Taken from the L&M website
Please note, the aim of these guidelines is not to provide a handbook for making kit - individual groups should be abe to provide information to its members - but to provide information on the overall standards L&M groups should be maintaining. For this reason they are rather broad, to encompass the variety of approach of individual groups, within the remit of 'authenticity'.
†See also section of Status
*See also section on Anachronisms
BASIC CLOTHING - MEN†
Shirt, white or undyed linen, (no drawstring collar or cuffs)*
(Pref) Breeches (also known as braies) of linen
Woollen hose*, well-fitting, separate or joined legs, all one colour, stirrup or full foot, hose to be pointed to doublet, lined in upper portion for fit
Doublet (also known as pourpoint), single colour, sleeved, of wool, linen, fustian; A sleeveless, collarless doublet can be worn under a jack
Points of woven linen/wool thread/yarn or leather
(Pref. Aiglettes) point ends, of brass or bronze, plain design, pref riveted on
Belt, pref. of ‘vegetable tanned’ leather*, no more than 1” thick, reproduction buckle, reproduction decorations only
(Pref) Pouch or purse (pref leather)
Coat/jacket (for gown, see Status Notes †)
Shoes, reproduction turnsole shoes or boots, Pref. vegetable-tanned leather*†
Hat or cap, to cover head at all times
Extras: This list is not exhaustive.
can wear reproduction pattens (overshoes), dagger, apron for heavy/dirty work, straw sun hat, may roll down (single legged) hose for heavy work or work in heat, or tie doublet around waist (joined hose). Reproduction medieval spectacles. Single reproduction pilgrim badge*, or other type of reproduction badge
REFER ALSO TO CURRENT HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY AND GUIDELINES ON MINIMUM MILITARY PROTECTIVE CLOTHING
Helmet, authentic reproduction sallet, kettle hat (armet with full plate only)*
Body protection, may include:
Jack (‘padded jack’), Pref. white or undyed
Pair of Brigandines (commonly referred to as ‘brigandine’), reproduction, Pref. single-coloured
Plate Armour, reproduction – see also Section on Status†
Jack/Brigandines/Armour, any can be worn in conjunction with mail shirt, must be period reproductions.
Pref. Gloves, leather (pref vege-tanned), period reproduction*
Livery coat, scarf/bende, in your household or town livery colours NB a ‘common livery’ of azure and murrey may be required at times. Livery garment was worn over all other clothing and protective wear
Bracer* can be worn by archers, if worn should fasten with a single buckle, vegetable-tanned leather, could be horn
BASIC CLOTHING – WOMEN†
Linen smock, also known as shift or chemise, white or undyed, no drawstring collar or cuffs*
Kirtle, Pref of wool, fixed sleeves (short or full length) lacings in woven linen/wool thread/yarn. Short-sleeved style can have pin-on lower sleeves*
Belt, Pref vegetable-tanned leather, reproduction buckle, reproduction decorations only, no more than 1” thick
Purse, fabric or leather, hanging variety*
(Pref) Linen or wool stockings/half-hose bias-cut fabric* held up by garter
Shoes Reproduction turnsole shoes or ankle boots, Pref. vegetable-tanned leather
Linen head covering white or undyed, to enclose all hair
(Pref) Wool gown, worn over kirtle, for warmth or formal occasion, note styles in section on Status. Gown may have a wider belt/girdle, but purse hangs on kirtle belt, underneath gown.
Extras: This list is not exhaustive.
Can wear reproduction pattens, female style hat or open-faced hood, period wedding ring*, apron, neckerchief (white or undyed) tucked into kirtle neckline can protect from sun or cold, reproduction medieval spectacles.
Basic clothing for all young children similar to loose kirtle without need for lacings. Loose smock/shirt underneath.
The 15th Century convention was to dress children as little adults as soon as possible. Rather than speculate on a particular age, the age to begin wearing child-size versions of adult clothes should be up to the individual group’s leadership, the parents and of course the child.
NOTES ON ANACHRONISMS
Modern spectacles should be replaced with reproduction examples if needed, or contact lenses if needed (see Health and Safety policy and guidelines)
Piercings are not 15th Century English and are best removed or covered up
Jewellery please remove visible modern jewellery (plain band wedding rings may not stand out too much). For reproduction jewellery, please check recommendations on Status
Leather – Please avoid chrome-tanned leather with an obviously modern (eg shiny) finish. Suede is also a more modern finish, not the reverse side of leather. Vegetable-tanned does not mean tan-coloured – leather could be different natural shades or dyed various colours; some were painted.
Pilgrim badges Unlikely that more than one was worn, and only those relating to a shrine a person of your status and origin was likely to have visited. Not all period badges were pilgrimage badges.
Shirts/Smocks Drawstring necklines and cuffs are not 15th century
Women in men’s coats Wearing a male style coat/jacket pertains to later periods. 15th Century women could wear a female-style gown for warmth or formal occasion
1 Kirtles should have fixed sleeves (short or full-length, not pointed on at the shoulder/armpit or open at the armpit). There is no evidence in England for pointed-on sleeves
2 Linen kirtles – no evidence in England. This convention is still up for debate, and needs further study and discussion
Partlets Are not convincingly sourced as widespread or typical in our period. The earliest examples were almost certainly working garments, plain-coloured or white. A neckerchief is an alternative.
