Only the wealthy could dress in fashionable clothes. Sumptuary Laws restricted people in their expenditure including money spent on clothes. The head-dress worn by people during the Middle Ages immediately conveyed the rank of the person.
Medieval Peasant Clothing
The Medieval peasant clothing was basic and practical. The dress of the men in the lowest ranks of society was always short and tight, consisting of breeches, or tight drawers, mostly made of leather, of tight tunics or doublets, and of capes or cloaks of coarse brown woollen. The tunic was confined at the waist by a belt, to which the knife, the purse, and sometimes the working tools were suspended. A Medieval Serfs clothing or dress consisted of:
- A blouse of cloth or skin fastened by a leather belt round the waist
- An overcoat or mantle of thick woollen material, which fell from his shoulders to half-way down his legs
- Shoes or large boots
- Short woollen trousers
- From his belt there hung a sheath for his knife and a purse
- Medieval serfs generally went bareheaded, but in cold weather or in rain he wore a woollen hat. The simple cap was made of thick, coarse woollen cloth. In the early Middle Ages caps were also made of felt or sheep's skin. During the twelfth century, a person's rank or social position was determined by the head-dress.
- Gloves were only worn for their practical clothing value and were padded for use in tasks such as hedging