Very Late - Women
Women's Fashion AD 1080-1179
During this period Norman England is dominated by European fashion. As Christians, all women cover their hair when outside the home. In England the long scarf veil is worn just as it is across Europe. It is worn loosely draped over the head and wrapped around the shoulders whilst leaving the neck showing. The hood like wimple is still worn, but is becoming less fashionable.
Most women wear a linen shift. There are a number of different garments that can be worn over this. Most common is an ankle length woollen dress with either sleeves that are loose and cut slightly shorter to expose the cuff of the shift underneath or else with tight sleeves to the wrist. Neck-holes are either round or oval, and can have a keyhole opening. Decoration, in the form of facings, silk strips, embroidery or tablet weave, can be applied to the cuffs. Tied belts of simple braid or cloth can be worn, but never belts of leather.
Sometimes a ‘mantle’ can be worn, which is a woollen conical over garment that can be worn belted with a wide cloth sash. Loose sleeved dresses and mantles are never worn together.
Another option popular with rich women is the European fashion of wearing dresses with extremely wide cuffs known as bliaut sleeves. Some of these bliaut dresses are more fitted with sewn in gathering patches being added to their sides.
Shoes are of the simple, two-part turn shoe construction and are usually low, coming to below the ankle.
Jewellery in the form of delicate decorative openwork brooches of Urnes beasts and silver penny brooches are popular. As the 12th century progresses the ring like annular brooch replaces the traditional disc brooch as the main form of fastening brooch.