Social Classes of the Renaissance – Get Your Costume Right in San Jose

The Renaissance had a complex social structure and, with it, fashion; be sure to follow fashion etiquette for your character in order to get your costume just right!


Noble Woman


The nobles of the Renaissance wore fine materials such as satin, velvet, and silk. Women always wore floor-length gowns cinched at the waist with loose sleeves. Most all women of the Renaissance wore their hair long, but nobles typically adorned their do with sashes, hats, and jewels. Noble men wore knee-high boots with silk stockings. They wore lush doublets over satin shirts and adorned their own heads with a feather in their cap at times.


Middle Class Woman


There is very little difference between a noble costume and a middle-class costume with regard to Renaissance attire except for the material used and accessories worn. Cheaper, more sturdy material was typically used for middle-class men and women, especially wool. Their heads were typically unadorned with hats and jewels in every-day life, perhaps only for special occasions.


Peasant Woman


Peasants, or lower class citizens, wore mainly clothes that were durable, sturdy, and could be worn comfortably during a day of hard work. Women wore aprons and short sleeves that wouldn’t get in the way of their tasks. Men wore wool tunics and pants that could withstand significant wear and tear, no fancy embroidery or intricate tailoring for them.

Come by San Jose Dancewear and we’ll help you pick out the costume that will match your character for the Northern California Renaissance Faire perfectly!

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