Women’s Medieval Underdress

Women’s Medieval Underdress

$139.95

    • Based on contemporary medieval artwork(see Historical Inspirations below)
    • Made in 100% lightweight Linen
    • Comfortable and authentic sleep or lounge wear
    • The perfect base layer for all your medieval gowns – comfortable and smoothing
    • No visible machine stitching
    • All interior seams finished
    • Comes in Four sizes to accommodate most body types
    • Price: $139.95

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About our Linen Underdress

Throughout the Middle Ages clothes were worn in layers, with a light, linen tunic forming the foundation over which additional linen or wool garments were worn. The exact nature of these earliest garments is unknown, but by the 13th century, the man's tunic had evolved into a simple, relatively short, white linen shirt. Unfortunately, the exact nature of women's undergarments is far less clear; women generally being depicted in period illuminations either fully clothed or stark naked. What is clear is that some sort of undergarment was worn, and it had to be designed to work with the long sleeved gowns fashionable of the early and late medieval periods. Experimentation has shown that this underdress fits beautifully under reconstructions of 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th century gowns, smoothing the lines of the overdress and creating the elegant silhouette shown in artwork of each of the periods.

Our underdress is made of lightweight, white linen. The neckline is shaped to match the gown, but with a smaller opening so that it can be seen beneath the overdress. The sleeves are loose enough to be comfortable, yet close-fitting enough to avoid bunching when worn with an overdress. As with our chemise, the underdress is fitted to the bust and then flares outward, ending at the ankle so that it fits smoothly under your gown without interfering with your train.

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Size Chart

Note: In our women’s clothes we’ve abandoned ‘standard’, modern sizing because it is far from standard, and tends to cause more confusion than provide accurate information. So, please judge your size by your chest measurement. We do not give waist and hip measurements because the underdress is an ‘A’ line style and flares out from the bust so that fit at the hip is generally not an issue.

Size Max. Bust Measurement Length (from shoulder)
2 36″ / 91cm 52″ / 132cm
3 40″ / 102cm 52″ / 132cm
4 46″ / 117cm 54″ / 137cm
5 50″ / 125cm 55″ / 140cm

Only available in White.

Throughout the Middle Ages clothes were worn in layers, with a light, linen tunic forming the foundation over which additional linen or wool garments were worn. The exact nature of these earliest garments is unknown, but by the 13th century, the man’s tunic had evolved into a simple, relatively short, white linen shirt. Unfortunately, the exact nature of women’s undergarments is far less clear; women generally being depicted in period illuminations either fully clothed or stark naked. What is clear is that some sort of undergarment was worn, and it had to be designed to work with the long sleeved gowns fashionable of the early and late medieval periods. Experimentation has shown that this underdress fits beautifully under reconstructions of 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th century gowns, smoothing the lines of the overdress and creating the elegant silhouette shown in artwork of each of the periods.

Our underdress is made of lightweight, white linen. The neckline is shaped to match the gown, but with a smaller opening so that it can be seen beneath the overdress. The sleeves are loose enough to be comfortable, yet close-fitting enough to avoid bunching when worn with an overdress. As with our chemise, the underdress is fitted to the bust and then flares outward, ending at the ankle so that it fits smoothly under your gown without interfering with your train.

Drawing after a detail of the Romance of Alexander, MS. Bodley 264, circa 1340 in the Bodeleian Library, Oxford, England

Drawing after Le Tres Riches Heures of Jean Duc de Berry circa 1413 in the Bibliotheque du Musee Conde, Chantilly, France

Drawing after an illuminated manuscript Cod. ser. nov. 2644, folio 34r

Drawing after Book of Hours for Rome Use, MS M.287, fol.64v, circa 1445 in The Free Library of Philadelphia, Rare Book Department, Pennsylvania, USA

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