Happy New Year Everyone! What a season this has been – I got engaged!!! 😀 Very excited! Planning a wedding, plus full time school, equals a fun and busy year.  Also, I want to thank you all for your encouraging comments on my posts! Thank you! 🙂

Anyhow, I have totally missed my blog! We left off at the Middle Ages. For this post I’d like to compare real-deal 400-1300”s clothes to New LIne Cinema’s movie, The Lord of the Ring. Lord of the Ring (my all time favorite movie),  pretty much sets the Hollywood standard of Medieval clothing.

The Lord of the Ring does an intriguing take on the women’s clothing and gives us a glimpse as to what the clothes were like.  There are two dresses that Eowyn wears, but for simplicity’s sake I’m only focusing on the chemise dress. There are three main parts or layers. The chemise, is an underdress. Often women would sleep in their chemise. Over the chemise would be the bliaut. (Good luck on pronouncing that.) On top of the bliaut was corset and belt, although corsets at this time weren’t a tight hourglass shape. Instead, it was a natural fit. Layers were quite important during the Middle Ages to help keep people warm.

The Lord of the Ring also gives a good idea of what men would have worn, too.  King Theodon wears garb similar to that of the Saxons in the early Dark Ages. This look was a short tunic that came to the knees. Tunics were cut so that only the side seam would need sewing. For people of a higher rank, like a king, it would have a decorative robe or long tunic over their short tunic. Men wore this type of fashion for many centuries with minor variations (see photos below). Men’s fashion doesn’t change much until the Renaissance. However,  women’s wear shows more changes as the Middle Ages progress.

What I like about Srider’s costume are:

  1. How the shoulders of his coat and vest are laced on. A sign of authenticity.
  2. How the designers thought about detail using many layers of natural fiber fabrics, such as leather and wool, creating an authentic appearance.
  3. Last but not least the leather and detail on his van braces.

There you have it! A brief over view of that clothing was like between 460 and the 1300s as illustrated by the costumes in The Lord of the Ring. Below are some websites and a McCall’s pattern for the dress.

This website is a cool overview  http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/

This website is from an amazing, and knowledgable fashion expert. My sister did a drawing of Strider for this site, and it’s also posted below. 🙂 Definitely encourage anyone who is into costumes to check out this website.  http://www.alleycatscratch.com/lotr/Human/Strider.htm

Even though The Lord of the Ring is an old movie now, it really did set the gold standard for interpreting historical dress of the dark ages and it deserves close study.