During this period, boots and buskins were discarded by the fashionable, and worn only for riding or by soldiers. These knee length boots were loose, and slit at the back to aid the bending of the knee. The tops of the boot could be turned over to show a coloured lining.


The growth of guilds in this period led to great advancement in the manufacture of footwear. Shoemaking as an industry was growing, and the guilds had set certain standards for their craftsmen. Consequently, quality and workmanship was high.

Women's Shoes

Though it is difficult to see shoes under the long gowns of the period, we do know that women's footwear was usually a soft

Men's Shoes

The poulaine, the shoe with long pointed toes of the previous period had fallen out of fashion. It is possible that the end of the poulaine was foretold by episodes such as the death of Duke Leopold III of Austria. It is said that he died because his long pointed shoes impeded him from escaping his assassins. Whether the story has any truth, it is safe to assume that the exaggerated toes of the poulaine became clumsy and inconvenient for most tasks, and would eventually give way to a more reasonable style.


Portrait de Jeanne d'Aragon, by Raffaello Sanzio (c.1518)

Possibly the most recognisable trait of costume during this period was the slashing of clothing. This new effect was created by leaving seams open to reveal the coloured lining underneath, or cuts were made in the entire costume and contrasting material puffed out from these cuts.

Another characteristic of Renaissance clothing was the use of points, or laces, to hold the clothing together. On both men and women points were used to lace parts of the sleeves together over a shirt or chemise and to hold the sleeve to the doublet or bodice.

High Renaissance

In the early 15th century, Florence became the centre for a revival of interest in the art of antiquity. The period that followed, aptly named the Renaissance or "rebirth", brought new concepts to art, architecture and fashion. By 1485, the Renaissance movement had spread into France and England. This period brought about tremendous advancements in science, exploration and medicine, which would have a great impact on the Western world.