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Renaissance Costumes for Women


Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pwn/14382394421/

Renaissance costumes were particularly elegant, chic and sophisticated in the sixteenth century. Women would wear laces, embroidery, fluffed sleeves, jewelry and thick materials, which improved the beauty of women in most European countries. Darker colors were originally allocated to people who were poor. The wealthier you were, the more elaborate your clothing, color and jewelry. In fact, the rich would walk around ostentatiously to show off their expensive jewelries and attire.

Renaissance Clothing

During medieval times, Renaissance clothing was adored by many women, even those who couldn’t afford to wear certain items of clothing. Different types of clothing showed whether you were from a wealthy home or not since some of them required craftsmanship and expensive renaissance fabric to create. Many of these fabrics included cotton, velvet, silk and brocade. Cotton, for example was usually imported from countries like India. The cost to import was high since this was premium fabric. During those days, renaissance clothing maintained its value. Therefore, it could be pawned easily when times were hard.

Spanish Fashion

In Spain, women introduced the fashion trend of wearing black clothes. This spilled over into renaissance times. However, many women would incorporate other colors such as blue, green or dark red. Spanish fashion made considerable improvement and influenced the end of the sixteenth century. With its geometric representation, renaissance apparel during those times made a woman’s bust look triangular. Her waist would appear taller and her breast flatter.

European Fashion

In almost every European country, women’s renaissance clothing included a petticoat and gown. These were made of premium renaissance fabric and decorated with embroidery. The women would wear fitted sleeves and shoulder pads so that their clothing would appear puffed and fluffed. Their gowns had trains, which would be turned up in most cases. English women would wear the Tudor head dresses as part of their renaissance costumes. Most of the English costumes were influenced also by Spanish fashion.

French Fashion

In France during the start of the sixteen century, women would wear gowns that were opened in the front so you could see their petticoats. A light material would cover the square neck. Subsequently, Spanish fashion changed French fashion, especially at the end of Francois Ler’s reign.

Fashion Today

Today, women have emulated these types of fashion into their own renaissance costumes. If they chose the Spanish fashion, it was usually modified to represent variations from other countries. The Teutonic Knights, for example, introduced German fashion into their ensemble. The primary characteristic of Spanish fashion was its significant austerity, which wasn’t as important as other countries.


During the Renaissance period, clothing was a big thing, especially since a lot of emphasis was placed on social standing. Today, this is exemplified by the Renaissance costumes worn by festival enthusiasts who want to remain in character. 

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