Men’s Clothing for 1471 England


∗∗∗ All of our male members begin with the clothing of a regular person / archer. No matter whom you wish to portray there are some events and scenarios where all of us need to work and be dressed appropriately to do so (Yes, even our Gentlemen often set aside their finery and portray workers when we need them to.) 

***When researching please focus on Burgundian, French and English sources and avoid the Italian and German sources - there are differences in the fashion which were not at all common in England of our time. 

We strongly recommend you purchase one of the following books if you intend to sew your own clothing for use with Lord Grey’s Retinue:

Required garments for all men in Lord Grey’s Retinue:

 (Details and specifics found further down on this page)

  1. Shirt of bleached white linen
  2. Braies (underpants) of bleached white linen
  3. Hose of wool
  4. Shoes
  5. Doublet – of wool
  6. Gown or livery – of wool
  7. Belt – of leather
  8. Hat – of wool

 The above items are absolutely required to start with your first event. Don’t worry! We have lots of loaner clothing to help save the expense and time of putting it all together for your first event with us. Please speak with us early so we have time to plan/gather and possibly make what you need to borrow to attend your first event with us.  

The list continues with the other required items for our Men’s kit:


  1. Purse – of leather
  2. Dagger
  3. Dining set – Cup, bowl, spoon and knife
  4. Large wool or natural linen bag to carry your items/hide your modern clothing
  5. A heavy natural linen tick (mattress) to be stuffed with straw
  6. Wool blanket(s)

Optional common items you may want:

  1. A second or third shirt
  2. Additional pairs of braies
  3. Cape of wool
  4. Linen pillow
  5. Mittens
  6. additional shoes – perhaps a pair for bad weather
  7. Pattens
  8. Wooden box for your belongings
  9. Tent
  10. Armor/Weapons/Tools/Instruments for whichever vocation you prefer

Suggested modern items you may want to bring:

  1. A flashlight or lantern
  2. Sunblock
  3. Bug spray
  4. A giant zip-lock bag to keep your modern items dry within the large wool bag
  5. A modern sleeping bag (hidden within the large wool bag during the event)

Let us get specific about the clothing items required….

Men’s Shirt of bleached linen


 This is your underwear, it is always made of bleached white linen. It should have long sleeves, under-arm gussets, a scoop, boat neck or notched neck. It should be between hip and mid thigh in length.  The sleeves need to fit under the fitted sleeves of the doublet worn over it. 

 There are no buttons, drawstrings or gathering anywhere on this garment. There may be slits at the bottom of each side seam if you choose. You can machine sew your shirt but please finish all visible areas (neckline & wrists) by hand.  Many of our members sleep in their shirt.   

*Please consult page 71 of The Medieval Tailor’s Assistant  by Sarah Thursfield  or page 45 of the 2nd edition for instructions on how to make your shirt ( or ask Lara for a pattern to borrow).

You may also buy your shirt and alter it as needed (you may need to replace any  visible machine stitching with hand stitching). Here are a few places that sell them: 

Braies (underpants) of bleached linen


 This is your underwear, it is always made of bleached white linen. Honestly, we will not be checking your underwear (though I cannot swear the other men will not say something if they should notice). Just make sure that if you do chose to cheat with modern undies that they be white and remain completely unseen. 


*Please consult page 71 of The Medieval Tailor’s Assistant  by Sarah Thursfield  or page 45 of of the 2nd edition for instructions on how to make your braies or ask Lara for a pattern to borrow.

You may also buy your braies. Here are a few places that sell them:

Joined or Split Hose of wool


 We most often wear the “joined hose” with the full foot and built in codpiece. They must be 100% wool for fire safety. I personally recommend making the sole of the foot in a double layer of wool for comfort and for darning when wearing rubs through. I also recommend lining the waistline and codpiece  areas for stability – we do not want stretch there.  The legs are cut on the bias for a snug yet flexible fit. There are two variations in cut that are acceptable for joined hose. The  seams up the back of the legs may run straight up to the waist line or come to a point at mid-tush. Either is fine however the straight up to the waistline is easier to make. Be careful to not over-fit these. The wearer needs to be able to move and sit comfortably. I won’t lie, these are tricky to fit and make. The two hardest areas to fit are the foot and the tush and codpiece area. A second person is required for the fitting and marking – they will by necessity have to get very close to the wearer’s private areas. This can prove most ummm…awkward. 

If you chose to wear split hose you must have accurate braies and keep your gown on to not flash the public.  Construction is similar but without the codpiece and waist. 

*Please consult pages 108-113 of The Medieval Tailor’s Assistant  by Sarah Thursfield  or pages 83-85 of the 2nd edition for instructions on how to make your hose or ask Lara if she has a pattern that will fit you. The Tudor Tailor makes a Men’s hose pattern (in two size groups) which is nearly identical to what we need – only the codpiece needs to be altered to become less prominent for use in our time.

You may also buy your hose. Here are a few places that sell them:

Doublet – of wool


 This is (technically) also considered your underwear but it was common for a man to do work in his doublet and hose alone. When not physically working, you would wear your gown or a livery garment over it.

