the 3 layers rule of mens clothing

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Talen
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Re: the 3 layers rule of mens clothing

Postby Talen » Sat Aug 28, 2010 12:30 pm

This has been a really interesting thread to read, though there seems to be a range of views on what is and is not acceptable for males to wear during this period. I don't think though that it's unfair to say that depending on what would be worn at any given time would depend on a number of factors, such as role, type of work being done, the location and the weather. I think it's important to note though that the temperatures over the last 1000 or so years (well up until 1850) have been lower due to an event known as the little Ice Age, where temperatures were alot cooler, hence the Thames freezing over and lots of Christmas cards showing snow scenes in the uk, and these from the Victorian era I believe which is after the little ice age offically ended, so I'm pretty sure that this style of dress, even during the summer months, would have developed at least in part to keep you warm, regardless of your station. An issue that isn't as prevalent today I believe. I'm not saying it's a massive difference, but enough to lead to the development of at first needing to wear lots of layers, and then making it fashionable. This is just my view on it though and I want to reflect the period as authentically as possible, but I draw the line at putting myself in hospital due to heat stroke.

As a side question though, what is the issue with the sleeveless doublets (I think their called pourpoints?) that people either seem to like them or hate them? Are they the historical equivalent of marmitte? :) apologises if there are mistakes in this as I am replying on my phone and I can't see everything I've typed :)



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Re: the 3 layers rule of mens clothing

Postby wulfenganck » Sat Aug 28, 2010 4:17 pm

Talen wrote:.....

As a side question though, what is the issue with the sleeveless doublets (I think their called pourpoints?) that people either seem to like them or hate them? Are they the historical equivalent of marmitte? :) apologises if there are mistakes in this as I am replying on my phone and I can't see everything I've typed :)
From what I know a sleeveless doublet and a pourpoint are not necessarily the same. In fact, there are only very rare sources for those "cowboy-wests" in the 15th century. Compared to the massive amount of pictures showing doublets with sleeves (may they be slit with open armpit, just remotely sewn to the body of the doublet at the shoulder connection), I find them ridiculously over-represented on events. Even if there may have been occasional sleeveless doublets, they were most certainly not present in medieval daily life at an ratio from 5 out of 10 - which seems to be today's average ratio during hot summer events.....

But then I seriuously doubt as well that it was a typical way of cothing outside one's house to walk around with hoses, shirt, a sleeveless doublet and some headgear.
Yes, you see people wearing a doublet and no other outer garment. But then it's AFAik always due to heavy physical work or killung another guy.



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Re: the 3 layers rule of mens clothing

Postby KedlestonCraig » Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:46 pm

wulfenganck wrote:
Talen wrote:.....

As a side question though, what is the issue with the sleeveless doublets (I think their called pourpoints?) that people either seem to like them or hate them? Are they the historical equivalent of marmitte? :) apologises if there are mistakes in this as I am replying on my phone and I can't see everything I've typed :)
From what I know a sleeveless doublet and a pourpoint are not necessarily the same. In fact, there are only very rare sources for those "cowboy-wests" in the 15th century. Compared to the massive amount of pictures showing doublets with sleeves (may they be slit with open armpit, just remotely sewn to the body of the doublet at the shoulder connection), I find them ridiculously over-represented on events. Even if there may have been occasional sleeveless doublets, they were most certainly not present in medieval daily life at an ratio from 5 out of 10 - which seems to be today's average ratio during hot summer events.....

But then I seriuously doubt as well that it was a typical way of cothing outside one's house to walk around with hoses, shirt, a sleeveless doublet and some headgear.
Yes, you see people wearing a doublet and no other outer garment. But then it's AFAik always due to heavy physical work or killung another guy.

