Fashion Rules!: A Closer Look at Clothing in the Middle Ages By Gail Skroback Hennessey & Tracy Sabin

Back of Book:
During the Middle Ages, your position in life was based on birth. This position would follow you throughout your life. To make it easy for others to know your social class, rules about what you could wear―or not wear―were created. Such rules, called sumptuary laws, determined colors of clothing, types of fabric and trims, length of garments, types of sleeves, and types of furs. The laws also regulated shoe lengths and height, hat height, types of buttons, and even the number of buttons you could wear. People were to dress according to the class in which they were born. In this way, just by looking at someone, you could tell if they were important or not.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Red Chair Press in exchange for an honest review.
“Fashion Rules! A Closer Look at Clothing in the Middle Ages” by Gail Skroback Hennessey is a fascinating picture book about fashion rules (The Sumptuary Laws) in the middle ages. The book follows a Jester named Bickford who is entering a new town for the first time. Once there, he meets up with a man named Trowbridge who explains the many different clothing options that are seen throughout the town. Bickford learns that each class of people had their own clothing requirements depending on which class they were in. The laws were very detailed about the types of fabric, colors, and shoes that people wore. The text is very descriptive and allows readers to understand the impact that clothing had on the Middle Ages. Several of the pages have added historical notes with photo’s of the items mentioned. The illustrations by Tracy Sabin are a perfect blend of bright and muted colors. Tracey did an excellent job of bringing the different fashion to life. As a teacher, I can see using this book to compare and contract the different classes of people in the Middle Ages. It is also a great book to discuss how we now have the right to choose what we want to wear each day. This is a great nonfiction book to introduce readers to an important aspect of the Middle Ages
Ages 8 and up
40 Pages

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