Men's Renaissance Clothes | Renaissance Clothing and Medieval Costumes

Men's Clothes In The Renaissance

Since the Renaissance was a long period, spanning at least two centuries and all of Europe, there's a lot to choose from when it comes to men's clothing.  However, most clothes for this period fall into a few smaller categories.  Here's a quick overview of your options if you're attending the Renaissance faire, an SCA event, a Renaissance themed wedding, or any other event where this kind of clothing would be appropriate.

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First, ask yourself what you want to portray.  To create the right impression, you'll want to be certain that your costume matches in terms of social class, time period and region.  A gentleman from fifteenth century Venice won't wear the same type of clothing as a field worker from England in the 1580s.  If you're not sure what's appropriate, check out some authenticity oriented costuming guides online, or take a look at paintings from the time to get a good idea of what was worn. 

The basic garments for men throughout the Renaissance were the shirt, doublet, nether hose (or stockings) and trunk hose (trousers).  Depending on the time period, these garments could look pretty different.  For instance, in the fifteenth century, hose covered the entire leg, and looked more like leggings, while the fashionable doublet was quite short.  In the sixteenth century, the period when most Renaissance faires are set, the hose separated into stockings and trousers, and there were a number of fashionable shapes.

In general, if you're portraying a lower or middle class person, it's a good idea to avoid extremes and look for costumes that aren't unusually cut or ornamented.  Decoration should be plain, rather than using a lot of gold thread, and fabrics like cotton, linen, and wool are top choices.  It should be noted that cotton wasn't readily available in period, but its availability in modern times makes it popular.  Don't be tempted by richly made men's clothes if you're portraying a commoner - you'll look peculiar, and your impression will seem wrong.

Upper classes, on the other hand, should attempt to look neat and wear rich clothes.  All the fabrics listed above are appropriate, as is silk.  Velvets, satins, and brocades are also popular for men's upper class clothes, but they may be made of synthetic fabrics, which can get hot and uncomfortable outdoors.  Pay attention to the content of the fabrics or clothes you buy, as well as cut and fit.

When selecting men's clothes for a Renaissance themed event of any kind, it's important not to fit the little details.  Almost everyone in this period wore a hat, and there are lots of styles to choose from.  A flat cap is an easy and popular choice that works for most personas, but you can also choose a tall hat, coif, or other head covering depending on your costume's time period and social class.  Wearing the right shoes can make a big difference, too - nothing spoils a good look like loafers!  If you're looking for Renaissance men's clothes, checking online is a great option, as is making your own or contracting with a tailor for a custom made set.  Just be sure to know what kind of impression you want to make!