On Yer Heade Part III: Women’s Headgear in the14th Century

This is the third post on figuring out which hats go with which outfits, or at least that is how the idea started. I wanted to look more period, and one way to do that is by wearing the appropriate headgear with your garb.

I sorted and categorized, and then I put together my notes into a class handout. What you see here is an expanded edition of my class. It should help you look more period, however you do have to know what century your outfit is from.

Head accessories explode this century, which is why I’m  breaking this century into two posts – one for the women and one for the men.

Women’s 14th Century Headgear

  • Veils
    • The simple veil is still around and not only worn by the lower class, but you rarely see the simple veil worn by the wealthier women.  It can be worn by itself or held down by a circlet.
    • Simple Veil
      From the Smithfield Decretals

    • Veil with decorated edge
      From the Codex Manesse

    • Simple veil held down by flowers or possibly beads or pearls
      From the Codex Manesse

  • Veil with Something Else
    • More frequently than seeing the simple veil, we often see a veil worn with another piece of headgear.
    • I have deeper explanations of these additional elements in my “On Yer Heade Part II”
    • Veils with Gorgets
      • A gorget covers the neck. It was a tube that draped around the neck and sometimes covered the upper chest.
      • Veil with a gorget
        From the Smithfield Decretals

      • Veil with a gorget
        From Queen Mary’s Psalter

      • Veils with gorgets
        From the Romance of Alexander

    • Veil with a Fillet and/or Barbette
      • Wealthier women often wore veils with more decorative elements such a a fillet and barbette.
      • It also gives you something on which you can secure your veil.
      • Again, refer back to “On Yer Head Part II.”
      • Veil with a fillet (cloth crown piece) and barbette (piece that goes under chin and over head)
        From the Codex Manesse

  • Barbette and Fillet Combo
    • You can also see the barbette or barbet (piece that goes under the chin and over the head) and fillet (cloth crown) together
    • Again, for a more full description refer back to “On Yer Head Part II”
    • Barbette and Fillet
      From the Manesse Codex

    • Barbette and Fillet with braided hair
      From the Smithfield Decretals

    • Barbette and Fillet with a Crispenette (hair net) over braided hair
      From the Hours of Jeanne d’Evreux

  • Braids or Templars
    • This is the century of elaborate braids or templars, which were braids worn on the sides of the head (think Princess Leia, but with braided buns).
    • The diversity in the braids is limited by the imagination. Nearly every braid picture I found was at least slightly different from the others.
    • Feeling inadequate because you don’t have hair long enough to braid? Then use hair extensions to make the braids and pin them to your own hair. And yes, it was actually done in period too.
    • Dropping Braids with a braided back
      From the Romance of Alexander

    • Bun-like Braids
      From the Romance of Alexander

    • Braids wrapped around head
      From the Smithfield Cecretals

    • Braids wrapped around head
      From the Visconti Hours

    • Dropping Braids with a Fillet
      Head of a French Noblewoman

    • Braids with coronet and something I can’t identify hanging down the sides
      From statue of Marie de France daughter of Charles IV of Franc

    • Braids
      From the Romance of Alexander

    • Dropping braids with a braided bun
      From the Smithfield Decretals

    • Braids
      From the Smithfield Decretals

  • Birgitta’s Coif or Huva
    • You can still see the coif that is referred to as Birgitta’s coif. The only extant piece we have of this particular headgear was supposed to belong to St. Birgitta.
    • I have a full write-up of the coif and instructions on  making it in another post: St. Birgitta’s Huva
    • The cap I made on the left and the extant piece on the right.

    • From Taccuino Sanitatis

  • Crespinette
    • A crespinette or crispinette is a woven net that is worn over the hair. The hair is often braided under the crespinette. Wealthier women would have had gems or beads woven into it or have had it made with precious metal.
    • Crespinette
      From the Codex Manesse

  • Hoods
    • The Fourteenth Century sees hoods becoming popular with women. You mostly see the open hood variety – a hood that is not closed under the chin.
    • A common misconception is that these hoods are a later period Dutch hood. I’ve seen this hood far more often in the 14th and 15th centuries manuscripts made in western Europe, especially in France.
    • If you want to make one, a good tutorial to start with was posted on Craftster.org: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=272745.0
      • They call it a London Hood, but I’ve also seen it called a French Hood, and it doubtless has many other names.
    • Hood with floppy top
      from the Roman de la Rose

    • Open hood with floppy top
      from Codex 2592

    • Open hood with a possible coif underneath
      From the Roman de la Rose

    • Open hood with a contrasting color for the lining
      From Roman de la Rose

    • Back view of hood
      from the Romance of Alexander

    • Open hood. The lady to the right is wearing templars.
      From the Romance of Alexander

    • Open hood
      From the Romance of Alexander

  • Ruffled or Frilled Hoods
    • One last headgear category that emerges this century is the ruffled hood.
    • It’s mostly seen in effigy statues rather than in manuscripts.
    • It’s very similar to the open hoods seen above, but the front edge has elaborate “ruffles,” which look very much like smocking.
    • Here is a more thorough description of the hood: http://m-silkwork.blogspot.com/2007/04/fretworked-veil-headdress-of-catherine.html
    • Ruffled hood
      Effigy of Johan von Hozehausen

    • Ruffled hood
      Effigy for Catherine of Warwick

      This is by no means a definitive list of women’s 14th century hats. There were many other types of headgear worn in this century. Especially if you look at manuscripts and statues from specific regions, you will find headgear that was worn in only one or two areas. But this article gives you a place to start.

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