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Medieval Boxers & Hose!

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1 Medieval Boxers & Hose! on Mon May 24, 2010 5:41 pm

El Frog

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Somewhat frustrated at being forced to postpone the standard for the Fellowship, I decided that it is time to finish off some jobs that I have been meaning to do - and need to be done very soon!

One such job is the medieval boxer shorts!


The brief is relatively simple, but the description is not so easy! Basically, all chaps went around with their underwear on display. Oh yes! Braise (or Braises) were baggy boxer shorts that came down to somewhere near the knee (they would become shorter as time goes on, but for my purposes, knee length is fine). Tied at the knees and waist, other items, such as money pouches and hose were suspended from the braises, making the braises the most important part of a gentleman's garb.

Hose are basically just tight fitting woolen tubes that cover the leg from upper thigh to ankle (though feet were often sewn into them). With boots and a shirt or tunic, this comprises the basic clothing of the medieval man. Here's a diagram that might help a little: it shows my manly, muscled legs, a pair of braises and one of a pair of hose (oh, and a boot). You can see where the hose tie to the braises.




So, with that in mind (plus the fact that I have had to pause in my other sewing project) I have less than two weeks to get some braises and scarlet hose made for an event!



Last edited by El Frog on Tue May 25, 2010 5:59 pm; edited 1 time in total


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2 Re: Medieval Boxers & Hose! on Mon May 24, 2010 6:24 pm

El Frog

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I had already started work on the basics for the braises. It appears from the examples discovered across Europe, that braises were made to three simple patterns.

The pattern I have chosen is probably the easiest as far as making both sides match. Take a rectangle of cloth (in this case, linen) and sew the two long sides together, from one end to the middle of the long side. This is now one leg and half of the groin.



Make a second to match, then sew these two pieces together. Add laces at the bottom of each leg hole and you end up with the following:




I know that this photo will drive Evening Starfish (and probably Gravelyblarg) wild with desire, but I post it to keep a track of what point the project has reached.

You can see that I am wearing a belt to keep them up! They are very baggy. I have yet to add the necessary waistband (and waist string) at this point, and the bagginess at the waist will be drawn in by pleats to the waistband.


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3 Re: Medieval Boxers & Hose! on Mon May 24, 2010 6:44 pm

wagi

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I am beloved of the Guac!
And we sincerely thank you for wearing said belt. It's awfully hard to understand what braises look like with them puddled at your feet, especially if the photo provided other distracting things in view!

So, I would imagine that carrying a heavy moneybag or having heavy wet woolen hose would require a stout waist string. What if you were like some people and hat a flat butt? Did they have any other ways to secure everything around your waist...besides prayer?

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4 Re: Medieval Boxers & Hose! on Tue May 25, 2010 6:07 pm

El Frog

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The belt was as much for my protection as yours! I couldn't take the chance of Blarg becoming overwhelmed with desire.....who knows what else he would have painted purple (or covered in fingerprints) while under the influence! Mind you, if Lady Evening Starfish were to become wild, I would just have to let her have her way with me. The things I do for the CoG...

The waist string would indeed be fairly stout. We know that menfolk often hung their money pouches from this, but these pouches rarely contained many coins (the poor didn't have many, the rich had other people to carry them!) so the weight wasn't often too great. The hose were usually fairly tight fitting which meant that they often supported most of their own weight.

It was also fairly common to wear a belt over a tunic. During the 12th century, these were shockingly thin (about 1/2 inch) so didn't help much. Later, these become a more substancial 1 1/2 inches thick and could support a belt bag. Swords were usually hung from their own belt.


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5 Re: Medieval Boxers & Hose! on Wed May 26, 2010 4:58 pm

El Frog

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I need to get some more white linen in to make the wasteband for the braises. It was time to do a little work on the hose!

Split hose are designed to be (almost) skin tight, so I measured my legs at a number of points so as to make the template accurate to my muscled, manly legs. Having done this, I drew the pattern twice on some black linen for the lining (one is shown here):




...and also twice on some lovely, bright red wool (one shown)!




The linings were then sewn to the wool, then the long sides sewn to each other to make two muscled, manly leg-shaped tubes...


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6 Re: Medieval Boxers & Hose! on Thu May 27, 2010 5:50 am

wagi

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I am beloved of the Guac!
So, did they have actual knitted socks or stockings as well, if the hose didn't have feet added onto them?

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7 Re: Medieval Boxers & Hose! on Thu May 27, 2010 7:10 am

El Frog

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Yes. Early hose had no feet, but by the 13th Century, many enterprising tailors had come up with a variety of ways of adding them. One thing of note here is that these footed hose usually came with a leather boot sole attached! Of course, being able to afford hose that came with feet was well beyond the scope of most people, so they had to be content with tubes sewn at one end (no turn for the heel).

For me, there is a practical issue. Adding the feet will be a time consuming, trial and error affair, plus (as I will be wearing them inside boots on very hot days) they will get very sweaty and require very regular cleaning. The simple solution is to have the hose stop at the ankle and just wear short socks underneath.


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8 Re: Medieval Boxers & Hose! on Sun May 30, 2010 6:19 pm

El Frog

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TIME TO DRIVE EVENING STARFISH WILD WITH DESIRE!!!



Here are the finished braises! I have added a tall waistband which isn't as wide as the leg "parts" which meant that I needed to make pleats in those leg "parts" to make them fit neatly (the legs are wider than necessary to give me room for my very manly butt, and the pleats are all at the side and front).

They tie at the waist with a string that loops inside and outside of the braises to keep them up. Observant readers will note that the braises tie at the knees too, and contemporary artwork shows that it was common for men to hoist these further up the legs while working.

Just have to finish the hose now...


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9 Re: Medieval Boxers & Hose! on Mon May 31, 2010 6:02 am

wagi

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I am beloved of the Guac!
Haven't seen that many pleats since I passed a Catholic school girl outing...

I predict that we'll see similar grace the runways at this year's fashion shows. Evening Starfish no doubt is booking her flight as we speak - she likely wants her own pair!

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10 Re: Medieval Boxers & Hose! on Mon May 31, 2010 8:37 am

evenstar

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Frog thinks I am great, so I am!
Those look comfy for just lounging around, but I'd want mine in black...

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11 Re: Medieval Boxers & Hose! on Mon May 31, 2010 9:33 am

El Frog

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wagi wrote:I predict that we'll see similar grace the runways at this year's fashion shows. Evening Starfish no doubt is booking her flight as we speak - she likely wants her own pair!

I cannot imagine a reason why she would not!


evenstar wrote:Those look comfy for just lounging around, but I'd want mine in black...

This, of course, can be arranged. Oh, and I would need to take measurements! Wink Heart


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12 Re: Medieval Boxers & Hose! on Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:19 am

El Frog

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Just realised that there are no pictures of these finished! Here you go, Mr Phill and myself shooting at Crowmarsh Gifford!


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13 Re: Medieval Boxers & Hose! on Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:01 pm

wagi

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I am beloved of the Guac!
Dashing!

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14 Re: Medieval Boxers & Hose! on Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:37 pm

El Frog

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Bloody warm too!


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