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Children's Fashion in the Renaissance

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Children's fashion in the renaissance was a lot different to the modern era. Comfort and practicality took second-place to custom and status in a child's appearance and dress.

The renaissance was a dramatic period of rebirth, discovery and enlightenment in all facets of life. The fields of Intellect, art, science, geography, literature, philosophy and fashion were all subject to brave new endeavors and experiments in the name of human progress. Clothing in the renaissance was a status symbol and people would often wear their wealth. Although toddler's clothing resembled that of their parents, its design was much simpler and material much sturdier but it still made the children who wore it feel ill at ease.

Dressed For Success

Toddlers in the renaissance were not dressed with leisure and comfort in mind. Adults regarded it of utmost importance that their offspring dressed correctly to reflect the dignity and standing of the family. If a child was dressed inappropriately it could give the impression of poverty and squalor. Toddlers in any period are guaranteed to do two things - play and grow. Consequently their clothes were designed in a simple fashion, because they would be redundant in next to no time, and the material was also durable to prevent the associated wear and tear which kids running amok entails.

Girls

Renaissance girls were heavily dressed from head to toe in what were often restricting outfits. Long garments, stockings, a corset, a waist-petticoat and a bodice with a gown over it were the order of the day. Girls from the lower class usually wore a long-sleeved kirtle, an abundance of skirts, a rectangular apron and a headdress of linen coifs, veils or flat-caps. Upper class girls would often sport a gown with a deep “V’ cut into the back. Their headdress might only cover the top of their head allowing their hair to cascade down their backs. Females in the renaissance would always cover their hair.

Boys

Usually dressed to resemble their fathers, boys in the renaissance would have to wear shirts and fitted jacket named a “doublet.” On their legs they would wear close fitting and tight-like hoses which were tied by lace. They would also usually wear breeches and berets. Both boys and girls would wear cloaks in cold weather.

Suitability

The ornate and fancy fashion of renaissance clothing is not really suitable for toddlers or children of any age. Children should not be concerned with fashion and neither should their parents inflict it upon them. It has been well documented that left to their own devices, renaissance children would take off some layers of their clothes to make both maneuverability and play easier.

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Tim Butters

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