Codpieces – Renaissance vanity or necessity – Part 1

Vagabond Traders

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Codpieces briefly reared their head during the renaissance period and reached their peak in 1550’s. Every man who donned a pair of leggings wore a codpiece, regardless of age, sexual orientation or religion persuasion. For some reason, fashionistas of the 1500’s thought that a man running around in a pair of leggings with a short tunic fastened at the waist and a protruding codpiece looked sexy. Men, especially in the upper classes, were extremely concerned with clothing and footwear; and had a fondness for finery which included silks and scarlets. This is clearly demonstrated during the 15th, 16th and 17th century with many young men being prone to reducing their family fortunes with their predilection for fashionable frippery, including ornate bulging codpieces

Codpieces were not an invention of the renaissance. Simple codpieces have been found on figures excavated at Knossos on the Minoan island of Crete.

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