Blue Early Medieval Surcoat

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Description of the Product

Early medieval European dress changed very slowly from about 400 to 1100. The main feature of the Migaration period was the meeting of late Roman costume with that of the invading peoples. For several centuries, people tended to dress differently depending on whether they identified with the old Romanised population, or with the new populations such as Franks, Anglo-Saxons, or Visigoths. By the 13th Century these distinctions had disappeared, and clothing was quite uniform across the continent, very simple for both men and women. Clothing changed very slowly, if at all, especially outside the wealthier classes. Experimentation with different forms of clothing began during the 14th century, with recognizable fashions. These draped garments and straight seams of the previous centuries were only slowly (especially among the lower classes) replaced by the beginnings of tailoring, lacing, and buttons, which allowed clothing to more closely fit the human form. This kind of simple dresses were worn all the way to the 1400s.

Dress for early medieval women was modest and restrained, consisting of a floor-length, loosely-fitted undertunic (a chemise), with long, tight sleeves and a narrow belt, over which was worn one or more ankle-to-floor length sleeveless surcoats (also called tunics, gowns, cyclas or kirtles).

This sleeveless surcoat is based on original patterns, and has typically exaggerated large side openings. During medieval times the side opening grew bigger and bigger. The Pope and clergy started calling these side openings as windows of hell fearing that the womanly shapes on display would tempt men on a road of temptation and ruination. The funny term stuck and still remembered. This dress has been left unadorned so as to keep it historically accurate for a long time period.

Because of large side openings this surcoat fits practically anyone whatever the size of the surcoat. At waist the dress is very wide and at chest it’s open on both sides, why a classic measured size chart is impossible to make. You don’t want to choose the correct size for you depending on chest- and waist measurements but rather think how low you want the hem of your surcoat to hang. If you want the hems of your under dress and surcoat to be at the same height then choose the same size for both. If you would rather have your surcoat stop a bit higher that your under dress so that the hem of your under dress can be seen then choose one or two sizes smaller surcoat.

Made of 100% cotton. Made by Marshal Historical.

This surcoat is available in brown, green, red and blue.
The undertunic dress, which can be seen in the photos, is available in brown, green and off-white.

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Really fast delivery and excellent quality goods!
- Hans Segercrantz

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