Cotehardie Welcome to the Houpelande
Cotehardie & Houppelande
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      This Weeb Site is about the history, construction and wearing of the Cotehardie and the Houppelande. The cotehardie is both contemporaneous and precede the Houppleland. It is very impressive to me that a garment of the volume and enormity of the houpelande should come about so suddenly after the long reign of a tightly tailored garment as the cotehardie. So i will be looking at this phenomena in this site, as well as the various elements and parts that make up these two key garment forms which where such a key of the hight of the Middle ages.

The Cotehardie is a truly remarkable garment, thru out history there are few garments as special as this one. For this was the first tailored garment in European if not world history. Before the cotehardie most clothes were some kind of variation on a bag with sleeves and a hole for your head. The garment was given form or shaped to the body by tieing it to the body. So all the shaping was achieved by synching, belting or guiddling the "bag" to yourself. And then one day someone figured out how to cut the fabric so that id fit the body like a glove, but not just the hand, the whole body It's very easy to get a bag to fit you with a belt, but the belt of a cotehardie is worn below the modern belt/waist line and so the garment is fitted there and the belt hangs on the hips. This was a revolutionary thing.

The pattern of the Cote-hardie, called the Pourpoint of Charleg de Blois, he died in 1367. this illustrates how clothes which were very simply made were by then far more complex, made of many varied pieces and tailored to fit the wearer tightly.

The houpelande was one of many great marvels to come out of the era of the Bubonic plague





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2005 January 28
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