While laborers and other commoners were making do with practical cotton and linen clothing during this era, the upper classes and members of the royal family adorned themselves in rich velvets, brocades, silk, satin and lace. Women's clothing in particular was heavy and cumbersome - very conducive to the sedentary lifestyle of women of this class.. Men would wear a lace-trimmed shirt, hose, knee length pants and a doublet, also made from these elegant fabrics.
Children were dressed like the adults, except that boy infants and toddlers wore dresses.
Laws known as Sumptuary Statues made it illegal to dress in a manner not suitable to one's class. For example, those of a class lower than a Knight were not permitted to wear silk trimming on their attire. Transgressions were punishable by fines and/or jail time.
Servants of the nobility and upper classes wore uniforms representing the class of their masters, and were thus exempt from the Sumptuary laws.
Costumes representing ladies in waiting, royalty, the upper classes and other members of the royal court, including garments typical of the French, Austrian, Irish, Spanish and Italian Renaissance. Rich colors, sumptuous fabrics and fine details distinguish this attire from that worn by the common folk.