It is made of wool and may be lined in either wool or linen. No silks or brocades and no colored linen please. We do not wear the Italian style doublets with the longer pouffed sleeve heads and "U" shaped back neckline seam -  it is not  common in our area. Your sleeves may have the ball shoulders be plain. Plain sleeves would usually have only a slight slit opening at the wrist. The doublets with the ball shoulders may be open at  the back seam in part or most of the arm. Both would close at the wrist with either a lacing point or a fabric ball button. The collar is 1"-2" high and has a "V" seaming at the back neck. There is a waist seam and a 3-5" deep peplum from waist to hem. The garment laces closed up the front and laces to the hose along the bottom edge.  The center front may be worn somewhat open in a "V" style if the weather is warm and you are working. Be sure your shirt is accurate and clean if you do please. 

*Please consult pages 94-102 of The Medieval Tailor’s Assistant  by Sarah Thursfield  or pages 110-111 and 115-117 of the 2nd edition for instructions on how to make your doublet or ask Lara for a pattern to borrow.

You may also buy your doublet. Here are a few places that sell them:

**** You will need to tie your hose and doublet with “points”. These are lengths of cord (usually between 18″- 24″ long) with metal tips on each end. Here are a few sources:

Gown of wool


 You would not feel fully dressed without your gown. It is worn over your doublet with a belt which would hold your purse and dagger. It is made of wool and may be made unlined or lined in wool, natural or bleached linen or fur. The fur may simply trim the hem, collar and cuffs (See the standards drop down menu for the fur selection page). No brocades or silks please. (See the standards drop down menu for the fabric selection page please)

A Man's gown has a round or boat neckline at the front and comes to a “V” or "U" at the back neckline. The long sleeves are full and pleated into the head. Sleeves may or may not have a slit down the front. The gown may be more casual and be cut loose which allows it to be pulled over the head and belted or it may be cut to fit with structured and sometimes padded pleats which may require a center front opening of hidden lacing rings, buttons or perhaps hooks and eyes if you are wealthy (they were not common). The length can be as short as the upper thigh or as long as calf length. As a general rule the shorter they are the younger the wearer. The floor length versions of men's gowns (called robes) are symbolic of age and wealth.

(If a livery vest or gown is your preference it must be of the official Lord Grey's Tawny Livery wool - which Lara and Steve have.  Livery garments will be expanded upon in another section of the web site).

*Please consult pages 150-157 of The Medieval Tailor’s Assistant  by Sarah Thursfield  or pages 175 – 177 of of the 2nd edition for instructions on how to make your gown or ask Lara for a pattern to borrow.

You may also buy your gown. Here are a few places that sell them:



 Men’s shoes should have a pointed toe and be made of leather. The medieval “Turn-shoe” is acceptable but by our time period the “turn welt” construction is most accurate … and of course, more labor intensive and expensive.Many of our members have more then one pair – a favorite pair and a cheaper pair to be worn in the poor weather. Take good care of your shoes, moisture will allow mold to build up and possibly shrink and harden the leather. We are all so unhappy when we find that we forgot to put our shoes away nicely and discover that they have shrunk and become moldy and hard.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Before you make your purchase please speak to Lara and Steve to confirm that what you have chosen is correct for use within Lord Grey’s retinue:     

The best:



**Please remember to speak to Lara or Steve about your shoe choices before you order** 


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You may also buy your belt. Here are a few places that sell them:

  • Medieval design offers
  • Historic Enterprises offers

Men’s Purse

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 You may also buy your pouch or purse. Here are a few places that sell them:

Hat – of wool

 All men wear hats. You may take it off at times but would most often wear one. There are several variations available. The most popular styles for every day soldiers and men are wool cloth hats. The padded chaperone is usually for when you are dressing to impress – but you may be that sort of person on an everyday basis. The wool hood is also a very common type of hat and can be worn in many different ways - including rolled into a chaperone.  We do not wear buttoned hoods , they are outdated by our time.

*Please consult pages 189 – 196 of The Medieval Tailor’s Assistant  by Sarah Thursfield  or pages 194 – 197 of of the 2nd edition for instructions on how to make your own hat or ask Lara for a pattern to borrow.

You may also buy your hat. Here are a few places that sell them:



Men's capes were made of wool and may or may not be lined. If lined  wool is preferred but natural or white linen is acceptable.  Capes were often lined in fur but most of us choose to line in a second color of wool. 

Capes most often fasten on the right shoulder with 3-5 self fabric buttons (The buttonholes are sewn to the front and the buttons are sewn to the back).  There are a few less common examples of capes which button at the center front to close. Capes should be between thigh and calf  length and of a medium to heavy weight of wool for warmth.  Capes are cut full in an approximate 3/4 circle with some shaping at the shoulders which allow it to hang correctly.  Cut can be multiple gores or pieced in blocks. Choose the variation which is most appropriate for you level of wealth.  

(Lara has patterns she made for capes) 

Gloves and Mittens


  There were beautiful gloves worn by the wealthy of the time but most of us wear mittens of heavy wool that we make ourselves. There are two common variations:

  • The type we all grew up with that has 4 fingers together and a thumb
  • The type we love that breaks the hand into three sections, a thumb and two pairs

(Lara has patterns) 

Other types of bags

We do prefer each member have a functional accurate sack type bag  if they do not have a chest to hide their modern items in. This can be a heavy natural linen with a hemp rope tie closure or of wool.