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The Houpelandes

Perhaps the garments that I receive the most commentary on are the Houpelandes that I wear from time to time. I originally stumbled across them years ago, while I was bemoaning the fact that only women get to have trains. I think there is nothing so glamorous and sumptuous as a train...why should women be the only ones to have them?

A friend of mine suggested that perhaps I should look into Burgundian clothing of the mid-late 1400's, so I began exploring. Once I did I found some marvelous garments worn by men that had trains on them. Examples of these "great houppelandes" exist in funeral statuary, paintings, and books of hours. Le Tres Riche Heurs de Duc de Berry and other 15th century books of hours are perhaps some of the best places to go to look at things like garments, sleeve treatments, layers, hats, and ornamentation.

The houppelande varied in length from very short, to very long (my favorite). It got to the point that the chirch had to speak out against the garments because from behind you couldn't tell a man from a woman as the garments and hats often favored each other.

I love this style and I intend to do more with it in the future. I have some awesome ideas for heraldic houppelandes


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