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1488 Italian Male Garb


The male shirt was also called a camacia (or camasia/camisa). It was typically just long enough to cover the mutande/underwear with slits up the sides. either half way or all the way to the top of the hip bone.

From Carpaccio's 1496 The Healing of the Madman. Its quite possible that one is a women's camacia and the other is a man's. The shorter of the two appears to have the hip slit typical of the man's camacia. As they both appear to have the box pleat, I am going to use the same pattern for the body of the men's camacia, as I did for the women's camacia.

While reading over Elizabeth Jones' Farsetto Construction of the Italian Renaissance (1425-1470) I ran across her discussion on the male camacia. She mentions that there were two types of shirts being used. One was the split neckline with raised collar type and the other she describes as having a triangular gore inserted into the neck slit.

After looking at several pictures, and playing around with fabric, I have decided that this is not a gore. I believe this is a long slit in the top of the body that is then rolled to make a large round neckline. I was able to recreate this fold by gathering up the back of a 50" wide shirt with a 40" slit for a neckline and letting the front of the neckline fall naturally onto my chest. I need to play around with spare fabric to get the neckline to fall this way without me holding the gathered back.

Bellini c. 1460 Presentation at the Temple.
Ghirlandaio c. 1482
Cossa c. 1476 Allegory of April
Bellini c. 1500 The Drunkeness of Noah
Antonio Pollaiolo 1479