Uffizi Gallery

Today while visiting the Uffizi Gallery, we saw a vast amount of paintings, mostly religious. It is very hard to assess the fashion trends of that time because most of the paintings included people that were naked. This may represent the freedom that they had in the past, there was not as much importance that was carried with the clothes you were wearing in the past. This could be tied to the fact that with the technology we have today, it is easy to feel pressured to always wear what is needed to fit in. It was also kind of hard to differentiate between men and women in some of the paintings because they did look very similar. However, most of the paintings had people that in appeared in more than one of the paintings, especially the Virgin Mary.

When these pictures were painted, clothes were mostly worn because they had to be. Most people did not keep up with fashion trends, unless they were very wealthy or royalty. If they were wealthy or royalty, they wore elaborate clothing that showed this and often included colors such as gold. In the paintings of the queens they are always seen in gold to show the power that they have, it was recently found that one of the queens was even buried in the black and gold dress she was wearing in the painting. If a woman had a very white face that also depicted royalty because they never had to be in the sun. The colors they wore often represented different values, blue represented purity, which is why the Virgin Mary was always painted wearing blue. In other paintings of women, red was used to represent charity, and green to represent faith. Black was meant to represent death, it was not used often in the paintings because most of them represented happy events such as the birth of Jesus and weddings. When a woman was depicted wearing a belt around their upper stomach it was meant to show that they were pregnant, even if it was already visible. I also learned that at this time women did not wear corsets to make themselves look smaller, even though I thought that they would have. Often, they would even wear the same bust part of the shirt and just change out the sleeves and skirt part of their outfit when dressing fancy. I also learned that a woman’s hair style represented her marital status. If a woman had her hair down and it was long that meant that she was unmarried and looking for a boyfriend, if she had it styled and was wearing a lot of jewelry that meant she was married.

Women dressed in fancy clothing because they could, they did not have jobs so they did not wear clothes suited for work. Women were meant to stay home all day and take care of the kids so they often wore fancy clothing because they did not have to worry about it being ruined. It can also be inferred that when they were painted, especially portraits, it makes sense that they would be wearing their best clothes to look nice for the painting. Although common men were not really depicted in the paintings, I would assume that they wore clothes that were suited for work because they are the bread winners of the family and most of them probably had jobs that would ruin their clothing. It was mostly kings and noblemen depicted in the paintings as well as the painters themselves. In the few portraits that common men were depicted in they were most often wearing cloaks and toga like outfits.

All the clothing in the paintings is much different from what we wear today, times have really changed. Modern clothes are more revealing and casual, especially for woman. Also, our clothing colors do not have any specific meaning, besides the popular color for that season. We are heavily judged on what we wear, which may have been true back then as well because how they dressed showed their economic class. Back in those times, they did not really have short term trends because they had no way of knowing what others that were located far away were wearing, so they only knew what people around them were wearing. Also, companies had very limited advertising for their new products and people mainly made their own clothing. It is truly amazing how much times have changed and how different things are today.

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