1400 French Men Fashion

The early part of the 15th century in France will likely be remembered as a time of great flux in the history of French fashion. 1400 AD was the beginning of a great transition for French men’s fashions; beginning with the adoption of more “retro” styles which lasted through the 15th century. Some of the most popular trends of the era were the addition of intricate clothing details, extra layers of clothing, and modest styles.

The first notable change to French fashion in the 15th century was the style of dress worn by the upper class, which underwent a significant shift. Prior to 1400, upper-class men’s clothing was more ornate, featuring intricate patterns, elaborate embroidery, and bright colors. By the mid-1400s, however, the upper class began shifting away from this style in favor of simpler, less showy clothing. This new style was characterized by muted colors, minimal detailing, and unstructured shapes.

The average commoner, meanwhile, began following a trend away from traditional peasant garb. Commoners in the early 15th century began to adopt the more fashionable styles of the upper class. This included everything from colors and fabrics, to shapes and sizes, to the style of the hats worn. Commoners also began to wear more layers of clothing; a trend that persisted until the end of the century.

An additional trend seen in French men’s fashion during the 15th century was the embrace of modest styles and pieces. During the early part of the century, more modest styles were favored by the upper class, such as high-neck shirts and long trousers. Toward the end of the century, even the lower classes began embracing these modest styles, which eventually became the standard for French fashion during this period.

One of the most significant and lasting contributions from French fashion during this time period was the influence of tailoring. Tailoring was one of the most important aspects of clothing during the 1400s, and it was a skill highly valued and utilized during this era. Tailors during this time crafted garments of all kinds, from jackets and trousers to waistcoats and gowns.

In terms of footwear, leather boots and shoes were the most popular during the mid-1400s. By the end of the century, however, the style of shoes worn had shifted from leather to more luxurious fabrics, such as satin and velvet. This trend of wearing more luxurious materials on the feet was seen as a statement of class and wealth during this time.

Overall, French fashion during the 1400s represented a transition from elaborate, colorful clothing towards simpler, more modest styles. This shift towards more modest, less ostentatious styles of clothing hints at a greater shift in the values of French society, which was beginning to place more emphasis on practicality and efficiency.


The fabrics used to create men’s clothing during the 15th century in France were largely wool, linen, and silk. Wool was largely used for the construction of everyday clothing such as tunics and trousers, while linen was more often used for lighter garments such as shirts and shifts. Silk, on the other hand, was reserved for the more luxurious garments such as gowns and cloaks.

The types of fabrics used reflected the divide between the wealthy elites and the lower class. The quality of the fabrics used by the wealthy was typically much higher, as they could afford to pay for the finer materials needed to make luxurious clothing. The lower class, on the other hand, had to make do with whatever fabrics were available to them, typically lower-quality wool and linen.

Over the course of the 15th century, fabrics became increasingly more sophisticated as dyes and weaving techniques advanced. Wool fabrics became softer and lighter, while linens became more durable and better suited for a wider variety of garments. Silk, meanwhile, went from a rare and pricey fabric to one that was more widely available and affordable.


Men’s accessories during the 15th century in France were mostly practical in nature. Belts, hats, and shoes were all prevalent in the French wardrobe of the time, but the most popular accessory was likely the cloak. Cloaks were a must-have for the wealthy and the poor alike, as they provided both warmth and protection from the elements.

Other common accessories of the time included gloves, neckerchiefs, scarves, and veils. Jewelry, specifically rings and brooches, were also popular, and were often used to adorn clothing and signify the wearer’s rank.

Interestingly, the more fashion-forward styles of the upper class often included accessories that more closely resembled works of art. Elaborate headpieces, colorful flowing scarves, and intricate brooches adorned with precious stones and metals weren’t uncommon sights among the wealthier members of French society.


The preferred colors of the 15th century French were muted, neutral tones. Brown, beige, tan, and gray were the most popular colors for clothing, though lighter shades of color were also seen, particularly in the bold and luxurious textiles favored by the wealthy.

Crimson and burgundy were also popular colors, and were often used as accents on clothing to provide contrast and visual interest. Embroidery and appliqué were also popular during the mid-1400s, and often featured bright and bold colors, usually featuring at least one or two shades of red.

By the end of the century, however, the more muted, earthy tones were gaining favor, and were quickly becoming all the rage among the French upper class. This trend would persist through the 1500s, as the muted tones became seen as the epitome of sophistication and class.


The fit of clothing during the 15th century was much looser than in previous centuries. This trend was seen not only in the clothing of the commoners, but also in that of the upper-class. This move towards a looser fit was seen as a sign of the fashion-forwardness of the time.

Trousers and tunics were kept loose around the waist and the arms, and cloaks were made to be able to fit a variety of body sizes while also providing maximum coverage. The upper-class moved even further away from the form-fitting clothing of the 14th century, favoring unstructured waistcoats and robes that billowed around the body.

This trend away from form-fitting clothing was in part a sign of the changing attitudes of the French towards fashion, as the clothing of the time was seen as a way of expressing class and wealth, rather than following a certain style of dress.


Throughout the 15th century in France, fashion was in a state of flux and transition. The fabrics, colors, and styles of clothing that were popular at the beginning of the century weren’t the same as those of the end. Style and fashion were becoming increasingly important as the French sought to express their wealth and class through their clothing.

These changes impacted everything from the colors of the clothing to its fit. Upper-class men began to favor more modest styles, while commoners began wearing layers and emulating the luxurious fabrics of the upper class. Cloaks, gloves, and hats were all commonplace, while silks, linens, and wools were the fabrics of choice.

Taken together, the fashion of the 1400s provided a rich source of clothing and style that has left an indelible mark on the history of French fashion and style.

David Chavis

David P. Chavis is an avid traveler and fashion enthusiast. With a passion for style and function, he has a knack for finding the perfect bag for any occasion. Whether you're looking for something stylish and professional or something functional and durable, David can help you find the right piece.

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