The Man in Men’s Fashion, circa 800

Dear Millicent,

Fun fact: The puffy sleeves that were so in fashion in the 800s–they were inspired by Jesus’ foreskin.  Apparently, Charlemagne got the relic in a leather sack that looked like a scrotum, and this was so powerful an image, it influenced sleeve styles.  Yes, flouncy gathered sleeves are all about balls.

This brings up how clothes assert the idea of genitalia and alpha-ness not by being snug or revealing, but by reiterating shape.  Codpieces are surely part of this, but what else? Do the sweetheart neckline and basque waist do the same for women?   And, what would David Brent say about this on a blind date?

And, in trying to find a compelling example, I stumbled upon Go Fug Thyself, a blog that covers “the horrors of poorly-researched, poorly-made, or just plain fugly medieval and Renaissance costuming.”

So, there’s that,



5 Responses to The Man in Men’s Fashion, circa 800

  1. Pingback: The Man in Men's Fashion, circa 800 « Millicent and Carla Fran | Fashionest : Unique Fashion Blog

  2. SEB says:

    Ha! I am *so* telling my medieval art history class about this.

  3. Millicent says:

    Hi SEB and CF! Wowza. (And I thought Moby Dick’s foreskin-obsession was troubling.) On the other hand, I’m pleased about “codpiece” being exactly as dirty as it sounds, and happy that it manages somehow to share functionality but oppose the tone of the hole in the sheet through which nice Catholic couples had matrimonial sex (at least according to that Like Water for Chocolate). SEB, tell us what your class says!

  4. Pingback: Christ’s Foreskin and Other Gifts « Millicent and Carla Fran

  5. Pingback: Unselfish Female Feminists: True or False? « Millicent and Carla Fran

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