On Yer Heade Part IV: Men’s Headgear in the14th Century

The diversity of styles and colors of headgear increased greatly in the 1300’s. Although there are still uncovered heads shown in the manuscripts, it really does complete the outfit more when appropriate headgear is worn.

This post is by no means a complete list of men’s hats and hoods. It’s simply some of the more common types, listed hopefully to help you become a better dressed reenactor.

Men’s 14th Century Headgear

Coifs

Hoods / Liripipes

  • The diversity of hoods increases greatly this century.
  • We still have the simple hood with a moderate length tail
    • Smithfield Decretals

  • Liripipes
    • And we now have hoods with long tails. These hoods are often called liripipes
    • Romance of Alexander

  • Decorations, at least for the wealthier folk, are a must
    • The hood can be a simple one colored hood with no lining, but it still generally had decorations of embroidery and/or bead-work around the bottom edge.
      Romance of Alexander

    • Make it a bit more interesting by making it bi-colored (right and left halves different colors) with simple embroidery and/or beading around the bottom edge.

    • Add another element of awesome and combine your bi-colored hood with an outfit (cotehardy in this case) that also has the same two colors alternating.
      Romance of Alexander

    • Lining it with a contrasting color also looks nice. (Two guys on the far left).
      Romance of Alexander

    • Combine several decorative elements and:
      – line it with a contrasting color
      – make it bi-colored
      – add a decorative contrasting color for the edge
      AND
      – add embroidery and bead-work or even appliqué on the bottom edge
      Look at the dude on the left – awesome style on the front of his cotte
      Romance of Alexander

  • Non-standard bottom edges
    • As you can see in some of the above pictures, the edges weren’t always flat.
    • There’s the purposeful tattered look
      (Don’t laugh! Remember buying torn, acid-washed jeans?)

    • Here’s a picture of rounded dags (on the left) and the tattered look (on the right)

    • Another dagged one

    • One with a scalloped edge
      Smithfield Decretals

      The ultimate fancy edging
      Shaped like leaves

  • Hoods for Fools
    • Some modern references to the 14th century hood associate them as jester hats. That is not too far from the truth
    • The entertainers of the day, including fools and jesters, wore a version of the hood.
      Romance of Alexander

    • Even a 2-tailed version

Chaperons

  • Sometime in the early 14th century, someone took their hood and stuck the face opening on top of their head. Why? I have no idea, but think of some of the modern fashions that have stemmed from someone wearing something “wrong,” like wearing a baseball cap backwards. This style took off, and in no time hoods were worn with the face going over the head and the old head-hole dangling off the back or over the front.
    • Taccuino Sanitatis

    • Roman de la Rose

    • Roman de la Rose

    • Romance of Alexander

    • Codex Manesse

    • Codex Manesse

    • Romance of Alexander

  • By the end of the century, you can’t even tell, unless you look for it, that the chaperon stemmed from the simple tailed hood.

Wide Brimmed / Wicker Hats

  • You see the wicker hats, but they are still primarily worn on the working class people.
    • Smithfield Decretals

    • Queen Mary Psalter

    • Codex Manesse

Felt Hats

    • Codex Manesse

    • Codex Manesse

    • Queen Mary Psalter

Miscellaneous Hats

  • Possibly what the Phrygian cap turned into.
    Bible by Guyart des Moulins

  • Rus-like hat
    Bible by Guyart de Moulins

10 thoughts on “On Yer Heade Part IV: Men’s Headgear in the14th Century

  1. Hi! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a extraordinary job!

  2. Racaire says:

    Well, I am glad that you like one of the pics I used for my blog and my project and I don’t mind to inspire or to share – at least a short reference would have been nice:/

    • Thanks!! It was part of a class I taught and someone, who missed the class, wanted me to post the notes. I was in a hurry, and I had meant to go back and add more detailed references, but completely forget about it. I think I left your name in the file as a reminder for when I went back to fill in the details. Great picture! It took me forever to find out where you found it – the cover of Medieval Clothing and Textiles I, and I’m still trying to find what manuscript it came from. You wouldn’t happen to know what the original source is?

      Again, thanks for the reminder, and I’ll fix that immediately. I try my best to give sources where I can, but I can be a bit scatterbrained at times. It doesn’t help that I’m not an academic and proper citation is not my strong point.

