The clothing of a princess during the medieval period was meant to reflect her high status among the women of nobility. Consequently, the princess usually dressed up with nearly the same amount of regalia as the main royals although her dress was less embellished than the Queen’s. Still the clothing of a princess clearly showed her to be well above other women of the nobility thereby indicating her relationship to the royal family.
Clothing of Medieval Princess
In the manufacture of a medieval princess’ clothes, the most expensive and high-quality furs and other materials were used. In the making of the tunics and gowns which were the main items of a medieval princess’ clothing, extensive use of furs and highly expensive materials such as silks for trimming and golden threads for lace work were used.
Much in imitation of the Queen and her standard style, a princess would also wear a number of pearls and jewels sewn into her dress as a clear indication of her regal link. The overall clothing of a medieval princess evolved significantly over the course of the medieval period.
Clothing in Early Medieval Period
The clothing of a European princess at the beginning of the medieval period was rather loose and simple, reflecting the strong religious influence of Christianity at most of the Europe of the period. The clothing was complemented by a head-dress of some sort which a princess was typically required to wear whenever she went out in the public.
Medieval Princess Clothing Quick Facts:
Furs and other lavish materials such as silk and gold threads were used in the design of a Princess’s Clothing
A medieval princess was dressed in a way as to show off her status in medieval society
Early Medieval clothing for a Medieval Princess was not as lavish as in later years
In the High Medieval period clothing for a Princess was influenced by Greeks and Roman styles
Dresses for a Princess became tighter in the high medieval period
The increased power and wealth of feudal lords influenced the design of medieval clothing
The late medieval period was a time of lavish and richly coloured clothing for a medieval princess
Hairstyles were more fanciful and more attention was paid to them in the later medieval periods
Medieval Princess Clothing – Furs and other lavish materials such as silk and gold threads were used in the design of a Princess’s Clothing
Clothing in High Middle Ages
Towards the High Middle Ages, the royalty in Europe began to accept the classical influences of the Romans and the Greeks. The result was an attempt to imitate the classic traditions of clothing. One of the earliest manifestations of this was that the dresses at the beginning of the High Middle Ages became tighter.
This was true for the clothing of princesses as well who would wear tight but full dresses which comprised of a long tunic together with a stylish veil which fell down from the head, completely covering the neck. An additional cloak lines with an expensive material such as ermine was also used by a princess to indicate her wealth and high status.
The greater freedom from church injunctions that princesses and other members of the royalty enjoyed in this period was largely due to the rise in power and wealth of feudal lords while the church’s political authority declined.
Clothing in Late Medieval Periods
Towards the late medieval period, the clothing of a princess became more elaborate. Many new items became standard, such as the use of well-made and expensive shoes. The use of different kinds of elaborate hairstyles also became a regular part of the fashion of a medieval princess in this period.
On rare occasions, a princess could use two richly-made, expensive robes to indicate her greater wealth compared to other women of nobility. Head-gears such as different kinds of caps and veils became popular among princesses during this period. French princesses were among the most notable in exerting an influence over the fashion of the clothing of princesses of the period.