Fitted female garment forming an outer or middle layer.
Gold silk cotehardie shown here without a kirtle
As female garments became more fitted in the 1300s the unfitted tunic like dresses became more tailored and fitted.
A loose shift or slip like garment could be worn as a base layer. There is limited evidence for underwear. The bust could be supported with just the fitted layers.
A kirtle layer worn between the shift and the cotehardie could be laced up the front and the sleeves could be buttoned or laced. The kirtle layer is often fitted as to be supportive in the bust and not as long as the cotehardie layer.
The cotehardie layer over the kirtle later adds to the support of the bust line. The neck line could be plunging or more modest. The dress is often shown with a large number of closely spaced buttons on a front closure. The sleeves could be short, short with sleeve streamers (a very stereotypical cotehardie look) or longer. Some examples extend over the hand almost to the fingers. The cotehardie layer would be floor length. The belt is often shown slung low on the hips.
- fine cloths
- fine wools
- linen blends with rayon or cotton
- Some cotton poly brocades can work to mimic the look of rich brocades, but the higher the poly content the more unpleasant the garment is to wear.
- Kirtle Cotehardie
|Source of Period Pic:|
|Photographer: Vincent De Vere|