      • Racaire says:

        Dear Esperanza,
        first it would have been nice to ask me before you use a picture from my blog for your handout and/or blog, second – when you are using material from someone else a reference back is at least good habit and shows respect for the work others do – it took me a lot of money to get the books I have and many hours to go through them searching for pics on which I based my project on, needless to say the time it took me to take this pic and to put it up on the internet…. and no, I am not an academic either…

        Asking before using information/pictures/… or at least!!!! giving credit should be considered normal procedure and normally is especially between people who consider themselves teachers in the SCA.

      • You know, you are absolutely correct. I should have asked, and I am so sorry. Having had my own work taken, and even having others claim it was their work, I should have known better. I took the picture down, and when I have more time (in a couple of weeks – things super are hectic right now), I’ll look through my other posts to see if I any other pictures need to have permission, be credited or be removed. Most of my pics come from wiki-commons, digital or scanned versions of the manuscripts or are my own. Again, I am sorry, and I can see how that would be stressful.

        Hopefully, you know that your work is an inspiration. What you create is incredibly beautiful! I am sorry for not thinking before I re-posted your picture.

  3. Kathy says:

    It is good to credit the sources for your images, not just the manuscript but also the location on the Internet (if sourced from the Internet) or book. It can help those who read your article check the validity of your research, increasing their confidence in it; it can also alert people to sources of information of which they may not currently be aware. Further, it gives credit to the work of others in producing/reproducing the images and research you use. Wouldn’t you want to receive credit for the work you did to put this article together if someone else uses your information?

    I happen to know that one the people whose image you used without credit is really angry about it. It is this type of behavior on the part of people such as yourself that causes her and other offended persons like her to stop posting images from their research. This makes all of us poorer in knowledge. Please use good manners and give credit where it is due.

    • Kudos for taking up for your friend! I wrote and apologized to her. Sometimes when researching, I get very enthusiastic about what I find and forget about the common courtesies that go along with blogging and posting things on the net. You are right – and I too have had my work taken, and occasionally had folks claim it was theirs. It wasn’t even just my pictures, but they claimed that my actual written work was written by them. I should know better, and you guys have just reminded me of something I should have been mindful of.

      I am swamped right now in my mundane life, but when I get some time in a couple of weeks, I will go back over my blog posts and ask permission where I should have, take things down and do a bit of a better job on citing where I found things.

      Thank you for handling it the way you did. Too often rebukes on-line are less than polite. And I am glad that you called me on this and helped me to remember the frustration of having something worked really hard on, not credited to the person who worked on it.

      • Kathy says:

        I am glad that everything has turned out well. I have found that politely phrased, well-intentioned criticism is much more likely to produce the desired change in the targeted individual than an irate tirade. Irate tirades are better for a venting of angry emotions than effecting actual change. I save tirades for when it is more important to me to vent than to actually communicate.😉

  4. Racaire says:

    Yeah, than you absolutely know how I feel – I also found my pictures – even the ones showing myself wearing my nailbinded stuff, my museum pictures or pics like this with which I back up the period design as well as my designs – used on other blogs/ handouts/ A&S research papers,… without asking and also without any credit and I try my best to fight it and to get the people who are doing that to rethink their doing…

    Btw. if you would have asked for permission for using the pic I could have also given you the information for it – it is from “Codices Illustres – Die schönsten illuminierten Handschriften der Welt 400 bis 1600” published 2001 by TASCHEN GmbH and it is part of a picture of an illuminated page from master Guillaume de Machaut on page 221, Paris, about 1355-1360 – you can really use the pic if you like as an example for your hoods I would just ask you to include my page and name as reference for from where you got it… well, it’s not my artwork, but i put some effort into it to find this basis for my project, to scan it, to cut it, to upload it and to put it into context with my work – so there is some thought behind it as well as some work too and the money for the expensive book… just something to consider when you take pictures from their initial context from a blog… and btw. hey, I never said no to someone who asked me kindly and gives credit… *lol*

    btw. giving proper credit has several effects – first you show that you have done more research than just saving a pic from the internet and you give other people who are interested in the basic informations to search further and go through the pages where you got your research themselves… so it is a good thing to state for example “wiki-commons”,… or a page… names… well, the sources…
    I guess you are also as happy as I am when you find a source and can follow it when you find something very interesting – it often leads to more useful information…

    I am sorry if I sounded harsh, but I became rather thin skinned concerning the use of the content of my blog, my projects or my (museum) photos – it just happens much too often.

    Thank you about your nice words about my work – especially in a time when it is so easy to get everything from the web we should be more careful what we share and use – and a proper credit and source statement should always be part of a good handout/ A&S documentation/ a good blog… well, I know why I didn’t include the details to this picture when I posted it because I knew that I would find it somewhere else one day…

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