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A long, belted overture worn by both sexes between the eleventh and early fourteenth centuries. Noblemen wore a calf- or ankle-length bliaud, usually decorated at hem and neck, and with the skirt slit at the sides to facilitate riding. A shorter, knee-length bliaud. was worn by men of other classes. Ladies were dressed in a ground-length bliaud, similarly decorated but cut to be more close-fitting over the breasts and waist and having wide, open sleeves over the lower arm. The word derives from the German blialt, meaning cloth.

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2005 January 28