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Middle Ages

The early Middle Ages - the Romanesque period - start around the 800s. Architecture, art, and fashion are very down to earth. Garment shapes were extremely simple, consisting of mostly identically cut outerwear and underwear; people sometimes wore just simple rectangles or semicircles by way of capes, typically closed on the right shoulder. The Frankish outfit featured trousers, which especially baffled Romans. Materials were also rather basic: wool and linen in the house of the women - even the most distinguished ones - also spun, woven and sewn. On the other hand, fur was generally worn. As Byzantium fell in 1204, silk weaving quickly spread throughout Europe, becoming especially popular in Italy. However, patterned fabrics remained prohibitively expensive and could only be worn by a select few, who did so on special occasions..