Medieval Clothing and Dresses

The Renaissance, which means new birth in French language, is a name given to the movement in Europe that profoundly inspired men to discard the narrow confines of the middle age. Era of renaissance (1450AD to 1600AD) was the time of rebirth and massive cultural upheaval. The era witnessed awakening of mind, revival of Learning and a great thirst for knowledge. All this led to copious investigations of natural events and a widespread study of art & literature that broadened the outlook of man to a degree never seen before.

A renaissance festival or fair is an outdoor weekend gathering that restore the past by emulating era of renaissance to entertain its visitors. A renaissance festival is partly a craft fair, partly performance art and partly historical restoration. People put on costumes that reminds of the late Elizabethan period.

Most of the renaissance festivals or faire emulate the life in England during the reign of Elizabeth I because it is thought that the English renaissance had thrived during her reign. However, sometimes these fairs crosses the limits of renaissance era by including later periods like the period of 18th century pirates or by including earlier periods such as the period of Vikings and wizards.

There is no mandatory dress code at these festivals. But, medieval clothing has become an inseparable feature of the renaissance festivals, where patrons can be seen dressed in medieval costumes. They dress like Vikings, elfs, nobles and the like. Some patrons imitate pirates by putting on pirate boots, pirate shirts, which frilly, drooping shouldered, loose fit that adds to the rawness to the rustic look of the sea bandits. Pirate shirts and pirate boots are still as popular as they were in the medieval era.

One of the primary functions of the medieval clothing was to distinguish the social rank of the people as precisely as possible. Noble ladies were the trend setters in the renaissance era. They use to put on luxurious fur cloaks and precious jewels to show their aristocracy or high social rank. In the modern renaissance festivals many women can be noticed wearing medieval costumes.

It is not only the medieval clothing or medieval costumes that make the renaissance festivals special and extraordinary. There is an abundance of medieval oriented shows, rides, games, arts & crafts, in addition to delicious foods & drinks. One can purchase renaissance-themed art & handicrafts, or can enjoy stage shows or performances such as Shakespearean plays.