Searching for the Side-Laced Cotehardie

I’ve spent that last 2 days looking for pictorial evidence for the side-laced 15th century cotte. So far, I’ve found very little. The problem is that I have something specific in mind.  I’m trying to find evidence to match what I see in my head rather than looking at what is really there and formulating the idea off the evidence. It’s neither the first time nor will it be the last time I’ve had this problem. Stubborn seamstress may have been a more appropriate title for my blog.

Then, of course, I have two other things working against me. One: I’m trying very hard to focus on the kids’ schoolwork (btw, I’m a homeschool mom as well). And two: I get distracted very easily (“Ooo, shiny! What was I looking for again?”).

Okay. Here’s what I have in mind:

  • 15th century cote, or fitted dress
  • Laced on the sides rather than the front or back
  • Short sleeved
  • Tippets optional
  • Not lined

What I don’t want:

  • Lined, and especially lined with a patterned cloth
  • Floppy sleeves
  • Bizarre neckline
  • Overly baggy

Interesting things I’ve found so far:

In my search I’ve come across some interesting garb concepts.

Gathered lower-edge of chemise

The lower edge in both of the under-dresses in the picture have a definite gathered edge that was also seen on every prom dress made in the 80’s.
Horae ad usum Parisiensem
c. 1475-1500

Cotte lined with a wild pattern

This wasn’t the only example either. There are tons of pictures of men’s and women’s cottes lined with patterned fabric that is no where near the color of the dress itself.
Evrart de Conty , Le livre des échecs amoureux moralisés
c. 1401 to 1500

Really cool Liripipe hood

This hood has an awesome triangular back. I also love the contrasting fabric on the edge, the tassel and the fact that it doesn’t have a tail that Rapunzel would envy.
Horae ad usum Parisiensem
c. 1475-1500

I’m still searching, and I have no doubt that I will find evidence to match at least most of what I have in mind. It’s just a matter of time and patience.

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One thought on “Searching for the Side-Laced Cotehardie

  1. I love your 80’s prom dress observation. Ha!

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