Red Chair Press
This picture book explores the rigid stratification of society during the medieval period and how fashion was tied directly to a person's status. It was a time when fashion trended toward extreme expressions, such as comically tall hats for women or pointed shoes for men that were as long as three feet and had to be secured with chains attached to the knees or fingers in order to avoid tripping on them.
The class system in descending order consisted of royals, nobles, knights, merchants, farmers and peasants.
A person's status could be discerned by such fashion details as shoe length.
There were strict rules, called sumptuary laws, that dictated who could wear what. Peasants, for example could only wear a limited number of drab colors using only certain coarse fabrics.
Only royals were allowed to wear the finest fabrics and furs and the color purple.
People who dressed in clothing outside of their station could be mocked or even face legal consequences.
A peasant accepting a hand-me-down from a noble was risky business.
A medieval brocade pattern is used for the end paper.