
- At the end of the 14th century, belts could consist of a series of gold or silver panels joined together. They normally consisted, however, of a long strip of fabric or leather with a metal buckle at one end and a matching clasp at the other. A belt would sometimes be decorated with ornamental nails from one end to the other. [Piponnier]
- The square cap worn by clerics of the Roman Catholic Church; that of priests being
black, of bishops purple, of cardinals red. Related to Beret, Beretta, Barret, etc.
- 'Originally a head dress, difficult to distinguish from the aumusse (late 13th,
early 14th centuries). In the 16th centuries, the name was transferred to round
caps, which became square on top once a hatter had the idea of fitting them on a rigid
frame, giving the shape still worn by the clergy today.' [Boucher]
- Man or woman's headdress; rounded or semi-circular cap fitting closely to the edges; clerical wear by the 16th century. [Piponnier]
Bliaut (Bliaud, Bliaus, Bliant, Bliaunt, Bliand)
- There are a number of wildly differing interpretations for what this term
means. The conservative estimate is that it's a generic French term for a sort of
- 'Masc. Fem. Outer shirt-type dress, slit up the sides, or with pleats
freedom of movement, especially on horseback. Precursor of the shirt or blouse. 12th
- 'A medieval shirt which was the origin of the linen blouse or smock worn by European
peasants of both sexes today. The Bliaud was worn over the chainse, or chemise, and
slit up the sides to allow freedom for the legs when riding horseback.' [Wilcox]
- 'Long overgown worn by both sexes from the 11th to the late 13th centuries.
The woman's version fitted closely at the bust and had long loose
sleeves. It was worn with a belt. The male model, with narrower sleeves,
was slit at the foot and covered by a coat of chain mail: it too was belted. The
bliaud was often richly ornamented. A looser version, the SHORT BLIAUD, was worn by
workers and soldiers.' [Boucher]
- 'Bliaut (d): 12th century dress of fine material, largely pleated, worn by men and
women.' [Medieval Timeline in Fashion and Events
- Padded roll or circlet worn by children to protect their heads, or, in the 15th century, by men to give volume to their hoods. Also the padded roll added to women's headdresses. [Piponnier]
1 bréc, (bræc), 3 brych, 3-5 brech, 4-6 breche, 4-7 breeche, 6 breache, briech,
bryche, 6-7 breetch, 7 brich, 7- britch, 9 breach, 5- breech. [Com. Teut.: OE. bréc
(bróec), pl. of *bróc fem. = OFris. brók, pl. brék, (MDu. broec,
Du. broek), OHG. bruoh (MHG. bruoch, mod.Ger. bruch, obs. in
18th c., but still in Switz. pl. brüch), ON. brók, pl. btype *brôk-s
fem. monosyl. 'article of clothing for the loins and thighs'. Often stated to be an
adoption of L. broca (also broca, bracca), or its Gaulish original,
which was app. *brocca, clothing for the legs ('barbara tegmina crurum'; Vergil Æn.
XI. 777); but *brôk-s has all the marks of an original Teutonic word = Aryan *bhrâg-s.
The Celtic brocca is considered by Dr. Whitley Stokes to be phonetically descended
from an earlier *brog-na, a derivative of the same root bhrog-, and so
cognate with the Teutonic.]
- A garment covering the loins and thighs: at first perh. only a 'breech-cloth'; later
reaching to the knees. a. in OE. bréc, plural of bróc.
- 'Baccae or Braes: loose trousers ending below knees or at ankles, and tied there, Roman,
early European.' [Medieval Timeline in Fashion and Events
- Good quality woolen fabric, dark brown in color. [Piponnier]
- A gown worn by men; full length and buttoned down the front, it originated in the Middle East. [Piponnier]
- Woolen fabric of medium quality, made from camel's hair. [Piponnier]
- An early form of 'cope' which is retained in Northern English dialects and
Scottish. A cloak with a hood, a cloak or mantle generally, or an ecclesiastical
- 'A cape is a short sleeveless garment from the late 16th century on (the modern
definition). As opposed to a Cloak' [Zylstra-Zeems]
Forms: 4-6 calle, 6 caull(e, 6-7 call, cal, kall, caule, cawle, 7 kal, kaull, kawle,
7-9 cawl, 7- caul. [a. F. cale a kind of small cap or head-dress.]
- A kind of close-fitting cap, worn by women: a net for the hair; a netted cap or
head-dress, often richly ornamented. Obs. exc. Hist. (In the Middle
Ages, the word 'Caul” also refered to a membrane around the heart, a membrane in
the intestines; a cabbage, a stem or stalk; and a sheepfold).
- 'jeweled net worn as women's head-covering, 14th-15th centuries.' [Medieval Timeline in
Fashion and Events (http://romancereaderatheart.com/medieval/timeline/)]
Chainse, Cainsil, Chaisel, Ceisil
[a. OF. cheisil, chesil, var. of cheincil, chensil, chansilh,
cainsil: lateL. camisole, -is (8th c. in Du Cange), f. camisia]
- A fine linen (Byss?) . Applied to various things made of this fabric, as a chemise,
smock, shirt, veil, etc.
- See Chemise
- May refer to a garment worn between the Chemise/Shirt and the Kirtle, or
may refer to the Chemise/Shirt (French)
- 'long tunic of fine linen with long sleeves tightly fitted at the wrists; always white
and usually pleated. Worn under bliaut(d).' [Medieval Timeline in Fashion and Events
6-7 chapperon, 7 chapron, chapperoon, shaparoon, shaparowne, shabbaron, 7-9 chaperoon.
[a. F. chaperon hood, a kind of dim. deriv. of chape cope, cape (cf. moucheron
gnat, f. mouche fly); also used in sense 3 (in which English writers often
erroneously spell it chaperone, app. under the supposition that it requires a fem.
- A hood or cap formerly worn by nobles, and. after the 16th c., by ladies. Obs.
exc. Hist. (Cotgr. (1611) has 'Chaperon, a hood, or French hood (for a
woman); also any hood, bonnet, or lettice cap.)
- 'hat contrived from winding long 'liripipe' round cap, later made as complete headgear'
[Medieval Timeline in Fashion and Events
- Hood, originally covering the head and shoulders. A hole was cut in the fabric to frame the face. The point of the hood was often very long. In the 15th century changing masculine fashion dictated that the head should go right through the visor and the neckpiece be raised to form a crest on the head, often on a padded ring (bourrelet). The point of the hood was then worn round the neck or round the head. [Piponnier]
- The Chaperon worn hanging over the shoulder became a fashion statement of its own,
that remains even today in some forms of military decoration.
- Ecclesiastical vestment; sleeveless and circular in cut. Worn by priests over an alb and by bishops over a dalmatic, the chasuble had a hole in the center for the head to pass through. [Piponnier]
In 5 chauces, 6 chauses. [a. OF. chauces, mod.F. chausses = Pr. calsas,
caussas, Sp. calzas, Pg. calças, It. calze, calzi,
med.L. calcias, pl. of calcia, clothing for the legs, trousers, breeches,
pantaloons, drawers, hose, stockings; f. L. calceus, calcius, shoe,
half-boot. Formerly naturalized
- Pantaloons or tight coverings for the legs and feet; esp. of mail, forming part
of a knight's armour (in OF. chauces de fer).
- Latin Calcia, clothing for the legs (include trousers, breeches, pantaloons,
drawers, hose, stockings). 'Hosen'
- Leggings to make shoes taller. [?]