It was mentioned in this 'ere thread
viewtopic.php?p=214616


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Re: the 3 layers rule of mens clothing

Postby wulfenganck » Sun Aug 29, 2010 1:01 pm

@KedlestonCraig: Thanks, that is one reference to a sleeveless doublet (in that case a pourpount) I was referring to.
I think I have seen some two or three period pictures with guys wearing a sleeveless doublet (mainly french IIRC).
That's about it. Please prove me wrong and show me more evidence (in general, not directly you, Craig!)
And all these references deal with a very special situation: the pourpoint from the french royal ordinance is about to be worn underneath heavily padded textile armour, ALL pictorial references I've seen so far refer to hard working people in exactly that situation of physical exhaustive actions.

I'm not denying the sleeveless doublets in general, it's just one of those big re-enactorisms that you'll have re-enactors on events walking for the whole day with a sleeveless doublet. Not just for the twenty minutes recovering after a battle, not just for the exhausting thirty minutes of chopping wood for the campfire, not just for the one hour of fencing-training, but for the whole day and just as well for the dinner. Sorry, but this appears as some sort of rustic costumed camping, NOT re-enactment or living history or whatever you want to call the attempt to portray a certain historic period with - at least visual - accuracy and authenticity.



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Re: the 3 layers rule of mens clothing

Postby Alice the Huswyf » Tue Aug 31, 2010 4:48 pm

Yes.


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Re: the 3 layers rule of mens clothing

Postby gregory23b » Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:59 pm

doublet = pourpoint, sleeved or otherwise.

No mention of a particular name for a doublet without sleeves, certainly the pourpoint/doublet thing has been proven to be the same, at least in two documentary sources, so can we put the sleeveless doublet = pourpoint to bed as being an old reenactorism that we find hard to shake.

"I think I have seen some two or three period pictures with guys wearing a sleeveless doublet (mainly french IIRC). "

Yep.

"it's just one of those big re-enactorisms that you'll have re-enactors on events walking for the whole day with a sleeveless doublet."

The problem we have and it is a biggie is that the sum of visual reference is not broad enough to show us the inevitable variations in clothing. Simply using measuring what we see in MSS to make a statistical reckoning of the prevalence of an item is tricky. For example, how prevalent would we say jacks are based on visual representation? Not that prevalent as it happens, you see far more metal being shown, however, we know from documentary sources that jacks were very common, far more so than we are presented visually or even as archaeological evidence. It is really easy to use MSS or paintings as the arbiter of what we make or do, I would urge people to step back from images to read the Pastons, the Stonors, inventories, letters, treatises (very good sources of making), they are the key to showing a wider range of information. As much as enjoy medieval painting, I cannot rely on the presence of paintings alone to teach me what I need to know.

Having said that, we need some sort of standard that we agree to, even if only so we can get on with the hobby.


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Re: the 3 layers rule of mens clothing

Postby Fox » Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:58 am

the sum of visual reference is not broad enough to show us the inevitable variations in clothing

That's a very good point, old chap.

There are certainly some fashions, for both men and women that would make sleeves in the under-garment almost, if not completely, impossible.

Therefore, we might assume that there were such under-garments without sleeves; however you will never see them in the pictorial record, because you would never see the fashionable lady or gentlemen stripped down to them.

From a re-enactment point of view, someone may need, therefore, to own such a garment; but importantly, no one would normally see it (except perhaps in part or in glimses as revealed by the over garment).

Partly, in this, there may be a repeated historical theme, that fashionable clothes are impractical; you can't work in them and that's part of the message they're sending.

BTB, does this limitation of the visual record bring us back to an interesting point about how late single leg (rather than full, split) hose might carry on in the lowerest working classes.
Has anyone ever tried rolling full split hose down round thier ankles?



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Re: the 3 layers rule of mens clothing

Postby gregory23b » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:47 am

"BTB, does this limitation of the visual record bring us back to an interesting point about how late single leg (rather than full, split) hose might carry on in the lowerest working classes. "

Aha, we did that one a while back,a statute, can't remember which one, I have posted it before, but it was mid 15thc mentions closed hose for everyone above labourer, thereby implying open hose for the labourers. There are, according to a reliable source, mentions into the early 16thc, again for the lower orders.

The apparent reality was that open hose were around, but limited, we, in our realm tend to over use them, ie anyone, that may be out of whack.


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Re: the 3 layers rule of mens clothing

Postby Fox » Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:11 am

gregory23b wrote:Aha, we did that one a while back,a statute, can't remember which one, I have posted it before, but it was mid 15thc mentions closed hose for everyone above labourer, thereby implying open hose for the labourers.

But what is meant by open and closed hoses?



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Re: the 3 layers rule of mens clothing

Postby gregory23b » Wed Sep 01, 2010 5:56 pm

Open hose = 'single leg/split hose'
But can't find the term 'open hose', they are hose or closed, I guess that in time all hose are 'closed'.

closed = joined hose

These are parts of the same statute, memo to self, get full statute.
(1463-4) RParl. 5.505b: Nor that eny of the same Servauntez nor Laborers..use or were eny close Hoses.
(1463-4) RParl. 5.505b: Nor that eny of the same Servauntez..use or were..eny Hoses wherof the peyre shall excede in price xiiii d


(c1475) Stonor 1.153: Delyvered for Richard..a payr close hosyn of russet karyssey, price, xvj d.
(1467) Acc.Howard in RC 57 421: A peyre of close hosen for m. Edmond Gorge..and a peyr close hosen for lytelle Edmond.
a1500 Galawnt pride (RwlPoet 34) 29: Theyr hosyn of red, ful close þei be, With a whytte bulwerk abowtt þe kne.


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Re: the 3 layers rule of mens clothing

Postby Talen » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:53 pm

Ah thanks for answering that about the pourpoint guys. I was going to get one earlier in the year when it was so unbearingly hot, but overheard someone denoucing them as authentic kit, so I held off. But as said here, how do we really know what was being worn by various people of various ages and social class? The sources help alot but there is also alot of guess work involved as well. As an under armour garment for holding hose up I think it would be useful to have and for those blisteringly hot days when really if you wear a doublet you'll cook. :)



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Re: the 3 layers rule of mens clothing

Postby Fox » Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:05 pm

gregory23b wrote:Open hose = 'single leg/split hose'
But can't find the term 'open hose', they are hose or closed, I guess that in time all hose are 'closed'.

closed = joined hose

Since the point I was making was about two different types of "open hose" then that doesn't really help.



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Re: the 3 layers rule of mens clothing

Postby Tod » Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:03 pm

Talen, the people on here are really helpful but unintentionally can really confuse things (maybe its just me). I only started doing late medieval a few years ago and with out some of the advice I got here I think I would have given up or looked totally wrong. I absolutely agree with Gregory23b. I trawled through stacks of books and all over the web looking at pictures in an attempt to get my clothing correct. I found and was directed to the pictures of the “workers” striped down to basics. I also saw the pictures of people in full kit, but I found little to nothing of in-between. I’ve found that when there is a lack of pictorial evidence then it is necessary to delve into books and find the written descriptions. However as my main period is 17/18th Highlands and the written descriptions are either way off or fanciful. As a consequence I have had to develop a second sense that tries to fill in the gaps using logic and experimentation wearing the cloths that I do know about.
For me this is more difficult with the 15th century as the only time I wear the clothing is at events (rather than working in reconstructed buildings of the 18th century). I have a pourpoint with the big arm holes made of two layers of linen and I use it to hold up my hose, but I don’t go wandering around the site in it and the only time I strip down to that layer is if it is so hot I’m likely to pass out, if I’m working or if I’ve just come off the battlefield. I find that this garment does every thing I would want it to do and meets the description given in the Gerry Embelton book. I also have a sleeveless doublet (I’m using names that seem to be recognised and are easy to identify) with point holes for sleeves, the sleeves will be made this winter. I’ve often thought that like latter garments I could slip my arms out of the sleeves rather than detach them if I wanted to be cooler or work. It seems logical.
I also have a sleeved doublet, a coat and a cloak so there is little chance of me ever getting cold.
When I go on the battlefield I wear my padded jack over my pourpiont, the one time I wore a doublet as well I was so hot I thought I would boil. One piece of advice is get your kit made from natural materials. All mine is wool or linen. Some of the traders sell synthetics which apart from being c**p are wrong and you will end up looking wrong as the stretch etc makes a bad bit of kit look worse. It won’t matter how many layers your wear it’ll still be rubbish.
I might be wrong but once you get your clothing right it’s down to logic as to how much of it you wear, the only influence being where you are and who you are with/encounter.



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Re: the 3 layers rule of mens clothing

Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:30 pm

As this has moved onto hose, I have started wearing split hose because i have come across more pictoral and literary evidence for them being worn by all stations of society in Italy until the start of the 16th century (this dispite the fact that I really don't feel comfortable wearing split hose down to being an old fashioned catholic boy who gets a bit worried about having his cacks on view to the world).
I don't suppose anyone has any sound suggestions as to why they are still being worn in Italy when other countries have abandoned them?
(I don't even know if they count though as they don't look like the baggy hanging out of your *rse ones that are generally on shoe-these ones fit well and have a codpiece as well, refered to as a "braggio" and sometimes stuffed).


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Re: the 3 layers rule of mens clothing

Postby gregory23b » Thu Sep 02, 2010 3:25 pm

"I don't suppose anyone has any sound suggestions as to why they are still being worn in Italy when other countries have abandoned them?"

Because fashion changes are not universal, why does Italian kit look the way it does?

German kit from the mid to late 15thc is quite odd in places, but that might also be due to more references of a quality that are reliable, or as reliable as they could be. Take a look at the Talhoffer clothing for example.


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Re: the 3 layers rule of mens clothing

Postby Talen » Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:47 pm

Hmm those are very good points Tod, thanks for the advice. I think having one is definitely a good idea for various reasons, but as you say they were not the main piece of kit and from what I gather there isn't much evidence to support them. Even so, would it not be likely that they would be worn when it was a very hot day, such as at Twekesbury this year? I was in my shirt with my doublet hanging from my waist (I had to keep it on for the hose) and even then I was very hot. Though the 15thC isn't your period, do you have any suggestions for good sources? A friend of mine suggest the paintings by Hans Memling, however these seem to be more armour based than everyday clothing.



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Re: the 3 layers rule of mens clothing

Postby Tod » Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:38 am

I just bought lots of second hand books, Karen Larsdatter's pages are excellent you can find a link around here some where. Gerry Embleton's books are full of pictures (if you buy nothing else buy his two books, if you want the ISBN let me know and I'll look it up). I would avoid any religous pictures they are too fanciful for my likeing. If you are any where near Milton Keynes you can come round and have a look at the books I've collected.
I assume you mean the pourpoint or sleeveless doublet (lets call it the former then we know what we mean). I think you are fine wearing it but it is not a going out garment, for work you strip down but you wouldn't go shopping or meeting people with just that. The doublet around the waist is correct. If you took Tewkesbury as big late medieval market/fayre you wouldn't walk round in just a pourpoint but you could wear it under a doublet. In the same way you wouldn't walk around with your doublet tied around your waist. But if you were cutting wood or working you might.
I'm not Mr Thin and don't like the heat but I find I can wander about in what I think is correct attire with out roasting. All my kit is natural materails and if its really hot I wear a straw hat as it lets the air circulate around my head and keeps the sun off my neck.



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Re: the 3 layers rule of mens clothing

Postby Colin Middleton » Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:42 pm

Tod wrote:just a pourpoint but you could wear it under a doublet.


