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Early, Unstructured Garments

Early Gothic Costume

Early Gothic Overgarments

Early Gothic Tunics

A version of the semicircular Paludamentum maintained its popularity through the middle of the first millennium, but with a twist. The opening moved to the CF and it could be worn by both men and women. The softer fabrics of this period gave this garment more drapiness and followed the shape of the body.

By the beginning of the second millennium, the T-shaped tunics had developed into the man’s Cote and the woman’s Kirtle. To create a more fitted and flared shape, godets (triangular insets) were inserted into the side seams as well as into slits cut up from the hem at CF and CB. The top point of the godet began near hip level and the two long sides were sewn vertically along the cut edges of the slit or along the side seam. The underarm seams were curved and tapered to the wrist. Women wore their Kirtles to the floor and longer. The man’s Cote length hovered around the knees. Tapered underarm seam


Slit for godet



The Cote and the Kirtle can be cut from measurements, like the Tunic, and the shaping altered to fit on the dress form and/or wearer.

There were other overgarments, which were cut like tunics and slipped on over the head. They were mostly cut in an “A-line”; in other words, the bottom of the garment was wider than the top. For an example of the draping an A-line garment, look at the unisex Houppelande in Chapter 3.


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Draping Period Costumes: Classical Greek to Victorian  

Draping Period Costumes: Classical Greek to Victorian  

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