Fashion at the time of Dante Alighieri and therefore the way of dressing was a sign of a specific social belonging. Attention to elegance and traditional clothing were also two important factors during Dante’s time.

Today we can define the Florentine clothing of the time of Dante Alighieri as picturesque. Discover now in our article the tradition of fashion, during the XIII-XIV centuries in which lived Dante Alighieri.

Men’s fashion at the time of Dante

During Dante’s period, changes in clothing and accessories were fast and there were a lot of opportunities for work and enrichment for merchants, craftsmen, tailors, and shoemakers. The typical male clothing consisted of a kind of skirt, which starting from the neck, reached the ankles freely or tightened at the waist by a belt.

On this narrow-sleeved skirt it was inserted the “guarnacca” (“guarnaccia” or “gamurra”), a kind of cloak with cuffs and wide sleeves, made of wool for the winter, silk for the spring.

At the time of Dante the “gote hood was renewed, becoming one of the symbols of novelty; an object that is not only functional but also an element of distinction, refinement and elegance.

Medieval Florentine clothing was also a way to indicate the social class and the working profession to which citizens belonged:

  • judges and notaries wore red robes;
  • the knights were different for the scarlet color of their clothes;
  • the poor used coarse fabrics for their clothes;
  • the rich could afford expensive fabrics, such as silk or satin.

Anyway, beard and long hair, for everyone, were synonymous with elegance.

A curiosity: the stockings were deliberately adherent to the intimate area to show off their virility.

Women’s Fashion at the Time of Dante

Women’s clothing was not very different from men’s and rather similar between poor and rich. Women’s clothing consisted of a shirt called a “sottana” (or “socca”) from the waist to the feet.

Above it wore the skirt (or “gamurra”) made of a single piece or with buttons on the front, more or less low-cut, long to the ground. For the winter the fabric was wool, while for the summer it was silk.

When the temperature was very low, it was added a fur-lined cloak.

Differences in Clothing Between Poor And Rich at The Time of Dante

Only wealthy citizens wore stockings up to mid-thigh; the stockings were lined under the soles of the feet with a thin leather insole. During the winter, boots or leather shoes were added.

The poor wore, even in the cold, simple wooden clogs. Usually, the most economically disadvantaged went around with their heads uncovered.

The wealthy ones covered their head with a kind of phrygian cap with tip on one side or with a turban that fell on the shoulder.

In this article, we had the opportunity to discover the fashion at the time of Dante Alighieri. Read also our article about the ancient and medieval villages that inspired the Divina Commedia.