You should never wear a pourpoint and a doublet (ignoring the fact that they are the SAME thing). It's like wearing a pair of braces to hold your trousers up and another pair of braces so that you look like you're wearing braces. Don't mistake a double for a jacket, just because of the way that it looks. It is there to hold your hosen up. Wether it has sleeves or not, it is there for that purpose (and to hide your shame), not just to look pretty (which it may also do).

Also remember that a doublet was an expensive garment to make. The fitting required and the amount of structure in a doublet made it much more time intensive than a coat and consequently they can cost twice as much to put together (thought the materials are usually much cheaper). Also, they are expected to last much longer. Coats are normally replaced at least once a year, while doublets are expected to last 2 years or more because of that greater structure.

On the subject of names, all of the people that I've spoken to about it, who've done research, agree that 'pourpoint' is a French word meaning doublet. If you're wearing a pourpoint, you should also be wearing a chemise, brais and chassaurs. If you want to wear a shirt, breaches and hosen, then you should wear a doublet with it. If you don't have sleeves on your doublet, it's a sleveless doublet (which is a pretty unambiguous description). There is an English reference to a pourpoint, but is appears to be talking about a bed quilt!

In the French ordenance describing the pourpoint, that appears to be a rather specialised variation of the arming doublet, being made without interlining, butmade of linnen instead of the normal fabrics (silk, worsted or fustian), which is all very odd.


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Re: the 3 layers rule of mens clothing

Postby Tod » Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:06 pm

Colin Middleton wrote:
Tod wrote:just a pourpoint but you could wear it under a doublet.


You should never wear a pourpoint and a doublet (ignoring the fact that they are the SAME thing). It's like wearing a pair of braces to hold your trousers up and another pair of braces so that you look like you're wearing braces. Don't mistake a double for a jacket, just because of the way that it looks. It is there to hold your hosen up. Wether it has sleeves or not, it is there for that purpose (and to hide your shame), not just to look pretty (which it may also do).
.


So this garments described as having big arm holes (French description I think) and shown in the Osprey book on Archers (yes I know - Osprey!) would have had a coat over them rather than a doublet? Logically following from above I suppose they would. I'll remember that for the future, thanks Colin.

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Re: the 3 layers rule of mens clothing

Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:41 pm

My grampy used to wear braces and a belt.



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Re: the 3 layers rule of mens clothing

Postby Fox » Sat Sep 04, 2010 6:31 pm

We may wish to be careful about the difference between the original meaning of words and their modern reuse.
For example, take the word sallet:
  • Modern: a specific style and design of helmet
  • 15thC: a helmet of any style or design, inter-changable with the word helm

Also consider that it looks very likely that the words gorget and bevois were interchangable in medieval speech to mean a piece of throat armour, but most of us would understand a bevois to be an item that covered the chin and a gorget to be shorter and closer fitting item, protecting only the neck.

In the same way, I think the way we use pourpoint and doublet are distinctively modern.

Remember hose in the 15thC might also have been called breeches, but we do not do so, presumably to avoid confusion with later garments of that name.



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Re: the 3 layers rule of mens clothing

Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:23 am

And to further throw into the mix even the term sallet now can be used to cover a wide range of helemt styles from full face, visored, half faced, open faced low domed, high domed, long necked, short necked, crested, browed, shallow, brimmed, all of which are sallets.
Sometimes sallet was used to cover any form of helmet, sometimes it was used to define a specific sort of helmet.
Gerry Embeltons work was good research at the time but I doubt that many within the CoSt.G. would regard it as such now and a lot is of the "military plausibility school of thought", ie because we do it this way they must have done it the same way as well, a doctrine of thought that some researchers use to suggest that if you took a group of modern troop commanders and took them back in time they would fight the Battle of Marathon a particular way because that is the way ALL commanders throughout history would have looked at the problems of formation, terrain, weather, weapons and tactics in exactly the same way.