Padded/exaggerated shoulders (men only) are intended to be on a doublet, worn under coat/jacket/gown to enhance the shoulders – not on the outer garment itself
Note point under Status
Underwear Avoid modern underwear being on show. For men, plain white boxer shorts etc are preferable if glimpses of your underwear (eg gaps in hose) are likely. However, period breeches are ideal, and give more shape to hose.
Bra straps should not be showing, indeed kirtles can be tailored to give enough support without a bra.
‘Spun domes’ and WWII ARP helmets have been far surpassed by reproduction sallets etc and are not acceptable at L&M events. SEE ALSO HEALTH AND SAFETY DOCUMENTATION. Barbutes are not thought to have been worn by the English
Lace-up bracers Little or no evidence of lace-up archer’s bracer – examples surviving are buckled, only worn on one arm (arm that holds bow stave)
Gloves – differing styles are under debate. Please avoid oversized/brightly-coloured gardening or welding gloves
Stockings Women’s 15th Century stockings/half hose were bias-cut wool or linen fabric, not woven ‘tights’ type as worn in 16th-17th Centuries
Purses for women Bollock or ‘kidney’ pouches worn only by men in period sources
Cloak Rectangular ‘capes’ are a more modern invention; a full woollen ‘mantle’ (worn for warmth or to keep dry while travelling) is a full circle of cloth, cut across one side, and fastening on the wearer’s shoulder/side
Belt hangings objects (particularly purses) are illustrated suspended from women’s belts – but few sources depict a large number of objects hanging from the belt
Make-up Modern make-up should not be worn
FABRICS – see also status notes
Wool – The type of wool differs according to the type of garment, and status of the wearer. Not all wool fabrics available today (such as Wool Jersey, which is knitted, not woven) are suitably historically accurate. Further guidance to follow.
Cotton – Cotton in certain forms was available in 15th Century England. It was, however, uncommon in comparison to linen and wool (which were in plentiful supply), more expensive, and did not resemble modern cottons. Fustian (a specific type of linen/cotton mix fabric) was more widely available.
Velvet – Medieval velvet was probably 100% silk (pile and backing), although 100% cotton velvet would be acceptable in an entirely rich portrayal – but use was probably limited
Patterned weave linen (eg diaper weave/diamond twill) – little evidence of it being used for 15th Century clothing
Damask – Colours and pattern should be reproduction medieval, as advised by researchers or traders
Fur – Please avoid fake fur. If you do not agree with real fur, don’t wear any. Many furs produced for the modern commercial fur trade (eg American fox, mink) would not have been in 15th Century England. See also section on Status
NOTES ON STATUS
Yeomen, artisans, townspeople, rural tradespeople, rank-and-file billmen and the more menial servants were not gentleman or ladies. Sumptuary laws restricted what could be worn. ‘Richer’ fabrics include silk, velvet, damasks. Wool and linen are still perfectly acceptable for higher status people.
Fabrics worth a certain value (restricted by type or colour) were restricted to gentry by sumptuary laws; the cost would still prevent the majority of people from wearing them
Wear clothing suited to the status you are portraying and do not mix ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ garments or accessories.
Armour Plate armour was worn by a minority on the battlefield; full plate harness was restricted largely to gentry and those who could afford it. Armets were designed to accompany full plate armour, and would be out-of-place otherwise
Female gowns most gowns were very plain, almost like a looser over-kirtle, but without front fastenings. Both the style and fabric quality of gowns are status-dependent
Male gowns/jackets Plain coats or jackets were worn by the vast majority of men Full-length gowns were worn largely by high nobility, knee-length gowns were worn by gentry.
Reproduction jewellery most jewellery worn was bronze/brass, pewter or lead, but other than a ring, most people are not likely to have worn much jewellery. The richer could wear silver, and the richest of all solid gold. Coloured glass stones were acceptable (by sumptuary law and guild standards) in base metal or silver rings, but stones in gold jewellery were expected to be genuine precious or semi-precious
Non-pilgrimage badges, such as livery badges, or ‘festival’ badges, were also widespread
Hats Some hat styles – especially the elaborate ladies’ ones – were restricted to higher-status people
Mixed status garments As their dress was dictated by their pocket as well as sumptuary laws, people were very unlikely to have worn a mix of rich and common clothes (eg a rich gown over ordinary everyday clothes).
Fur Sumptuary law and actual cost affected what furs could be afforded; generally fur trims were not worn by the majority of people.
Footwear Cost and sumptuary laws restricted shoe styles. Richer men could wear very long pointed toes, which were impractical for work or many everyday activities
Longer (esp thigh-length boots) were essentially riding boots, and were therefore associated with men of a status and their direct personal attendants who rode (and perhaps owned) a horse – and were swapped for ordinary shoes when not out and about.