The Christian church's earliest vestments were hardly distinguishable from the everyday dress of ordinary people in ancient Rome, but in time, ecclesiastical dress acquired its own distinguishing characteristics. This comprehensive reference by noted English costume authority Herbert Norris traces the evolution of clerical attire through the centuries until the end of the 1400s.
The meticulously researched text is enhanced by more than 270 of the author's own illustrations, including 8 in full color, adapted from originals but specially redrawn to accentuate essential features of the garments. The vestments are treated in the approximate order of their appearance in liturgical ritual, beginning with the simple alb and including the pallium, chasuble, cassock, surplice, mitre, and many other items. Footwear, crosses, headgear, rings, gloves, and other accessories are also depicted and described in detail. Replete with fascinating historical facts and lore, this volume is an indispensable reference for students, scholars, and anyone interested in the history of ecclesiastical attire.