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Re: the 3 layers rule of mens clothing

Postby Langley » Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:35 am

Been going over some of Gerry Embelton's original illustrations with a more critical eye and discussing some with her ladyship who remembers the original research Gerry and Jackie Bowden did. The illustrations on the garments we now refer to as pourpoints or sleveless doublets are taken from studies of hanged men as per the notes in the book. However - Lady L says that this seems to have been shortened from the original Studies of men hanged ON THE BATTLEFIELD. Perhaps what we have all been looking at all this time is a thin arming doublet without sleeves intended for wear under other items of padding or armour and so not translatable to civilian life at all?



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Re: the 3 layers rule of mens clothing

Postby Colin Middleton » Mon Sep 06, 2010 12:58 pm

Langley wrote:Perhaps what we have all been looking at all this time is a thin arming doublet without sleeves intended for wear under other items of padding or armour and so not translatable to civilian life at all?


That's pretty much the impression that I had of it.

There may be seleeveless doublets in use in civilian life (I think that I recall a will mentioning one), but I don't think that we can use this descirption as evidence.


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Re: the 3 layers rule of mens clothing

Postby Fox » Mon Sep 06, 2010 1:02 pm

Colin Middleton wrote:There may be sleeveless doublets in use in civilian life.

[sorry for repeating myself]
I think some fashions with very tight sleeves in over garments might have necessitated them; but you wouldn't expect to see them, except in some very unusual circumstances.
While this applies to the evidence for them, it would also apply to anyone re-enacting that fashion.



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Re: the 3 layers rule of mens clothing

Postby Sophia » Mon Sep 06, 2010 3:01 pm

From a tailoring point of view there are two issues with most re-enactors' problems with tight sleeves: a) an unwillingness to cut the garment high enough under the arm, and b) a tendancy to place the shoulder seam to far out.

The underarm should literally be hugging your arm pit and the shoulder seam should be placed where your shoulder folds when you raise your bent arm above shoulder height. It will feel strange by modern standard by modern standards. Essentially you are cutting around the major muscle groups. If cut correctly you can get full arm mobility in a very tight garment.

It is worth taking a very good look at images where people in tightly fitted garment are engaged in physical activity. For images with seams for the second half of C15th you can't beat the Flemish painters like Van der Weyden and Van der Goes (I know they are not English but given the amount of trade and cultural exchange between England and Flanders at the time they are an excellent source, I tend to add 10 to 15 years to the date line just to make sure).

As an aside I was discussing sleeve fit with a lovely woman re-enactor at Bosworth (we met at Lindy Pickard's stall :D ) and she was suggested bias cutting as a possible solution for some of the tight sleeve issues. It is cloth hungry but those who could of afforded very fitted clothes would not necessarily have been worrying about that.

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Re: the 3 layers rule of mens clothing

Postby Fox » Mon Sep 06, 2010 4:21 pm

...that would even more strongly suggest a sleeveless under-garment (in this case a doublet), since it would allow an absolutely skin tight fit of the sleeve.



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Re: the 3 layers rule of mens clothing

Postby Sophia » Mon Sep 06, 2010 5:03 pm

Not necessarily - when you add a layer you alter the armscye and widen the sleeve to allow for movement. If you take the premise that the doublet is the middle layer between the shirt and the gown and and make the doublet out of the right type of cloth, ensure that if not cutting on the bias that the grain of the cloth runs down the top of arm from the sleeve head point then there should be no problems.

With regards to the mass of linen issue that some people complain of I suggest cutting the body and the sleeves of the short somewhat narrower. It should be remembered that much of the linen at the period was a no more that 1 yard broad.


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Re: the 3 layers rule of mens clothing

Postby Karen Larsdatter » Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:33 pm

Tod wrote:Karen Larsdatter's pages are excellent you can find a link around here some where.

:arrow: http://www.larsdatter.com :angel:

http://larsdatter.com/hose.htm deals with a lot of the conversation in this thread, I think. :ugeek:




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