During the Middle Ages, your position in life was based on birth. This position would follow you throughout your life. To make it easy for others to know your social class, rules about what you could wear—or not wear—were created. Such rules, called sumptuary laws, determined colors of clothing, types of fabric and trims, length of garments, types of sleeves, and types of furs. The laws also regulated shoe lengths and height, hat height, types of buttons, and even the number of buttons you could wear. People were to dress according to the class in which they were born. In this way, just by looking at someone, you could tell if they were important or not.