- 'garment for covering leg and feet, originally held with criss-crossed thongs to the
knee.' [Medieval Timeline in Fashion and Events
Chemise (Camise, Kamise)
- There are two derivations for this term in English. First, the Old English Cemes
and the early Middle English Kemes, probably deriving from a prehistoric OE
'*Camisja-', in turn from the late Latin Camisia, Camisa 'shirt -
surplice'. The Latin also yeilds the Old French Chemise (the second source in
English), Old Norman French Camise, Quemise, Kemise,
Provençal and Spanish Camisa, Portuguese Camiza, and Italian Camiscia,
Camicia. The chemise was an undergarment, a Shirt, once worn by both
men and women, but eventually the term was used to refer only to a woman's undergarment
and replacing Shift as the more delicate term in the 19th century. The term
was also used to refer to a different form of an undergarment than a smock.
- 1 cemes, 4 kemes, kemse; . 2, 6, 8-9 chemise. [Two types of this word appear in Eng.,
both ultimately derived from late L.: (1) OE. cemes (? fem.), early ME. kemes,
kemse:prehistoricOE. type *camisja-, from the late L. word; (2) chemise,
a. O. and mod.F. chemise (ONF. camise, quemise, kemise, Pr.
and Sp. camisa, Pg. camiza, It. camiscia, camicia): lateL. camisia,
camisa shirt, surplice (see Du Cange). L. camisia appears first in
Jerome c 400 (Ep. Vest. Mul. 64 n. 11 'volo pro legentis facilitate abuti
sermone vulgato; solent militantes habere lineas, quas camisias vocant'). It is also in
Salic Law (lviii. 4 camisia, and camisa), Isidore (XIX. xxi. 1, xxii. 29
'Camisias (v.r. camisas) vocari, quod in his dormimus in camis, id est stratis
nostris'). Beside it is found the deriv. camis-le, -is, camps-le, OF.
cainsil, chainsil fine linen, alb, etc. ; also an uncertainly related camix,
It. camice, OF. cainse, chainse, 'alb'.
The ulterior history and origin of camisia are uncertain. German
etymologists incline to consider it adopted from Teutonic, and related to OE. ham
shirt, and Ger. hemd, OHG. hemidi, Gothic type *hamii, f. root ham
to cover, clothe. Kluge supposes a derivative *hamisjâ-, which, if it existed,
might perh. give a Romanic camisia, as German h gave c in OFrench,
through Frankish ch. But besides other difficulties, no traces of the required word
are actually found in any Teutonic lang., the nearest thing being ON. hams masc. (chamiso-z)
snake's slough. The Irish caimmse, Cornish cams, Bret. kamps an alb,
and MCorn. camse an article of female clothing, are all adopted from L. or French.]
- A garment: the name has been variously applied at different times; perh. originally (as
still in French and other Romanic languages) the under-garment, usually of linen, both of
men and women, a shirt; but now restricted to that worn by females, formerly called
'smock' and 'shift'. Formerly also applied to some under garment distinct from the
'smock', as well as to a priest's alb or surplice (so med.L. camisa), the robe of a
herald, etc. In recent use: a dress hanging straight from the shoulders. Also chemise
Cloak (Cloke/Chape [Kape])
- Cloke 13th-19th
- Cloke 13th (Old French)
- Clooke 15th-16th
- Cloc(c)a (medieval Latin) [n.b. there is a pun here in Latin regarding the shape of a
- Hoyke (German)
- Chape (French)
- Chaip 15th (Scottish)
- Shape 15th (Scottish)
- A loose, outer garment.
- A Chape is a bad weather cloak [Zylstra-Zeems]
3-7 coyfe, 4-5 coyffe, coyf, 6 coiffe, 6-7 coife, quoife, 7-9 quoif, 5- coif; (also 4
koife, coyif, coyphe, 5 koyf, 7 koyfe, 8 quoiff; 6 Sc. kuafe, queif, quayf, 7
quaiffe, quaife). [ME. coyfe, a. OF. coife, coiffe (= Prov. cofa,
Sp. cofia, Pg. coifa, It. cuffia): late L. *cuffia (cofea
in Venant. Fortunatus, cuphia in Alcuin), supposed by Diez and others to represent
an OHG. *kupphja, deriv. of OHG. chuppha, MHG. kupfe cap.]
- A close-fitting cap covering the top, back, and sides of the head. In
early use a cap of this kind, tied like a night-cap under the chin, worn out of doors by
- 'close-fitting cap of white linen later embroidered or made in black.' [Medieval
Timeline in Fashion and Events (http://romancereaderatheart.com/medieval/timeline/)]
- Cape 13th-14th
- Cope 13th-
- Cape 14th- (Northern English, Scottish)
- Caip 14th- (Northern English, Scottish)
- Kape 14th- (Northern English, Scottish)
- Caip 14th- (Northern English, Scottish)
- Kope 13th
- Coepe 14th
- Coppe 14th-16th
- Coope 15th-17th
- Coape 16th-17th
- A long cloak or cape, worn as an outer garment, chiefly out of doors
- Special dress of a monk
- Ecclesiastical vestment
- Some sort of cover, (v. to cover)
- 'hooded cloak, sometimes with sleeves, worn for protection against rain' [Medieval
Timeline in Fashion and Events (http://romancereaderatheart.com/medieval/timeline/)]
Forms: 4-9 corsette, 5 corsete, coursette, 9 corsett, 5- corset. [a. F. corset
(13th c. in Littré), dim. of OF. cors body.]
- A close-fitting body-garment; esp. a laced bodice worn as an outside garment by
women in the middle ages and still in many countries; also a similar garment formerly worn
by men. (1299 Wardrobe Acct. 28 Edw. I, 28/15, 2 corsett' de miniver.)
- 'Middle Ages: sort of long or short surcote with or without sleeves, worn by men from
the mid-12th to the mid-15th centuries. From the 14th to the 16th centuries, a
woman's gown, laced in front and fur-lined in winter. [Boucher]
- 'in medieval times, two definitions: 1) long or short surcoat with or without sleeves
worn by men in the 12th-15th centuries; 2) a woman's furlined winter gown lacing in front,
worn between 14th and 16th centuries.' [Medieval Timeline in Fashion and Events
- Cote 14th-17th (Middle English, Old French)
- Coete 14th
- Coot(e) 14th-16th
- Kote 14th-16th
- Cot 16th (early Modern English,
Old French, Provençal, Catalan)
- Cott(e) 16th (early Modern English, Modern French)
- Cootte 16th
- Coate 16th-17th
- Coat 17th-
- Coit 16th (Scottish)
- Cut ?
- Cota (Provençal, Spanish, Portuguese)
- Cotta (Italian, 9th Medieval Latin)
- Cottus (Medieval Latin)
- Kyrtle (-scandinavian-)
- Possibly derives from the Old High German Chozzo for 'coarse shaggy woolen stuff,
and the garment made from it'
- A garment, an outer garment, usually of cloth with sleeves. (from c1300-)
- Used to translate the ancient terms (Latin) Tunica; (Greek) Xitwn, or Chiton;
(Hebrew) K'thoneth/Kuttoneth (from c1380-)
- 'Old English and French for the men's and women's outer garment. The masculine
cote was a tunic varying in length halfway between waist and knee. The
feminine cotte was a complete dress fitted at the waist and reaching to the floor.
