Costume Hire - 15th Century

This couple would be wealthy nobles in the 1470s or later

The lady is wearing a gold coloured 'houppelande', an overdress with a v-neck and wide full-length sleeves. It is very long, with a train at the back.

She would wear another dress or 'kirtle' underneath the houppelande, and it would be visible at the v-neck and at the sleeves. Sleeves worn very long - sometimes right down to cover her knuckles - indicate a lady who does no work or chores.

The dress has no waist and it is tied at the back with a rich fabric belt, running just below the bust, to create a high waistline. Collar and cuffs are in a contrasting rich red and gold fabric.

Her hat is a double-horned 'hennin', made from burgundy-coloured silk covering a hat form of stiff fabric like buckram, and it has a sheer veil with gold edging sewn with small glass beads.

Faceted jewels had not come into Britain by the 1470s, so stones were rounded and polished, but not angular. Many pearls were worn as jewels, and were also sewn onto garments as adornment.

The man is also wearing a houppelande, but his is calf length and he wears black leather mediaeval boots. His houppelande has a high stiffened collar and it has wide bag sleeves, coming right to his wrist. Sometimes people carried items in their bag sleeves.

This man wears a black leather belt on which is hung a black leather pouch fastened with a buckle.

He also wears a black woollen hat called a chaperon (it is a sausage-shaped hat derived from a mediaeval hood that has been rolled up); a long 'liripipe' is attached to the hat and is slung jauntily over his shoulder. He is wearing black woollen hose underneath his houppelande.

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