The History Of Italian Clothes

Italian society with its penchant for awe inspiring carnivals and festivals over the centuries, has witnessed an increasing variation in styles of clothing and fashion.

The following paragraphs will reflect the evolution that followed styles, patterns of clothing. Also are revealed the reaction of the government and authorities of the Church towards these developing trends.

The Empire Of The Romans

The men during the days of the Roman Empire wore tunics made of linen and wool. These tunics were usually worn on top of loincloths. The toga was only worn by the mature and older citizens after achieving a political maturity age.

Purple trimmings featured the togas of Magistrates and the high priests of the temples. The ceremonial togas of the priests were also embroidered using Palms. Women too wore tunics over bread bands and their loincloths.

These togas for women were made of dyed cotton and silk, further these were embroidered or braided or fringed. Belts were used to keep the gown in place at hips and below the breasts.

From 05 B.C To The Years of 14 A.D.

IN these years the loincloths and the breast bands worn by both men and women were replaced by chemise which was basically a shirt with long sleeves and served the purpose of body linen.

Breeches became part of Men’s clothing. The length of men’s tunics depended on their social status; it was longer for the rich and shorter for workers and soldiers.

By 12th century people were wearing tunics decorated by using embroidery, varied coloured cloths, braids etc. Women were supporting girdles on the hips and the waist and the fashion of flaring sleeves was very popular.

Years Of Fashion From 14th Century

Italian clothing followed the onward trend in the increasingly individualistic style of clothing. Men now wore short and extremely fitting outer clothing. The sleeves of men’s clothing were usually wide at area of the shoulders and tightened at portion of the wrist. They wore tight breeches teamed with pointed hats. Most often the tunics of men were decorated with emblems, mottos, insignia, names etc.


Photo Credit: theclothingchronicles.com

Women in these years were experimenting with fitting gowns of low cuts. Their sleeves were designed in a fashion to reveal the chemise underneath; tiered rolls adorned the heads of these beautiful creatures.

Fashion in 16th Century

Ornamentation became the most important aspect of dressing. Portraits of this age reveal dresses of brocades of scarlet and velvet highlights which were further elaborated using jewellery.

The Italians adopted the corset style. The focus of trend setters moved towards beautiful, high quality fabrics. Men were wearing silk clothes with fur trimmed hats and velvet covered mantles. Women costumes were decorated with embroidery, sleeves of varying tightness, veils and long trains.

Fashion in 16th Century

With the increase in the fashion of Italians the officials made several attempts to put a stop to this luxury of beautiful clothes. The sumptuary law introduced banned necklines with low cuts, put limit on ownership of velvet and silk garments. Such was the variety found in Italian clothes even back then!

Photo Credit: italianshopsonline.com



Satarupa Bhattacharya