Wearing clothing to keep warm goes back thousands of years, but the idea of ‘fashion’ denoting taste and style arose during the Renaissance
. Professional tailors produced original and exciting new designs to make their wearers feel more special, or to flatter their body shape.
When playing cards first arrived in Europe in the late 14th century, medieval Gothic
styles prevailed. It is this type of clothing that the earliest cards portray. As the court cards
(king, queen, knight or page) in playing cards tend to be wearing the clothes worn at court, antique cards are historical documents which show popular dress of their time.
For example, the luxury, hand-painted Stuttgart Cards (Stuttgarter Kartenspiel
) dated c.1430, were probably intended for fashionable esteem in courtly society where the sport
of hunting was part of life: