Medieval Historybounding: Designing a (Modern/Medieval) Capsule Wardrobe Based on Historical Fashion

Medieval Historybounding: Designing a (Modern/Medieval) Capsule Wardrobe Based on Historical Fashion


Hello and welcome to another historically inspired
capsule wardrobe. This is the series where I take a historical
time period and attempt to modernize the styles and show you examples of how 12 different
pieces could be effectively planned and worn together. Medieval has so far been the top requested
time period, but I was hesitant to do it for two reasons:
One, Medieval is not a time period which I have much expertise on. Though I can’t place the era or nationality
of a particular trend, I do know what a lot of the different historical styles were, so
this video will not be pinpointed to a particular century, and will just be general “Medieval”. The other reason I was hesitant to tackle
Medieval, is because I didn’t think there would be enough versatility to make a capsule
wardrobe interesting, with everything being strictly dress format, rather than skirts and bodices. I found the solution to this problem over
in the Regency decades, where short, poofy sleeved dresses would often have matching longer sleeves that could be stitched on temporarily for the winter months. The most interesting part of medieval
dresses were often their sleeves, the way they would drape and layer and display beautifully
contrasting colors. So what if sleeves could be sewn with a short upper,
and a detachable lower, which could be done in a variety of ways, from hook and eyes to
buttons to laces. But then, I think there would be enough versatility
to make it fun. So let’s get started. For the silhouette, my base pattern for the
dresses will be a tea-length princess seamed dress. You could interchange this with a simpler
gored dress, or a more complex dress with even more panels. But for simplicity, I’ll illustrate the
dresses with this base. All of the necklines will be wide, the waists
will be fairly fitted, and the upper sleeves will be mid-bicep length. For my color palette, I’m sticking to this
selection of eight, a darker and lighter shade of each Hogwarts house. The first piece I’m going to recommend for
this capsule is a linen shift. Because if you’re going to make yourself
fine dresses of wool, silk, or velvet, you’ll probably want to keep them clean. Unless you spend a lot of time with small
children, probably 90% of the grime you wash off your clothes is coming your own sweat
and dead skin. So make a shift! This shift would be off white, and the sleeves,
neckline, and hem would be just a couple inches shorter than the dress base, so that they
do not show from the outside. The second piece will be the red dress from the
St. George painting. Come on, I had to do it. And you know you wanted to see it. It would be made of a fine, lightweight ruby-red
wool. It will get a center opening and a bit of
a lower neckline, so that the shift can be visible above it. The front will close with metal hooks, and
the sleeves… Ok this is interesting. You know how fashions often evolve from each
other, and many trends are impractical exaggerations of a once logical style. It occurs to me that the overlong draping
sleeves that you see so often might have once been simple laced sleeves, just unlaced to
let the arms free. Maybe people liked the look of it, and they started making sleeves over the sleeves just for this purpose, and the over-sleeves started getting longer and longer, and you get the idea. So, bringing it back to modernizing, you could
probably get away with drappy sleeves, but not ones that drag on the floor. So if we reverse this hypothetical trend,
you get average length sleeves that can be laced closed, or unlaced and left to drape. Combine that with multiple detachable sleeves,
and you can suddenly get a crazy number of combinations from just a few sleeves. So the sleeves of the red dress will follow
suit. They will be the same red wool, but lined
in a lighter shade of silk. They will lace all the way down and be fitted,
but if the lacing cords are removed, they will drape freely and the lining will be visible. The dress will also get some kind of gold
trim along the neckline and sleeve edges, to disguise the joint in the sleeves. Actually that trim is really pretty, and I
want the shift to have some too. The Third piece will be a simple dress, in
gold, because I think that will be the most versatile color. At first I made it slightly longer, so that
the two different hems would stand out, but I later evened it out with the other dresses. I’m still not sure about that decision, because It didn’t look quite right on paper, but
I feel like it was a good idea and would look better in real life. Or you could accomplish a similar effect by pulling up slightly on the overskirt and tucking it into a belt to display the underskirt. You often see that. Though I didn’t feel like drawing it. This golden dress will not get detachable