The word has remained in English as coat.' [Wilcox]
- 'Cote, Cotte: O.E. OF. Masc: Outer garment. Fem: Long dress or petticoat, 12th-15th
- 'The basis of the wardrobe was the cotte (German rock), a long sleeved
shift, slightly blousing over the girdle and widening from the hips down to the
seam. In the earlier decades, the sleeves were so tight that every movement of the
arm drew the cotte into a sunburst of pleats at the inset of the sleaves. In the
second half of the century, the sleeves were usually wider at the inset, tapering to a
close fit towards the wrist.' [Zylstra-Zeems]
- 'tunic or gown' [Medieval Timeline in Fashion and Events
Cotehardie (Cote - Hardi; Cottehardie)
- A close fitting garment with sleeves worn by both genders (c1450-)
- 'An Italian medieval fashion worn by both sexes, full length for women and tunic length
for men. It varied in style from the 12th to the 14th centuries, but generally the
sleeves were long, and the body closefitting.' [Wilcox]
- 'Cote-hardie: masc: Tunic of varying length between waist and knee. fem:
Full length waisted garment worn over kirtle. Both close fitting and with sleeves. 1350.
Until mid-15th century, flap from elbow was lengthened into a band called a tippet, or Fr.
coudicre. Sometimes with a buttoned front fastening and often 'dagged' for decoration.'
- 'gown for men or women.' [Medieval Timeline in Fashion and Events
Forms: 4-5 courtepy, -by, kourtepy, courtpy, curt(e)by, -py, 5 cowrt(e)by, (cowrbe, 6
courtby, 7-9 courtpie, cote-a-pye). [app. a. MDu. korte pîe, i.e. korte
short + pîe, coat of coarse woollen stuff, now pij: cf. coat, -jacket.]
- [The derivation and form-history present difficulties. OE. renders L. cuculla by cuele,
cule, cuhle and cule, weak fem.; also cufle wk. f. The former
comes down in 12-13th c. cole, and the coule, cowle (coole) of
later times; cufle may be the parent of kuuele (which in Ancren R. would
regularly stand for kuvele), couele, kuuel, couel. OE. cuele
is cognate with OHG. cucula, cugula, chugela (MHG. kugele, kugel,
gugel, LG. kogel), a. eccl. Lat. cuculla monk's cowl, from cl. L. cucullus
hood of a cloak. OE. cufle appears to be cognate with MDu. covele, cövel(e
fem., in Kilian kovel, mod.Du. keuvel 'cowl', and to be connected with
(perh. the origin of) Icel. kofl, kufl str. masc. 'cowl'. The history of cufle
and its allied forms is obscure.] A garment with a hood (vestis caputiata),
worn by monks, varying in length in different ages and according to the usages of
different orders, but 'having the permanent characteristics of covering the head and
shoulders, and being without sleeves' (Cath. Dict.). Also, formerly, a cloak or
frock worn by laymen or by women. The cl. Lat. cucullus was the hood of
a cloak, covering the head only. The cowls of the early Egyptian monks covered the heads,
and barely reached the shoulders; by 800 the cowls of monks had become so long as to reach
their heels, when St. Benedict restricted their length to two cubits. In the 14th c. the
cowl and the frock were often confounded; but it was declared at the Council of Vienne 'we
understand by the name of cuculla a habit long and full, but not having sleeves,
and by that of floccus a long habit which has long and wide sleeves'. See Du Cange
- Frequently used today to refer to the garment also referred to as a 'sideless
surcote', 'surcoat with gates-of-hell sleeves', 'gates of Hell' and so on.
- [Latin cyclas, Greek kuklas a women's garment with a border all around
it.] A tightly-fitting upper garment or tunic worn by women from ancient times; also
sometimes by men, esp. the tunic or surcoat made shorter in front than behind, won
by knights over their armour in the 14th century.
- 1860 FAIRHOLT Costume 97 The lady wears a long gown, over which is a
cyclas, or tightly fitting upper body garment...
¶ [i.e. a catachrestic or erroneous use] Identified or confused with CICLATOUN q.v.; see
also Du Cange s.v. Cyclas.
1834 PLANCHÉ British Costumes 95 'a rich stuff manufactured in the
Cyclades, and therefore called cyclas or ciclatoun, gave its name to a garment like a
dalmatic or supertunic worn by both sexes.
1876 ROCK Text. Fabr, iv. 27.
- Ciclatoun [Obsolete] Various forms in English from 13th century to 16th: ciclatun(e,
ciclatoun, siclatoun, sikelatoun, syclatoun, sicladoun, siklatoun, ciclatoune, syclatowne,
syclatown, shecklaton, checklaton [Old French ciclaton, -un, chiclaton, ciglaton,
siglaton, segleton, senglaton, singlaton; Spanish ciclaton; Provençal sosclato (Diez);
Middle High German ciclât, ziglât, siglât, siklatîn]. The source of names found in
most European languages in the Middle Ages, appears to have been Arabic (originally
Persian) siqlatun, also siqilat, siqalat, etc. The original Persian term, sakarlat,
is the same word from which we derive Scarlet. The primary meaning was 'scarlet
cloth', later 'fine painted or figured cloth', 'cloth of gold'.
Diez took ciclaton as a derivative of the Latin Cyclas-adem, a Greek kuklas,'a
state robe of women with a border running around it. Dozy, Suppl. Arab. Lex.
appears to derive the Arabic from cyclas. Du Cange also identified cyclas and
ciclatum, and it is possible that the two words were, from their similarity, confused in
Europe in the Middle Ages.
A precious material much esteemed in the Middle Ages. In the first quotation (1225)
it refers perhaps to 'scarlet cloth'; in others it is cloth of gold or other rich
material. Perhaps, sometimes, a robe or mantle of this stuff (cf.
Godefroy). The word is obsolete by 1400, although variations still appear in
English for another century
- '1Cyclas -adis feminine. (kuklas) a female robe of state, having a border of
purple or gold embroidery: Propertius, Juvenal.
- 2Cyclas feminine (namely Island) generally used in the plural Cyclades, -um,
a group of islands in the Aegean Sea.' [Cassell's Latin]
- 'Cyclas1 ~adis (~ados) A female's light outer garment having a decorated border.
- Cyclas2 ~adis (~ados) One of the Cyclades, the islands in the Aegean surrounding Delos
(usually plural).' [OLD]
- 'Kuklas - encircling, as in the Cyclades, and also a woman's garment with a
circling decoration.' [Liddell ∓ Scott's Greek-English Lexicon]
- 'Cyclas. masc. fem. Silken short tunic, or cloak, crom Cyclades, Greek
Islands. Worn over armour from 13th century.' [Davies]
- 'Cyclas A short capelike cloak or tunic worn by men and women from ancient Greek
and Roman times to thirteenth century England; made of a rich silk cloth called cyclas
because it was made in the Cyclades. Greeks, Romans, Franks, and Goths wore the
garment. At the coronation of the English Henry III in the 13th century, the guest
'citizens of London wore the cyclas over vestements of silk.' In the same period,
knights wore the cyclas over their armor as a surcoat.' [n.b. the illustration shown is of
a short, loose garment edged at the collar and cuffs in fur] [Wilcox]
- [Not referred to in Boucher]
- Under 'Spain', two women and a man are depicted and described as wearing a
'cyclas'. One woman and a man are in pellots (edged in a border), tunics and copes
(edged in a border). These are described as 'cyclas and loba'. In the
next picture, a woman is described as having a cyclas, two women are depicted - one
argueably wearing a sideless surcote with attached sleeves the same material as the
surcoat, the other in a fitted bodice. [Racinet] The term for a
Cyclas in Spain seems to be a Pellote.
- 'Cyclas, or sleeveless tunic' shown as a military garment and there is a vague
distinction between it and the sideless gown. [Hill]
- 'Men's dress. Tunics; cyclas or cyclaton: sleeves tapering to wrist; use of parti-color;
dagged edges; fur linings.' [two illustrations showing sleeveless tabard over armor]
- 'Cyclas (ciclatoun, syglaton, gardcorp, surcote). Matthew of Paris relates that at
the wedding of Henry III, in 1236, many... dressed in garments for which he uses the word
'cycladibus,' worked with gold, over vestments of silk. This garment was usually
made of very rich material (especially when it came into fashion) manufactured in the
Cyclades, and the name Cyclas is attributed to this source.' [illustrations show sideless
surcotes]. 'an over-robe without sleeves -- the cyclas-- shaped like that of the men...'
- 'Cyclas or Gardcorps: outer gown, usually sleeveless, with side and front openings.'
[Medieval Timeline in Fashion and Events
- Of a garment: Having the margin cut into long pointed projections; jagged, slashed.
- 'mainly German fashion, where hems and ends of bands are cut in various patterns, such
as toothed or open-worked designs.' [Medieval Timeline in Fashion and Events
- Apparently from the Latin, the term refers to a garment most often seen in the West as
an ecclesiastical vestment. The Dalmatic derives from a late Roman and Byzantine era
garment. A Dalmatic has wide sleeves, a slit skirt and has specific striped
- A variation on the belt worn by women in the 15th century. The back part consisted of a leather or fabric band, the front of two chains, one with a hook on the end, the other with a clasp or hook. [Piponnier]
- The term is used in the 14th century for a 'doubled' or lined garment.
It is not clear if this is a particular garment.
- A closefitting body garment, with or without sleeves, worn by men from the 14th to the
18th centuries. It is the prototype of modern jackets and vests. It's first
written appearance is in the Wardrobe accounts of Edward II 26/3 (1326)
- 'quilted garment, stuffed with cotton or waste material, stitched and worn under a
hauberk.' [Medieval Timeline in Fashion and Events
- Item of male clothing, fitted and covering the upper part of the body and hips; originally it was made of several thicknesses of cloth padded with silk or cotton and quilted. It began as an undergarment but gradually came to be worn on it's own with hose. [Piponnier]
4 filete, philett, 4-5 felet(t, 5 filett, 5-6 fi-, fylette, south. vylette, 6
fyllet(t, (6 fylet, fillott, 7 filot, 7-8 fillit(t), 6-7 phillet, 4-7 filet, 6- fillet.
[a. Fr. filet = Pr. filet, Sp. filete, It. filetto, a Com.
Romanic diminutive of L. filum thread.]
- A head-band. a. A ribbon, string, or narrow band of any material used
for binding the hair, or worn round the head to keep the headdress in position, or simply
for ornament. Also fig., esp. with reference to the vitta with which in
classical antiquity the heads of sacrificial victims were adorned, or to the 'snood'
formerly worn as a badge of maidenhood.
- 'band tied round the head.' [Medieval Timeline in Fashion and Events
- Coarse, woolen fabric. [Piponnier]
- Cotton or linen fabric, or a mixture of the two, usually a cross-weave. [Piponnier]
4 gaumbisoun, (campeson), 4-5 gambisoun(e, 5 gambesoun, gambassoune, gamesun, (-son), 7
gambesone, 9 gambeson, (-soon). [a. OF. gambison, gambeison, wambizon,
etc. = Pr. gambaiso, med.L. gambesen-em. A shorter form appears in OF. gambais,
wambais, Pr. gambais, OSp. gambax = med.L. gambesum, wambas-ium.
The forms seem to descend from a Rom. type wambésio (subj.), wambesióne
(obj.), commonly taken to be an adoption of some compound or derivative of OTeut. wambâ
belly The MHG. wambeis, wambes (mod. Ger. wamms), Du. wambuis,
wammes, were adopted from OF.]
- A military tunic, worn especially in the 14th c., made of leather or thick cloth,
sometimes padded; it covered the trunk and thighs, and was originally worn under the
habergeon, to prevent chafing or bruises, but was sometimes used as a defence without
- 'padded garment worn under hauberk; also know as a gibbon, pourpoint or doublet.'
[Medieval Timeline in Fashion and Events
- Garment for both sexes which, in the early 14th century, replaced the surcote, or was
worn over it. It is confused with the corset; normally loose and flowing, often
sleeveless, or with short wide sleeves, it disappeared at the end of the 14th century.
Forms: 4 wardecors, -corps, 5 ward(e) corce, wardcors(e, (wardecose, wardcorpse). [a.
AF. wardecors (recorded in sense 2; also latinized wardecosia, wordecorsum,
etc.) = OF. gardecorps; f. OF. warde, f. warde-r = garder to
- A body-guard; an armed personal attendant
- An over-garment for out-door use.
- 'A loose outer garment, with short, wide sleeves, and usually lined with fur'
- 'Surcoat or robe worn for extra warmth; similar in shape to the Housse”
- 'Ganache: loose outer garment' [Medieval Timeline in Fashion and Events
- Gyrdel 11th
- Gerdell(e 12th,14th,16th
- Girrdell 13th
- Gurdel 13th-14th
- [OE. gyrdel (f. gyrdan = MDu. gurdel, gordel (Du. gordel),
OHG. gurtil masc., gurtila fem. (MHG. and mod.G. gürtel), ON. gyrill
(OSw. giordel, Sw. gördel); the OE. gyrdels (=OS. gurdisl),
f. the same grade of the root with a different suffix is found earlier than gyrdel,
but did not survive into ME.]
- A belt worn round the waist to secure or confine the garments; also employed as a means
of carrying light articles, esp. a weapon or purse. See also Belt.
- Gore 14th-
- Goore 14th-16th
- Gare 14th-19th (Scottish and Northern
- Gair(e 16th-19th (Scottish dialect)
- [OE. gára = MDu. ghere, gheere, etc. (Du. geer), OHG. gêro,
kêro (MHG. gêre, Ger. gehren, gehre), ON. geire (Sw.
dial. gere, Da. dial. gære), app. related to OE. gár spear, the
reference being to the shape of the spear-head. From OHG. the word passed into the Romanic
languages; for the forms in these see GYRON.]
- poet. The front section of a skirt, wider at the bottom than at the top (cf. sense 3);
the lap of a gown, an apron. Hence in extended sense: a skirt, petticoat, gown. Also in
phrase under gore, under one's clothes (in ME. poetry often a mere expletive). (Cf.
OF. geron, giron used in the same senses.) Obs.
- a1250 Owl & Night. 515 Habbe he isstunge under gore, Ne last his luve
no lenger more. a1290 in Horstmann Altengl. Leg. (1881) 222 Ich wolde
I-witen noue Leuedi..Wi e faille gore, Sleue and nammore Of cloat ich I-se. a1300 Siriz
5 Wis he wes of lore And gouthlich under gore And clothed in fair sroud. a1310 in
Wright Lyric P. 26 Glad under gore in gro ant in grys. c1320 Sir Tristr.
2868 It was a ferly gin, So heye vnder hir gare It fleie. c1386 CHAUCER Sir
Thopas 78 An elf-queene shal my lemman be, And slepe vnder my goore. 1406 HOCCLEVE La
Male Regle 31 Had I thy power knowen or this yore..Nat sholde his lym han cleued to my
gore. c1460 Emare 198 at fayr lady Was godely unther gare. 1570 LEVINS Manip.
174/7 A Gore, gremiale.
- Any wedge-shaped or triangular piece of cloth forming part of a garment and serving to
produce the difference in width required at different points, esp. used to narrow a skirt
at the waist
- c1325 Gloss. W. de Biblesw. in Wright Voc. 172 Par devant avet
escours E de coste sunt gerouns [gloss gores]. c1386 CHAUCER Miller's T.
