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By Rebecca Rissman

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Skirts were cut wide, with large amounts of rich fabric that fell in folds down to the floor, hiding the feet. Sleeves were so dramatically long they dragged on the ground. indd 35 11/3/14 5:15 PM Knights and the Clergy Knights were noble warriors in service to the king and Church. Becoming a knight was a great honor and achievement. Knights began their training during childhood, learning how to fight, hunt, and ride. They also learned poetry and intellectual games, such as chess. Knights were often finely dressed.

Corsets 40 Corsets, or stays, emerged as an important part of a woman’s wardrobe during the Renaissance. These tight-fitting undergarments cinched in a woman’s waist to make it very narrow, while pressing her bust forward and up. Corsets were constructed from durable fabric and reinforced with whalebone, reed, or metal. indd 40 to be loosened or tightened. Noble women wore their corsets very tight in order to look as fashionable as possible. A fine lady was not expected to work or participate in rough physical activity.

Its distinct shape earned it the name the S-bend corset. Men’s Wear: Dandies in Dark Suits and Hats English men’s fashion in the 1800s was dark and understated. Bright silks and ruffles were out, and black became the favored color for men’s formal suits, as it is today. Stylish men of the early 1800s were called dandies. These tastemakers wore expensive tailored clothing and took great pride in their appearance. A typical outfit was a crisp, clean shirt and vest and a dark dress jacket with tails, worn with light-colored breeches and riding boots.

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