1 a garment resembling a tunic that was worn by men in the Middle Ages
2 a long dress worn by women
- A knee length tunic.
A kirtle is a tunic-like garment worn by men and women in the Middle Ages or, later, a one-piece garment worn by women from the later Middle Ages into the Baroque period. The kirtle was typically worn over a chemise or smock and under the formal outer garment or gown.
Kirtles were part of fashionable attire into the middle sixteenth century, and remained part of country or middle-class clothing into the seventeenth century.
Kirtles could be loose garments without a waist seam, or could be made as a combined bodice and petticoat, depending on their use and the current fashion. Kirtles typically laced up the back or side-back, especially when worn under front-lacing gowns as in sixteenth century Germany and the Low Countries.
- Arnold, Janet: Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd, W S Maney and Son Ltd, Leeds 1988. ISBN 0-901286-20-6
- Arnold, Janet: Patterns of Fashion: the cut and construction of clothes for men and women 1560-1620, Macmillan 1985. Revised edition 1986. (ISBN 0-89676-083-9)
- Ashelford, Jane: The Art of Dress: Clothing and Society 1500-1914, Abrams, 1996. ISBN 0-8109-6317-5
- Ashelford, Jane. The Visual History of Costume: The Sixteenth Century. 1983 edition (ISBN 0-89676-076-6), 1994 reprint (ISBN 0-7134-6828-9).
- Hearn, Karen, ed. ''Dynasties: Painting in Tudor and Jacobean England 1530-1630. New York: Rizzoli, 1995. ISBN 0-8478-1940-X.