51 A ceynt she werede..A barm~clooth (eek)..ful of many a goore. Ibid. 136 (Harl.
MS.) A kirtel..Schapen with goores in the newe get. c1440 Promp. Parv. 203/2
Goore of a clothe, lacinia. c1480 HENRYSON Test. Cres. 179 His
garmound and his gyte ful gay of grene, With goldin listis gilt on every gair. 1501
DOUGLAS Pal. Hon. I. x. 5 In purpour rob hemmit with gold ilk gair. 1530
PALSGR. 226/2 Goore of a smocke, poynte de chemise. 1598 FLORIO, Gheroni..the
gores or gussets of a smocke or shirt, the side peeces of a cloke.
4-6 goun(e, 4-7 gowne, (6 Sc. gounn, 8-9 vulgar gownd), 4- gown. [a. OF. goune,
gone, gonne fem., a Com. Rom. word = Pr. gona, OSp. gona, It. gonna:
med.L. gunna, used in the 8th c. by St. Boniface for a garment of fur permitted to
elderly or infirm monks. A late L. gunna 'skin, fur', is quoted from a scholiast on
Verg. Georg. III. 383, and in Byzantine Gr. common as the name of a coarse garment,
sometimes described as made of skins.
The origin of the Rom. word is obscure. Some scholars regard it as of Celtic
origin, comparing the Welsh gn, Irish fúan 'lacerna', which are referred by
Stokes (Fick's Idg. Wb.4 II. 281) to an OCeltic *vo-ouno-, f. vo-
(= Gr.under) + root ou- to clothe But Loth (Rev. Celt. XX. 353) raises
phonological objections, and believes the Welsh word to be adopted from Eng. (as are the
Irish gúnn, Gael. gùn, Manx goon). In any case the Celtic origin of
the Rom. word does not seem to accord with the geographical probabilities. Albanian has gunë
cloak, but it is uncertain whether this is native or adopted from Gr.]
- A loose flowing upper garment worn as an article of ordinary attire.
a. By men.
- Used as the name of the flowing outer garment worn by the ancients, esp. the Roman toga.
Hence after Roman usage: 'The dress of peace' (J.).
- A more or less flowing outer robe indicating the wearer's office, profession, or
status: a. as worn by the holder of a civil or legal or parliamentary
office, e.g. an alderman, a judge, magistrate; also collect. the magistracy. furred
gown: that worn by an alderman.
- An outer garment (both genders), a type of flowing Robe.
Gupe, Jupe, Jipe
- Jupe ---Now only Sc. and north. dial. (exc. as F.).
- [a. F. jupe, in OF. also jube, gipe = Prov. jupa, Sp. and
Pg. (with Arabic article) aljuba; also OF. juppe , jubbe, gippe
= It. giuppa, giubba, a. Arab. jubbah, jibbah Derivative forms
are For the treatment of the vowel in ME., cf. the forms of duke, flute, and
- A loose jacket, kirtle, or tunic worn by men. Obs. (In later use chiefly Sc.)
- Gipe -- [a. OF. gipe, gippe, var. jupe, etc.] A tunic, smock-frock,
cassock. In the quot. the allusion is app. to the folds or gathers of the
- Gipel -- [a. OF. *gipel, jupel (later jupeau, Gippo), f. gipe,
jupe] A short tunic worn under the hauberk.
- Gippo -- (after 1600 - a. F. jup(p)eau (obs.), earlier jupel Gipel] A
short tunic, cassock, or jacket worn by men, later also by women.
- Jupon -- [a. F. jupon, OF. also juppon, gip(p)on (= Sp. jubon,
Pg. jubão, gibão, It. giubbone, giuppone), deriv. of jupe,
etc.] A close-fitting tunic or doublet; esp. one worn by knights under the hauberk,
sometimes of thick stuff and padded; later, a sleeveless surcoat worn outside the armour,
of rich materials and emblazoned with arms. Obs. exc. Hist.
Gipon, Gypon, , Gippon, Jupon, Jupel
- [ME. a. F. haubergeon (12th c. in Hatz.-Darm.), deriv. (treated as dim.) of OF. hauberc,
now haubert: In Eng. from an early date reduced to ha-, though
examples of hau-, haw-, under French influence, contemporary or historical,
occur down to the present day. The word has been since the 16th c. only historical, and it
was app. after it had become obs. as a living word, that the pronunciation , found in
Milton, Butler, Glover, etc., and in some modern dictionaries, arose.] A sleeveless coat
or jacket of mail or scale armour, originally smaller and lighter than a Hauberk, but
sometimes app. the same as that.
- Short houppelande, named after Haincelin Coq, court jester to Charles VI of France. [Piponnier]
- [OE. hæt, cognate with OFris. hat, north. Fris. hat, hatt,
hood, head-covering; ON. httr (genit. hattar, dat. hetti): *hattuz,
later nom. hattr, hood, cowl, turban, Sw. hatt, Da. hat, hatte-
hat: cf. also Icel. hetta (*hatjôn-) hood. The OTeut. *hattuz goes
back to earlier *hadnús, from ablaut-series had-, hôd-, whence OE. hód.
Cf. Lith. kdas, kõdas tuft or crest of a bird.] A covering for the
head; in recent use, generally distinguished from other head-gear, as a man's cap (or
bonnet) and a woman's bonnet, by having a more or less horizontal brim all round the
hemispherical, conical, or cylindrical part which covers the head. (But cylindrical 'hats'
without brims are worn by some Orientals.) a. as worn by men.
- [a. OF. hauberc, earlier holberc, later (and mod.F.) haubert = Pr. ausberc, It. osbergo,
usbergo, med.L. halsberga, etc., a Com. Rom. deriv. of OHG. halsberg, halsperc masc. (also
halsberga fem.) = OE. healsbeor, ON. halsbjurg fem., f. hals neck + -bergan to cover,
protect The OE. word did not survive: the OF. form was introduced in ME.] A piece of
defensive armour: originally intended for the defence of the neck and shoulders; but
already in 12th and 13th c. developed into a long coat of mail, or military tunic, usually
of ring or chain mail, which adapted itself readily to the motions of the body.
- 'military corselet of mail or leather' [Medieval Timeline in Fashion and Events
- [OE. héafodhræl (Sweet), f. héafod head + hræl garment, dress.] The kerchief
or head-dress of women in Old English times. This term doesn't appear in
the OED before the 19th century
- 'Saxon head covering for women' [Medieval Timeline in Fashion and Events
- [a. obs. F. hennin (see Godefroi).] A head-dress worn by women in France in
the 15th century, of high and conical shape, with a muslin veil depending from it.
This term doesn't appear in the OED before the 19th century
- 'cone-shaped or cylindrical headdress for women' [Medieval Timeline in Fashion and
Events (http://romancereaderatheart.com/medieval/timeline/)] .
- A sleeveless gown or over-garment, open at the sides. [Piponnier]
Hood (German Caproen)
- [OE. hód str. masc. = OFris. hôd, MDu. hoet(d-), Du. hoed,
MLG. hôt, hût, OHG., MHG. huot (Ger. hut hat):OTeut. hôdo-z,
f. hôd-, in ablaut relation with *hattus (*hadnús)] A covering for
the head and neck (sometimes extending to the shoulders) of soft or flexible material,
either forming part of a larger garment (as the hood of a cowl or cloak) or separate; in
the former case, it can usually be thrown back so as to hang from the shoulders down the
back; in the latter sense it was applied in 14-16th c. to a soft covering for the head
worn by men under the hat. A separate article of apparel for the head worn by women; also,
the close-fitting head-covering of an infant. French hood, a form of hood
worn by women in the 16th and 17th centuries, having the front band depressed over the
forehead and raised in folds or loops over the temples.
