dress - filippo brunelleschi biography

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The typical male garment continued to be the lucco, a surcoat in cloth, buttoned in front and with a hood, that fell unbelted straight to the feet, with wide long sleeves. Young men preferred the guarnacca or smock, a sort of jacket belted at the waist, and close-fitting hose, sometimes in different colors for each leg. As headgear the mazzocchio, a wide cap of cloth rolled up like a doughnut with one end falling on the shoulder, or the felt cap were worn. Youths preferred to wear their hair long, but at the beginning of the century bangs were fashionable, with a bowl crop where hair was cut round high over the ears. Beards were rare.

Feminine fashions, called 'portature' varied throughout the century. The typical garment was a one-piece dress with a hem which touched the ground. It was close-fitting around the waist and then fell in soft folds. The more sumptuous garments had a train. At the beginning of the century, a surcoat with open sleeves was worn over the undergarment. For a while it was fashionable to wear long braids wrapped around the head. A fashion that appeared in the dress of the commoners but which also found favor with the ladies was the detached sleeve, which made it possible to wear different sleeves with a single dress. There were work sleeves and holiday sleeves, sleeves for summer and for winter.

Weaving flourished and was an extremely important sector of the Florentine export trade. Particularly prized for ecclesiastical garments, and favored by wealthy gentlemen, were the velvets with a pomegranate design, a motive of eastern origin which symbolized immortality.

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