Men's Clothing - From the Inside Out.

Men of second half of the 15th century were into showing how shapely they were. If you are used to baggy jeans and T-shirts then you are going to look very different. The look of the 15th century was broad shoulders, narrow waist and shapely legs. Followers of fashion had padded shoulders, puffed sleeve-heads, very short skirts to show off the behind and tight leg wear. Towards the end of the century, skirts became longer but the big shoulders continued into the famous Henry VIII look.
We are generally not into high fashion but the look was in all levels of society, all be it watered down. We generally portray lower-class but reasonably paid people. Some peasants, such as shepherds, were still wearing baggy tunics and individual legged hoes but most of those connected to a household, such as we portray, were a little more with the fashion. If we are to truly portray a retinue then many members would be at the higher end of the lower class, individuals and their attendant yeoman would be well equipped and dressed.
The "standard" billman would be wearing full hoes with braies underneath, a doublet with skirt just covering his bum, an under-doublet underneath to hold up his hoes, a shirt which would only be seen a little at the neck, a hat and shoes or ankle boots.
The following is a brief list and explanation of the minimum kit items you will need to portray a man in the 15th Century. This is by no means what you are required to have to start with, but what you should be aiming to procure first.


Medieval underwear, needed as hoes have a tendency to show what's underneath and modern underpants don't give the right impression. If you haven't got them wear something white or cream please!


You all know what shirts are. They should always be long sleeved. Keeps you covered. You should probably aim to have at least two of these.


To cover your legs. Reasonably tight fitting leg-wear, with a codpiece.

Under doublet

This is an inner lightweight doublet worn under your doublet to which your hoes are "pointed" to keep them up. Some had detatchable sleeves and most would have had collars. A Pourpoint (a medieval waistcoat) could be worn instead.


The basic jacket of the 15th century male.

Coats and Gowns

This garment is heavier and normally longer than a doublet. Used as outerwear when it is cold  and also to increase the station you're playing. These garments can be very useful at night even if never worn in the day.


Everyone needs one and there are many styles so get several and bring changes. Your head should always be covered except in the presence of your superiors, where you take your hat off (not your coif) as a mark of respect.
If you intend to fight, you should also have gloves, a livery, a jack and a helmet.


This shows your group’s colours and badge,  it can be either a tabard, or a short sleeved or full doublet which fits over your jack. It is popular within the group now to have a second closer fitting livery doublet to wear when not fighting.


These were a legal requirement for a billman during the medieval period to protect your hands while fighting.


This is a very big area and will be discussed later in this book. Look in the Armoury Section.


This is a very big area and will be discussed later in this book. Look in the Armoury Section.