Hose (German ? Couse, Kouse)
- [OE. hosa (? hose, hosu) = OHG. hosa (MDu., MLG., MHG., Ger.
hose hose, trousers, Du. hoos stocking, water-hose), ON. hosa, Da. hose
stocking; app.: OTeut. *hosôn-. Of German origin are the Romanic forms, med.L. hosa,
osa, OF. hose, heuse, It. uosa, OSp. huesa, OPg. osa,
Pr. oza legging; Welsh and Corn. hos are from Eng.] An article
of clothing for the leg; sometimes reaching down only to the ankle as a legging or gaiter,
sometimes also covering the foot like a long stocking. pl. hosen,
arch. or dial.; hoses, obs. Sense as in pl. hose.
In mod. use = Stockings reaching to the knee. half-hose, short stockings or
socks. Sometimes an article of clothing for the legs and loins, = breeches,
drawers; esp. in phrase doublet and hose, as the typical male
apparel. a. Usually in pl., hosen, hoses, hose,
also (with reference to its original divided state) a pair of hose.
- Same as Chausses?
- 'knitted or cloth, a covering for the foot and part of the leg, later to become
two-piece in 16th century.' [Medieval Timeline in Fashion and Events
Houpelande (German Houppelande; ? Hoplande)
- Houpelande c1281 - (French)
(Spanish) A tunic with a train attached
- High thigh boots. [Piponnier]
- [According to Jamieson f. F. courte short, and housse 'a short
mantle of course cloth worne in all weather by countrey women about their head and
shoulders' (Cotgr.). Du Cange has houcia curta of date 1360.]
Houve, Hoove, Huve
- [OE. húfe = MLG., MDu. hûve, Du. huif, OHG. hûba (MHG. hûbe,
Ger. haube), ON. húfa (Sw. hufva, Da. hue) OTeut. *hn
wk. fem.] A covering for the head; a turban, a coif; a cap, a skull-cap; the
quilted skull-cap worn under a helmet; in Sc. (how, hoo) a night-cap
(Jam.). to glaze one's houve, give him a houve of glass or glasen
houve: to mock, delude, cajole. See Skeat Chaucer, Notes to C.T. p. 237.
- 'headdress of 14-15th centuries with a tapered cornet held to head by long pins'
[Medieval Timeline in Fashion and Events
Huke, Haik, Heyke, Huque
- Forms: 5 huyke, 5-6 hewk(e, 5-7 huk, 5- huke; also 6-7 huik, 7 huicke, huyck, hoyke, 9 Hist.huque.
[a. OF. huque, heuque a kind of cape with a hood; in med.L. huca
(13th c. in Du Cange), MDu. hûke, hôike, heuke, Du. huik,
MLG. hoike, LG. hoike, heuke, heike, hokke, hök,
E.Fris. heike, heik', haike, hoike. Ulterior origin
obscure.] A kind of cape or cloak with a hood; 'an outer garment or mantle
worn by women and afterwards by men; also subsequently applied to a tight-fitting dress
worn by both sexes' (Fairholt Costume).
- 'Huque - short outer flowing robe, open at sides; knight's version had slit in front'
[Medieval Timeline in Fashion and Events
- Iak 14th-16th
- Iakke 14th-16th
- Iacke 14th-17th
- Iake 15th-16th
- Iack 16th
- Jack 16th-
- Jacque c1375 (Old French)
- Giacco (Italian)
- Jacke (German)
- Jak (Dutch)
- Jacka (Swedish -- Jacket)
- A short and close fitting upper garment.
- 'padded military jacket, up to 30 layers, worn over hauberk, and brightly decorated; not
to be confused with doublet.' [Medieval Timeline in Fashion and Events
- Iaquet, -ette 15th
- Iaket, ette 15th-16th
- Jaquet (Old French)
- An outer garment for the upper body. Originally the same as, or a shorter form of,
- May be a term for some sort of Jacket [Zylstra-Zeems]
- Term does not appear in English before 1500, after which it tends to refer to a
sleeveless jacket or waistcoat, a vest.
- [Recorded soon after 1500: origin unknown. (It has been conjecturally associated
with Du. and Western LG. jurk, 'girl's or child's frock'; but, besides the facts
that Eng. j does not correspond to Du. j (= y), and that a jerkin is
not a frock, jurk is merely a mod. Du. word, unknown to Kilian, Hexham, and other
17th c. lexicographers, and is itself of unknown origin.)] A garment for the upper
part of the body, worn by men in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; a close-fitting
jacket, jersey, or short coat, often made of leather. Since c1700 used in
literature mainly historically, or in reference to foreign countries; and some dialects
for a waistcoat, an under vest, or a loose jacket. Whence in modern use, usu. a sleeveless
jacket or waistcoat (see quots.).
- 'very short, full, beltless tunic' [Medieval Timeline in Fashion and Events
- A full-skirted gown worn by men. It was open under the arms, buttoned at the neck and sometimes bore the armorial device when worn at tournaments. [Piponnier]
- A part of the modern Highland dress, consisting of a skirt or petticoat reaching from
the waist to the knee: it is usually made of tartan cloth, and is deeply plaited round the
back and sides; hence, any similar article of dress worn in other countries. (the noun
doesn't appear in the OED before 1730.) As a verb, [app. of Scand. origin: cf. Da. kilte
(also kilte op) to tuck up, Sw. (dial.) kilta to swathe, swaddle; ON. had kilting,
kjalta skirt, lap.] trans. To gird up; to tuck up (the skirts) round the
body. Also with up.(the verb goes back to at least 1340)
- A Cote. Sometimes it is the sole body garment, although it usually was worn
with a Shirt. This term was in use in English from the 800s to about 1500.
- A woman's gown, specifically a skirt or petticoat ('peti-cote'). This term was in
use in English from the 900s to shortly after 1500.
- In the 1400s, this could refer to a coat of any kind (e.g. a 'kirtle' of paint).
- 'Kirtle: O.E. cyrtel; O.N. kyrtill; L. curtus-short. 1) Masc: Knee-length tunic, 9-14th
cent. 2) Fem: Sleeved long garment, 10-15th century, 3) Fem: For about 100 years from 1545
- a separate skirt, the name giving way to 'petticoat'. 4) Fem: a short jacket, early 18th
century. 5) A protective outer skirt for horseback riding, early 19th century.' [Davies,
- 6-7 liripoope, 6 liripope, lerripoop, leerypoope, liri-, lyri-, leripup, 7 lyripoope,
lirry-poop(e, leerepoop, luripup, lirripippes, 9 (liripipy), liripipe. [ad. med.L. liripipium,
leropipium, explained in glosses as 'tippet of a hood', 'cord', 'shoe-lace', and
'inner sole-leather of shoes'. No plausible etymology has been found; connexion of the
latter part with F. pipe. is not unlikely; the form loripipium, which
suggests L. lorum strap, is prob. an etymologizing corruption. Cf. F. liripipion
(Cotgr.) 'a graduate's hood'. Ménage's ludicrous guess, that liripipium
is a corruption of cleri ephippium, is repeated seriously in recent Eng.
Dicts.] In early academical costume: The long tail of a graduate's hood (see quot.
- See also Tippet
- 'long 'tail' descending from hood or chaperon' [Medieval Timeline in Fashion and Events
- [Introduced from two sources. (1) OE. mantel masc.:prehistoric *mantilo-z, ad. (after
the native suffix -ilo) L. mantellum, mantelum cloak, whence also OFris. mentel, OHG.
mantal, -dal (MHG. mantel, mandel, mod.G. mantel), ON. mantull (OSw. mantol, mantul,
mod.Sw., Da. mantel), MIrish matal. (2) In the 12th c. the word was taken up again in the
OFr. form mantel (mod.F. manteau:); cf. Pr. mantel cloak, It. mantello cloak. A special
group of senses taken from the Fr. is now distinguished by the spelling
Mantel. According to most philologists, the L. mantellum cloak is more
correctly written mantelum, and is etymologically identical with mantelum, mant-lium,
mant-lium, mant-le, mant-le table-cloth, towel. (Cf. Sp. manteles pl., table-linen; also
Manteel) On this supposition, the word must have been mistaken for a dim., and so have
given rise by back-formation to the late L. mantum (7th c.), *manta, whence Sp., Pg., It.
manto, manta, F. mante, and the diminutives Sp. mantilla, Pg. mantilha, It.
mantiglia.] 1. a. A loose sleeveless cloak of varying length. The name was applied
indifferently to the outer covering of men, women, and children, and at times acquired a
specific application to one garment or another. Now its use is restricted to a cloak of
silk or fine cloth worn by ladies; to the robe of state worn by kings, princes, and other
persons of exalted and defined station; and to an infant's outer robe.
- 'first appearing in 15th century, term for a cloak' [Medieval Timeline in Fashion and
- [a. OF. mors (Godef. 1380), ad. L. mors-us bite, catch (of a buckle), f. mordere to
bite.] The clasp or fastening of a cope, frequently made of gold or silver, and set
with precious stones.
- 'fastening of cloak' [Medieval Timeline in Fashion and Events
- Type of embroidery originating in England and characterized by and underside couching technique. [Piponnier]
- Band of silk decorated with embroidery and, sometimes, gold ornamentation. Used to decorate ecclesiastical vestments. [Piponnier]
- Loose, short masculine gown, with short sleeves. [Piponnier]
- Footwear consisting of a wooden or cork sole, sometimes in two pieces, and held on by a strap over the instep. Pattens were usually worn over light shoes. [Piponnier]
- Fur garment, sometimes covered with fabric on the outside; a waistcoat worn under the overcoat. Worn mainly by women of modest means. [Piponnier]
Points, Aglets, Dags
- Point 13th
- Pointe 13th-16th
- Poynte 13th-16th
- Poynt 14th-18th
- Aglett(e, Aglott(e, Agglot 15th-16th
- Aglet 15th-19th
- Agglet(te, Aiguelet, Aguelette, Ayguelet 16th
- Aigullet 18th
- (Agellet) Aigulet, Aiglet, Aiguillette 19th
- The derivation of 'point' in this context is varied, but appears to center on terms for
sharp pointy things. At some time, apparently during the 15th century the usage
shifted more towards the French aiguillette ( a diminuative of aiguille
'needle' from the late L. acucula, acus, aculus), and has remained so since the
little plastic things on your shoelaces are still referred to as Aglets.
Points/Aglets started as a way to make it easier to fasten garments by threading ties or
laces through eyelet-holes.
- 'metal-ended laces used to attach upper hose to doublet' [Medieval Timeline in Fashion
and Events (http://romancereaderatheart.com/medieval/timeline/)]
- Porpoint 13th
- Purpont 14th
- Purpeynt(e) 15th
- Purpoynt 15th
- Something quilted, such as a Gambais purpoint, or a Cuilt purpoint.
- A doublet, stuffed and quilted, worn by men in the 14th and 15th centuries. [n.b.
the text implies this is a modern usage].
- Wilcox (1969) defines it as 'See gambeson, jerkin, action [sic].' She defines
Acton as 'See gambeson, pourpoint, doublet' (although she shows a sketch of a padded
sleeveless hip-length garment). Doublet is defined as 'See gambeson, jerkin'.
'Gambeson or Pourpoint, a doublet, often sleeveless, of leather or cloth, stuffed
and quilted. It was worn as a pad under armor in the Middle Ages and in civil dress
by men, women, and children.' 'Jerkin, In the fourteenth century, the
man's cote-hardie developed into a garment known as a doublet or pourpoint, both words
meaning a wadded jerkin, jaque, jacket, or gambeson. A similar garment for women was
known as a jerkinet. The jerkin became a sort of waistcoat in the north of England,
worn up to the early twentieth century.'
- Davies (1994) refers to it as 'Masc. Close-fitting jerkin, padded. 14th
cent. Predecessor of doublet (see GIPON).' 'Gipon Masc. Padded bodice
of 14th century. Forerunner of doublet (see (GYPON).' 'Gypon Masc. Well
tailored, fitting garment worn over shirt, later called DOUBLET. 14th-17th Cent. (also
GIPON).' However, 'Doublet Masc. Padded, closefitting body garment,
with or without sleeves, worn originally under a breastplate. Later worn over the
shirt, 14th-16th Cent. Sometimes slashed. Became shorter after 17th Cent., evolving into
the waistcoat (See GAMBESON).' 'Gambeson Masc. Padded bodice of leather or cloth,
worn under armour of Middle Ages. Later in the 16th cent., worn by civil.
population.' 'Jerkin Masc. Tight-fitting jacket which replaced the cotehardie
in the late 15th Cent. Sometimes made of leather....'
- Boucher (1966) defines it as 'See Doublet'. 'Doublet/Pourpoint
Originally a quilted garment, i.e. padded with cotton or waste, held in place by
stitching; worn under the hauberk. It was a variety of gippon or gambeson in
in rich cloth, which passed from military to civil costume and became an outer garment
from the early 14th century. In the 16th century and up to the 17th century it was a
garment worn by all men; the shape and trimmings changed, but its basic character remained
unchanged.' 'Gambeson Quilted padded garment worn under armour; it passed into
civilian costume in the 14th century under the name of juppe, gippon, pourpoint or
doublet'. 'Gipon/Gippon Also called jupe, jupel, jupon, in the Middle Ages. A
sort of doublet made of padded, quilted material. It was an undergarment and the
breeches were attached to it; in the mid 14th century it became indistinquishable from the
doublet and the jacket made in rich materials which replaced it.' 'Jupe From
the Arabic djuba, jacket. In the Middle Ages it was confused with GIPPON but also
meant women's jacket...'
- 'underdoublet' [Medieval Timeline in Fashion and Events
- From the same stem as the verb 'to rob', the original sense being 'spoil, booty', as in
Old French. An over garment, flowing to the feet. The term is also used for
outer garments in general.
- A long loose outer garment reaching to the feet or the ankles, worn by both sexes in the
Middle Ages, and still by men of some Eastern nations; a gown.
- Also a long outer garment of a special form and material worn in virtue of, and
betokening, a particular rank, calling, condition, or office.'
- By the late 16th century, referred to outer garments or clothes in general.
- Loose garment made of linen, worn over normal clothing by various different categories of laborers. A protective garment worn also by the clergy from the 13th century, which became the prerogative of bishops, cardinals and conons regular. [Piponnier]
- [ad. OF. roel, rouel masc., or roele, rouele, ruele
(etc.) fem., dim. of roe, roue: L. rota wheel. Cf. med.L. rotella.]
A small stellar wheel or disk with sharp radial points and capable of rotation, forming
the extremity of a spur.
