Until the Renaissance (14th—17th centuries), clothing had changed relatively little for both men and women on the Italian peninsula.
Hence, menswear throughout the High Middle Ages (11th—13th centuries) consisted of 2-3 overlapping tunics, which laid the foundation for modern clothing and regional styles.
Remember, tunics were worn from the fall of the Roman Empire onward as a type of knee- or ankle-length shirt with some sort of hose-like pants.
By the time of the medieval period, the court dictated clothing. Take Venice, for example, where the nobility enforced a strict code of fashion laws, which dictated what was acceptable for any give class of society, whether military, worker, or aristocrat.
It is intereting that even today, although we do not have codified laws that dictate our outer appearance, our dress often reveals our social status and/or other details about our identity in society.
Interestingly, one thousand years ago in the 11th century, men’s fashion finally parted ways with women’s attire, which, formerly had been quite similar. Beforehand, unisex was nothing new.
Once menswear began taking its own course, it could be summed up in one word—extravagant. Nevertheless, the men’s silhouette was robust, with wide shoulders.
On runways around the world today, elements of medieval fashion have been rearing their head; however, most items have been influenced from military dress.
It would be interesting to see other influences from this period pervade our times.
Photos Public Domain.