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Illuminating Fashion: Dress in the Art of Medieval France and the Netherlands

Glossary of Medieval Clothing Terms
Extracted from Illuminating Fashion: Dress in the Art of Medieval France and the Netherlands, 1325–1515

Bag hat
A man's hat with a baglike crown attached to a burlet.

Baldrick
A belt worn across the chest to hold a sword, quiver, or horn; a chain worn in a similar fashion.

Bombard
A funnel-shaped sleeve or cuff.

Boulevars
The upper part of stocks.

Burlet
A ring of flock or wicker covered with cloth or fur.

Capeline
Another name for a bag hat.

Carmignolle
A man's hat with a divided brim held up by laces tied on the crown in a tuft.

Chaperon
A separate hood, comprising a crown, a cornet, and a cape.

Chausse
Hose.

Chaussembles
Hose with leather soles.

Coif
A woman's enveloping caul of precious, sometimes jeweled, material, worn alone or under a veil, burlet, or head cloth.

Cornet
A tube of cloth attached to the crown of a chaperon; a scarf attached to a man's hat or burlet.

Cote hardy
A man's shortened surcot, with a fitted bodice and a knee-length full skirt; also a woman's fitted gown, often slightly shortened.

Dorlott
A bang or curl on the forehead; a fringe of cloth on a caul or crispin.

Doublet
A man's inner jacket, sometimes padded or quilted.

Frontlet
A band on the front of a woman's coif; a separate band of black satin or velvet worn on a coif or head cloth, and alone by young girls.

Gipser
A purse or bag worn on a girdle.

Gown
A lady's outer garment; in the 15th century the man's outer garment as well.

Hose
A stocking or footless legging; the two joined in a single garment.

Houpeland
A full outer garment, worn by men and women; the man's with gores inserted
in the skirt; made full-length, calf-length or very short.

Kirtle
A sleeved tunic, worn under an outer garment or alone.

Mahewter
A padded roll added to the shoulder of a doublet or gown.

Mantle
A large front-opening cape.

Paltock
A loose jacket with sleeves, sometimes a jacket of any kind.

Pantoffles
Slippers.

Partlet
A cloth worn by women around the midriff and breasts, visible in the deep V-neck of the gown.

Poke
A bag-shaped sleeve, a bombard whose opening is sewn shut up to the wrist.

Pouleine
A stick of bone or wood inserted in the toe of a shoe; also the shoe itself.

Pourpoint
A close-fitting jacket of fine cloth, often quilted; also a doublet.

Sayon
A man's outer coat, often of luxurious cloth with a fitted waist and a many-gored skirt.

Smock
A woman's long undershirt.

Stocks
Hose divided in two parts: upper (boulevars) and lower.

Surcot
The outermost garment of men and women, made in two versions: the sleeveless open surcot or the sleeved closed surcot.

Temples
A woman's two-horned coif.

Templet
A cloth or metal base for a woman's headdress.

Tippet
A strip of cloth extending from the back of a short sleeve or fastened around the upper arm, sometimes integral with the garment.

Tressour
A woman's circlet of cloth or metal, sometimes jewelled and with hanging posts to hold braids looped on either side of the face.

Turret
A woman's conical coif.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.