- 'round of cloth worn by Jews (compulsory): yellow in 13th century, then red and white in
14th' [Medieval Timeline in Fashion and Events
- Short cape worn by the Franks. [Piponnier]
- Silk fabric with a diagonal weave that makes it look like satin. [Piponnier]
- 'May be a term for some sort of Jacket' [Zylstra-Zeems]
- A light silk fabric. [Piponnier]
- Fabric made of wool or a mixture of wool and cotton; its cross-weave gives it a diagonal or chevroned aspect. [Piponnier]
- A body garment, or shirt, of a washable material such as linen, cotten etc.
Originally (c1598) the term referred to both men's and women's undergarments, but in the
17th century, Shift replaced Smock as a more delicate term, and in turn it
was replaced in the 19th century by Chemise.
- scyrte 11th
- s(c)hurte, (schuyrte, scurte, seorte) 13th
- schirte, sserte 14th
- schert(e, schorte 14th-15th
- sherte 14th-16th
- schyrt 15th
- shyrth 15th
- shyrt(e, shurt(e, shirte, shorte 15th-16th
- shertt, sherth 16th
- shirt 16th
- From the OE Scyrte, deriving probably from the Old Teutonic *skurtjon,
or 'short garment'.
- An undergarment made of a washable material, such as linen, that is worn next to the
skin. It was formerly a garment comment to both sexes, but now worn by men (see Chemise,
Shift, and Smock).
- NOT a medieval term. This is a post medieval term for undergarments.
- Smoc c1000-13th (Old English to Early Middle English)
- Smok 13th-15th
- Smock 14th-
- A woman's blousy undergarment, like a Shirt. The other definitions, such a
a painter's smock, and a peasants working smock, are post medieval.
Suckeny; Suckeney (French Sorquanie)
- Sukkenye 14th
- Surkney 17th
- Suckeney 19th
- 'Similar to a Surcote, but more tightly fitted around the shoulders. Gradually the
whole bodice became more tightly fitted.' [Zylstra-Zeems]
- From the Old French soucanie, also sor-, surquanie (earlier soschanie,
sousquenie, cf. med.L. soscania) of Slavonic origin (cf. Polish suknia
coat), whence also MHG. sukkenîe. A smock.
- [?a1366 CHAUCER Rom. Rose 1232 She hadde on a sukkenye [16th c. edd. suckeny;
orig. F. sorquanie] That not of hempe ne heerdis was. ]
- "Sukkenye - A loose frock" [Fairholt]
Surcote (Sur 'over' - Cote)
- Surcot 14th
- Sorcot 14th
- Surcote 14th-17th (19th)
- Surkote 15th
- Surcotte 15th
- Sercote 15th
- Syrcote 15th
- Circot(e) 15th-16th
- Circotte 16th (erroniously Surcourt)
- Surcoate 17th-
- Surkoat 17th-
- Surcoat 17th-
- Sobrecot (Portuguese)
- Pellote (Portuguese, Spanish)
- Sopracotto (Italian)
- Sorcotto (Italian)
- An outer coat or garment, commonly of rich material, worn by people of rank of both
sexes; often worn by armed men over their armor, and having the heraldic arms displayed on
- 'A surcot or over-tunic of the same length as the cotte, came with and without
sleeves. Its neckline was often somewhat lower than that of the cotte and its
sleeves if there, shorter and wider to that the cotte showed a little at the arms and
- 'outer garment which replace the bliaut(d) during 12th century' [Medieval Timeline in
Fashion and Events (http://romancereaderatheart.com/medieval/timeline/)]
- 'Deep armholes scooped out to the hips.' [Zylstra-Zeems]
- Fine linen tunic worn over ordinary clothes by members of the clergy in church, when not officiating at a service, or during processions outside. Also a kind of smock worn by the laity. [Piponnier]
- Originally a ritual cloak worn by Jews, later a rectangular piece of cloth worn at synagogue for prayer or at weddings. [Piponnier]
- [Origin uncertain; some suggest identity with OE. tæpped, tæppet, *teped (pl.
tæppedu, tepedu) carpet, hanging, etc. = OHG. teppid, -ith, -it, tepid, -it: both ad. L.
tapete (-a, -um) a carpet, tapestry hanging, bed-cover, table-cover. But there are great
difficulties both of phonology and of sense. Others suggest a derivative of tip] 1.
a. A long narrow slip of cloth or hanging part of dress, formerly worn, either attached to
and forming part of the hood, head-dress, or sleeve, or loose, as a scarf or the like.
Obs. exc. Hist.b. A garment, usually of fur or wool, covering the shoulders, or the neck
and shoulders; a cape or short cloak, often with hanging ends. Now worn chiefly by women
and girls, or by men as a part of certain official costumes. In many
early quots. (omitted here), senses a and b are not distinguishable.
- 'white linen bands with strip hanging down worn tied on above elbows, 14th century'
[Medieval Timeline in Fashion and Events
- Wollen fabric of mediocre quality. [Piponnier]
- 'woman's veil covering forehead - 13th-15th centuries' [Medieval Timeline in Fashion and
- Originally a band of fabric worn like a coronet around a woman's veil; later a cylindrical headdress of the same shape. [Piponnier]
- Tunica (Italian, Latin, Provençal, Spanish, Portunguese)
- Tonaca (Italian)
- Tûnikha (Old High German)
- Tunecan c893 (Old English)
- Tunece 11th (Old English)
- Tonica 11th (Middle English, Italian)
- Tunice 11th-12th
- Tuneke 12th
- Tunake 16th
- Tunike 17th
- Tunick 17th-18th
- Tunique 17th-18th (Modern English, French)
- A garment resembling a shirt or a gown, worn by both sexes among the Greeks and Romans
- In Old English and mediaeval times, a body garment or coat over which a loose mantle of
cloak was worn. (OED)
- A garment resembling a shirt or gown, worn alone or beneath a mantle,
armor, etc. [Kurath]
- I believe the use of this word as a universal term for a cote or kyrtle is, at least in
English, is an unfortunate choice from (apparently) the early days of the re-enacting or movie costuming,
when people were less aware of the historical terms.
- As far as I can tell it's a modern term for the Camisa/Shirt
- 'May be a term for some sort of Pourpoint' [Zylstra-Zeems]
- 'May be a term for a Cotehardi' [Zylstra-Zeems]
- Ritual fringes attached to the edges of the tallit worn by Jews at the synagogue. [Piponnier]
Boucher, Françoise. 20000 Years of Fashion. New York: Abrams, 1966
Davenport, Millia. The Book of Costume. New York: Crown Publishers, 1948. (Carlson did not list a source for his Davenport reference in this glossary. The style he used was also inconsistent and a bit muddled. I have determined that this is the most likely source that he is referring to when he mentions Davenport.)
Davies, Stephanie. Costume Language, a Dictionary of Dress Terms. Malvern: Cresselles Pub.Co.Ltd., 1994.
Fairholt, F. W. (Frederick William). Costume in England; a history of dress to the end of the eighteenth century. Detroit: Singing Tree Press, 1968.
Hill, Margot and Peter Bucknell. Evolution of Fashion. New York Drama Book Specialists 1981, c1967.
Kurath, Hans, and Sherman M. Kuhn eds. Middle English Dictionary. Ann Arbor, Mich. : University of Michigan Press, 1952.
Norris, Herbert. Costume and Fashion, Volume Two Senlac to Bosworth. London: Dent, 1927.
Piponnier, Francoise and Perrine Mane. Dress in the Middle Ages. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997.
Racinet, Albert. The Historical Encyclopedia of Costume. New York: Facts on File, 1988.
Wilcox, Ruth Turner. The Dictionary of Costume. New York: Scribner, 1969.
Zijlstra-Zweens, H. M. Of his array telle I no lenger tale: aspects of costume, arms, and armour in Western Europe, 1200-1400. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1988.