Fashion Evolved? – OP 4

Fashion in Medieval Britain was different than it is today. People could not just wear whatever they wanted there were rules and guidelines that everyday people had to follow in order for their apparel to be socially acceptable. If you see people walking around in modern time you see all kinds of apparel. You might see someone jogging in workout clothing or someone in a suit rushing to work. You may even see people in jeans and a t-shirt out and about participating in everyday life. In Medieval Britain, people wore many layers that complemented each other. This might not be too different than today. But, what if you saw a man walking around town with a tunic? It would be pretty odd. Depending on your wealth and social class you were allowed or not allowed to wear certain things. If you were a peasant it would not be practical for you to wear fancy accessories and colorful silk clothing. If you were a peasant you might wear a shorter tunic because of the practicality of your day’s work. If you were royalty you might were the fanciest clothing, with bright and colorful fabric and have clothes made from the best materials. One of the biggest similarities between the modern world of fashion and Medieval England is that the rich and famous set the trends for everyone else. They are the go-getters, the bold, the courageous. They have the money to spend and the confidence to wear what they please. Just like in the modern world those who want to stand out will and the ones who cannot afford to stand out will blend into the masses. I think this says a lot about culture and how it has evolved, or the lack thereof. The ways of life change, but attitudes stay relatively parallel. People in Medieval Britain use clothing as a way of rank, just like people of the modern day use fashion. It is a way to tell your neighbor you are superior. It is a way to express yourself. One of the biggest differences between modern fashion and Medieval Britain is that people are not free to dress however they please. If you did not belong to a particular social class, it was frowned upon to dress differently. To add to this, women of quality were encouraged to have long hair, but were not allowed to wear it down in public. A lady should be clean cut and put together and that is a completely different view than what we hold today. Today, quality is defined much differently. Today, clean cut and put together is interpreted inversely. Today, people are allowed to express themselves freely, because appearance is a freedom of choice. Although there are many differences between modern fashion and Medieval British clothing, if you were to compare attitudes of the two different time periods you would not see much difference. It comes down to the courage to be bold, the right of expression, and the pursuit of confidence. What people wear describes who they are and what they do. Is that so much different than how we think today?


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