sleeves, because it is meant to be a base layer, and an underdress. It will also be made from silk, so that is
it soft agains the skin. The sleeves will be closely fitted and overlong,
so that they bunch up slightly around the wrist. And see, we already have another combination
for the red dress. For the fourth piece, an olive green silk
dress, because I want olive green sleeves to pair with the St. George dress. Not going to lie, I floundered a lot with
this one. I ended up going fairly simple. The sleeves are close fitting, and the wrist
buttons up with small gold buttons. There is some subtle gold trim around the
neckline and over-sleeves, but that is it. Now that we have a base to work with, I think
I want to switch gears and do some accessories. For the fifth piece I’m going to start with
a belt, one of the three chief medieval belts I see used, that is the leather belt, the
braided belt, and the medallion belt, and I think gold medallions will go best with the metallic
palette I’m using. I basically just traced it off a Pinterest
pic. I like the idea of a little bit of excess
dangling in the front, but not too much. I also would go with an adjustable belt, so
that it could be worn high on the waist, mid rise, or low on the waist. For the sixth piece, some kind of bag. I know one of the central cornerstones of
historybounding is adding pockets to everything, and you could certainly do that here, but
I also like the idea having an excuse to use the actual historical item, and in this case
an embroidered little belt bag vs. an invisible pocket? I’ll go with the bag. It would be brown velvet, embroidered in the
colors from the rest of the palette, with dangling tassels and a cord to tie around the
medallion belt. For the seventh piece, I think she needs shoes. Let’s go with simple little flats, with
pointed toes. They could be covered in the same olive green
silk as the dress, and maybe a pattern could be embroidered over them. Next, for the eight piece, I think I do want
to add a Burgundian dress. I wasn’t planning on it, but don’t the
fur trimmed dresses just look so warm for the winter? Let’s make it the lighter shade of blue,
with brown fur trimmings. It does look a bit plain, so how about this
one being made from some kind of damask? Since this one is a winter dress by default,
it could be a heavy woven wool or a silk velvet. The high waistband could be made as part of
the dress, or, since it’s just a simple strip, it could be made separate and probably
be hook and eyed in the back. Then it could be worn with other pieces, changing
them up a tiny bit. By the way, I feel like I should mention,
when I talk of silk and wool and velvet, I’m talking about hypotheticals and ideals. I know those fabrics are incredibly expensive,
even if you can find them. An actual full wardrobe exactly like I’m
describing would be an outrageously expensive venture. But you know, imagine the best, and compromise
where you have to. For the ninth piece, how about a dress from
hunter green wool? I’d like to try some dagging. You see alot of women’s sleeves being long
and dagged. I swear I’ve seen the hems being dagged
as well and then layered over contrasting underdresses, but when I went looking for
a reference all I could find was this Victorian historybounding cosplayer, and I’m not sure I want to take her word for it. But I like it, so let’s do it anyways. Since this dress by nature will be an overdress,
it needs to be more versatile. So I think I’ll keep the decoration minimal,
and just use a row of gold buttons up the front. Also, I forgot to say. If I don’t mention a front closure, just
insert a zipper or lacing section, whatever you prefer, into either the back or a side seam. It might be worth doing some lacing up the
back of all the dresses anyways, just to get a more exact fit. And for the final dress, the 10th piece, I
want to base it off this one. Probably make it from a heavy silk, or even
a silk wool blend. The feur de lis pattern could be painted,
or embroidered. This dress will also get a gold trim around
the neckline and sleeve hems. For the sleeves, how about we get in one good
drapey pair. Because we must pay homage to the queen of
taking medieval fashion, and doing what she wants with it. This dress is all out, not even trying to
be subtle medieval. How about making the drapey sleeves in a slightly
darker blue velvet, lined with a lighter blue silk. For the 11th piece, we are doing a pretty
good job with warmth, but let’s add a cloak. It could be made from that burgundy shade,
a single layer of heavy wool. Some trim around the edges, a large gold clasp
at the neck. Simple, but effective. And for the 12th piece, a hood. Also wool, based off this pic. Long, leafy dagged edges, with embroidery. I thought I’d do it out of a golden brown
wool, but I don’t know if I like that, so I changed it to brown. I might change up the shape of the hood slightly, loose the long tail? I don’t know, I guess that’s up to a person’s personal historybounding tolerance. And then I decided that I didn’t like the
dagged sleeves on the green dress. I don’t know if that’s because I didn’t draw them well
enough, or if they are just too much to modernize, but I think I’m going to switch them out with
another set of sleeves like the ruby red dress, so they can button all the way up, or be worn
open and draped, and the lining could be another remnant of that olive green silk. Alright, I’ve been playing around with the
pieces for a while, and I don’t think I like it. It feels, unwieldy somehow. It doesn’t feel like an effective capsule
wardrobe. There are too many pieces that don’t combine well
enough. And also the colors are kind of bothering me. I think they would be more effective if I
pared them down to a smaller palette. I know medieval dress did usually involve
lots of bright clashing colors, but this is historybounding, and we need to find
the line where they are beautiful for modern wear too. The reds and yellows go well with everything,
but the greens and blues do not match each other super well. I think if I had broken the palette down to one or
the other it would have been more versatile. I like the green palette, because it looks
as very woodsy, all leaves and trees and pops of red berries. But the blue palette strikes me a very regal,
the way the bold blues contrast the ruby reds and the golden yellows. I put it up to a vote on instagram, which,
by the way, you should follow me, because I need more voters. I got a pretty even split of votes, and too
many people said they liked both to make a decision. However, either palette felt just a little
bit too limiting, and I knew I’d be throwing away a lot of beautiful combinations. So I decided I should look again and try and figure
out how to make both colors work. I think the hole in the collection is that
there needs to be one more dress for layering, a light blue dress. But that means I need to get rid of one thing,
and sadly, I think it’ll be the brown hood. I’ll save it, maybe it will fit in better
with another collection later. But for now it’s just not versatile enough. Instead, I will lift the hood and add it to
the cloak. Other than that, I’m going to work with
the colors of the accessories more, see if I can pare them down to the reds and the yellows. I’m also going to change up the color schemes
of the 3 overdresses, making the fleur de lis dress green and giving the dagged dress
a pattern and trimmings, so that blue and green each have one patterned dress. But now, the dagged dress has a bit too much in
comparison to the fleur de lis dress, so I think I’ll switch and give it the button placket. And since the Burgundian dress is the least
versatile, I’ll change the damask to gold and brown. Ahhh… balance at last. You know what? I think I’m happy with it. This leaves three lightweight silk dresses,
primarily meant for under layering or summer wear. Three heavy wool or velvet dresses, primarily
meant for over layering or winter wear. And the ruby red dress of lightweight wool, which
is a surprisingly versatile color here, and can work as either an over-dress or a under-dress. Only the yellow dress and the Burgundian dress
have attached sleeves. The other 5 dresses each have one set of detachable
sleeves, which can be freely layered and mitch matched, for so many combinations I really
didn’t feel like trying to do that math. Ok, here they are, all 12 pieces. Let’s check out some of the combinations we can make. I think for this time period, 12 pieces might have been
a little much, unless you just really, really want to dress medieval 24/7. However, the great thing about it, is that
with the detachable sleeves, you can make a great number of combinations out of a small
number of dresses. You could eliminate the two dresses in either
green or blue, and bring the capsule down to 10, and the dresses down to 5. Or you could focus on one color, making a
neutral underdress, a lighter colored, lightweight silk dress, a heavy wool overdress, and however
many sets of sleeves you want. You could even make a highly effective micro-capsule. Say you just made two dresses, with 4 sets
of sleeves. That would be a relatively simple project,
and you could still get a lot of versatility out of it. But, as I’ve said before, the purpose of
these design sessions, is not to give you an exact roadmap to follow, but rather to explore
ideas. I encourage you to pick through the ideas
you like, and to discard the ones you don’t like, and add to it with your own ideas and inspirations. So, I hope you enjoyed, and, though I don’t
know how soon it’ll be up on my docket, which capsule wardrobe would you prefer to see next? Viking or Outlander?

13 thoughts on “Medieval Historybounding: Designing a (Modern/Medieval) Capsule Wardrobe Based on Historical Fashion

  1. So much inspiration once again! Isnt life just better with trimming? No? Just me? I vote viking, purely cause of the textures and roughness with would make interesting combos with all of the capsules so far…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *