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underwear-msg - 10/14/11

 

What to wear under garb. SCA and period.

 

NOTE: See also these files: underwear-lnks, corsets-msg, linen-msg, silk-msg, p-hygiene-msg, soap-msg, p-privies-msg, bathing-msg.

 

************************************************************************

NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given  by the individual authors.

 

Please respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear  at this time. If information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

 

Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org

************************************************************************

 

From: think!ames!decwrl!decvax!tinhat!meg at EDDIE.MIT.EDU (Megan ni Laine)

Date: 20 Mar 90 07:27:49 GMT

Organization: Society for Creative Anachronism

What do people in the SCA wear ?  From my observations in the changing

rooms, most people wear mundane underthings, using the assumption that

no one will know if its period or not.  Of course, there are notable

individuals who wear truly authentic underthings...it is always a

pleasant surprise to discover this. (such discoveries are usually made

in the summer at camping events.)  

One important factor in period underwear's favor is that certain types

of garb require a specific silouette, which modern underwear cannot

approximate. Therefore a period corset is necessary to give the

correct shape.  And some gowns, especially 15th century Flemish, have

such low cut shoulders that a modern bra would show, front, top and back.

Some people get around this by replacing their modern bra straps with

velvet, and I've even seen one that faked the look of a smocked

chemise.

I know very little about early period dress, so I couldn't tell you

what they wore under their outer clothes.  The chemise evolved from an

underdress worn beneath a warmer overdress in the winter into a kind of

a slip worn under a gown.  Sometimes the chemise was an intrinsic part

of the look of the neckline, showing up to several inches, with

intricately embriodered bands accross the front. Holbein's painting of

St. Ursula of 1522 shows a lovely chemise which is gathered quite full

in the front into a 2 inch band of blackwork across the bodice. The

sleeves are very full, and protrude from the sleeves of the dress,

which are tied on to the arms. In this period, the chemise was worn by

men, women and children. Men's chemises tended to have high collars

which could be tied, but which are depicted untied.(a rakish sort of

nonchalance) In the early part of the sixteenth century, men's

necklines were lower.(they gradually got higher) Children's chemises

were very like the womens, with lower necklines than adult mens,

although older boys began to wear higher collars. The collars on men's

chemises were often embroidered, and had a small ruffle at he top.

They appeared to be smocked or gathered into this narrow band of

embroidery. In nearly all cases they were white.

   Not many men in the SCA wear period chemises. Why not?

 

Megan

--

Linda Anfuso                    Megan ni Laine, OL, Baroness Stonemarche

Forest Road                     Barony of Stonemarche

Wilton, NH 03086, U. S. A.      East Kingdom

 

 

From: ddfr at quads.uchicago.edu (david director friedman)

Date: 28 Oct 91 03:53:07 GMT

Organization: University of Chicago

 

                         Islamic Underpants

 

There have been several postings on the subject of underpants. In the

Islamic world, the length of underpants is a religious, and perhaps

also ethnic, issue. There are Traditions of the Prophet stating, as I

remember, that underpants should come to below the knee but above the

foot. And I think I have read somewhere that the Persians wore ankle

length underpants and that this was considered womanish by Arabs and

such.

 

A King's Book of Kings (The Houghton Shahnamah) has a miniature,

Persian and late period, showing someone stripped down; as I

remember, the underpants are long, loose, probably drawstring. Arab

Painting has some earlier pictures, probably Syrian or Iraqi, showing

what look like loose drawstring underpants, coming to a

little below the knee. Max Tilke's book Le Costume has detailed

pictures of out of period traditional drawstring underpants from the

Islamic world, some of which look as though they might be the same

sort shown in the period pictures.

 

Cariadoc

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: tbarnes at silver.ucs.indiana.edu (thomas wrentmore barnes)

Subject: Re: Period Foot/Combat Wear

Organization: Indiana University

Date: Sun, 7 Nov 1993 20:46:21 GMT

 

kreyling at lds.loral.com (Ed Kreyling 6966) writes:

>A Count in Trimaris, who is period to the point of period underwear (I thought

>that was a joke, until I saw him in his underwear!) fights in tennis shoes

>covered in knee high leather boots.

 

        What's funny about period underwear? I own and regularly wear a

14th c. style shirt and braes around the house. The braes are

wonderfully comfy and loose about the crotch. When worn with 14th c.

hosen the effect is much more comfortable than wearing dance tights over

jockey shorts. Much less constriction around the crotch, don't have to

pull up your hosen, easier to put on and take off.

        Furthermore, for serious costuming, in some cases you HAVE to

work from the skin out in order to get the rest of the costume to work

right.

 

        Lothar \|/

               0

 

From: sbloch at ms.uky.edu (Stephen Bloch)

Newsgroups: rec.music.early,rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Authentic Underwear

Date: 29 Nov 1993 19:04:27 -0500

Organization: University Of Kentucky, Dept. of Math Sciences

 

On Tue, 23 Nov 1993, Hope Ehn Dennis Ehn wrote:

>> . . . the whole business of costumes is

>> a can of worms. After all, people in the Renaissance and Baroque eras

>> didn't perform in "costumes": the clothing performers today wear as

>> costumes were ordinary clothes back then!  Besides, I understand (but may

>> be wrong) that people didn't wear underwear until fairly recently; I dare

>> say that few of us are likely to be willing to be that authentic!

 

Oh, it's not that bad.  I don't particularly enjoy wearing bluejeans

against the skin, but a long tunic with nothing underneath can be

quite comfortable.  I usually wear a fancy tunic with a simple, easily-

washable undertunic (as Elizabeth describes below), but nothing else

is required.

 

Elizabeth Randell  <erandell at GIBBS.OIT.UNC.EDU> replied:

>People then DID wear underwear, it just wasn't panties and jockey shorts.

>Shirts and blouses are the modern descendents of historical

>underwear--linen garments that were worn under the woolen or brocade

>jackets or dresses.  Some lace at the neck or wrist could show, if one was

>truly daring.  The point is, such linen "liners" worn next to the skin

>could be laundered more easily than could the outer garments (no dry

>cleaners).

 

I'm not sure what period Elizabeth means when she says "some lace ...

could show, if one was truly daring"; my impression is that in the

Middle Ages and Renaissance, wearing multiple layers visibly was a

mark of high fashion, indicating that you could afford that much

fabric. So my undertunic is carefully cut several inches LONGER than

the overtunic it goes with.

 

>Now, as for pants I'm not as sure.  Men wore one-piece union suits ("long

>johns") as early as the 19th century, but I'm not sure when they were

>invented. Early 19th-century women (in America and England, at least)

>wore pantalettes, cotton or linen lace-trimmed pants that came down to

>mid-calf (think Kate Greenaway illustrations).  Women always wore

>petticoats, but I'm not sure about pants.

 

There are marginal illustrations from as early as the 14th century,

I believe, showing adult males who, due to either acrobatic tricks or

pratfalls, are upside-down with their outer clothing around their

shoulders or over their heads.  Most or all are wearing loose, light-

colored knickers (from memory; I'm sure some of the costume experts on

rec.org.sca can provide more details).

--

                                      Stephen Bloch

                                  sbloch at s.ms.uky.edu

 

 

From: UDSD073 at DSIBM.OKLADOT.STATE.OK.US (Mike Andrews)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Unmentionable request

Date: Mon, 12 Sep 1994 14:56

Organization: The University of Oklahoma (USA)

 

Neil Perkins(980-9892" <jackalope!neil at zazen.attmail.com>, writes:

>I was asked the other day by some "mundane" friends

>about a medieval topic I had never considered.  To wit,

>underclothes.

>What did folk in our period do for underwear?

 

According to Thomas Merton (in his book, *The Seven-Storey

Mountain*), when he entered the Trappists (?), he was given his

habit and a _long_ strip of fabric, which he assumed was to be

used as some sort of undergarment; he was given no instruction

in the use, wearing, or arrangement thereof.

 

On a more practical level, H.L. Claire Margaret di Cuneo (Thea

Goldsby in the real world) makes and wears period 16th C.

undies, and I have several photos of the same, both occupied and

unoccupied. Email me for her Email address; I don't want to post

it to the world.

 

Janice Arnold has patterns, drawings, photos, and discussions

of some period undies in at least one of her books.

 

I have been told by some that only prostitutes wore underwear

before, say, the late 15th. C., and by others that no decent

woman would have anything between her nether limbs except

her husband, and so on and so forth. No documentation was

provided for these claims, so take them as worth the price.

 

>// Jost

--

Michael Fenwick of Fotheringhay, O.L. (Mike Andrews)  Namron, Ansteorra

 

 

From: dickeney at access.digex.net (Dick Eney)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Unmentionable request

Date: 12 Sep 1994 21:02:05 -0400

Organization: Express Access Online Communications, Greenbelt, MD USA

 

Neil Perkins(980-9892" <jackalope!neil at zazen.attmail.com>,"jackalope) <jackalope!neil at zazen.attmail.com> wrote:

>Greetings to those who gather by the Bridge, from Jost

>I was asked the other day by some "mundane" friends

>about a medieval topic I had never considered.  To wit,

>underclothes.

>What did folk in our period do for underwear?

 

Wore -- if they were wealthy enough to afford it -- singlets for the

upper body, which looked something like a modern tee-shirt, and breeks

for the lower body.  These looked something like running shorts or swim

trunks, but of course with tie strings rather than elastic.  I have a

collection of patterns from Joan of Arc's wardrobe and her panties looked

for all the world like a modern bikini bottom.

 

|-----Mandarin 2/c Vuong Manh, C.P. (dickeney at access.digex.net)-----|

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: rorice at bronze.ucs.indiana.edu (rosalyn rice)

Subject: Re: Unmentionable request

Organization: Indiana University, Bloomington IN

Date: Wed, 14 Sep 1994 11:03:14 GMT

 

        Greetings from Lothar,

 

        C. Willet Cunnington's "A History of Underclothes" is the only

decent book solely dedicated to the study of this topic. It doesn't really

cover the Middle Ages and Renaissance in much depth, since there isn't a

whole lot of information out there.

 

        Throughout most of the medieval period men wore loose linen knee-

length pants with ties at the knees and waistband as underwear.

They look vaguely like knee-length pajamas or sweat pants and are

fabulously comfortable to wear. Often the hose (thigh length hose made of

stretchy wool cut on the bias) were attached to the waistband of the

braes, so the braes acted as a sort of suspenders as well.

        As men's fashions required a shorter tunic and tighter fitting hose

the braes got shorter and tighter, finally ending up as something that looks

very much like a pair of jockey short by the middle of the 16th c. Then

as fashions got looser again the braes became looser as well, returning

to a slightly slimmer-legged version of their original form. These late

period garments were often trimmed with lace or embroidery if you could

afford it.

        Linen seems to have been the most common material for undergarments

since it was light and soft.

        Over the torso, a man would wear a shirt which was also made of

linen. The cut of the shirt varied with the fashions, but was usually a

loosely fitting garment with long, tapered sleeves with a hemline which

came to about the hips. It might, or might not have had a button or a

drawstring at the neck or sleeves depending on the period. From the 14th

c. on it would not have been uncommon for a shirt to have set-in sleeves,

rather than being made from a T-tunic pattern. In the 15th c. as the

doublet and coat were cut to expose the shirt, shirts might be heavily

embroidered. By the 16th c. some shirts were works of art, with gorgeous

blackwork embroidery and elaborate smocking. In this time period, some

shirts would also be trimmed with lace.

        Women wore some variation of the shift all through Period. This

was, essentially, an ankle length dress with tapered sleeves made from

linen. In all other respects (closure methods, decoration, cut) womens'

shifts were like men's shirts except for the length. However, as women's

fashions changed to reveal more decolletage shifts changed. In the 14th c.

the low cut of some of the more risque' cotehardies required a shift that

looked essentially like a tube dress with spagetti straps. The straps

presumably could be moved to be hidden under the cote.

        In the 15th and 16th c. the shift often came over the dress to close

at the neck, while the dress itself was fairly low cut. In this case the

shift might be heavily decorated with embroidery or made from extremely

sheer fabric (which might have been silk gauze, but I don't know). Decoration

and smocking was much the same a for men's undergarments of the same period.

        I do not know if women wore underpants as such before the 16th c.

There is a 16th c. woodcut by Vellochio (sp?) of a Venetian whore with her

skirt cut away to reveal the incredible height of her shoes (they look

vaguely like platform shoes) and her drawers (which look like bloomers.) I

don't know if women other than prostitutes wore such garments. Women in

the 15th and 16th c. certainly did wear petticoats, hoops, underskirts,

and other such foundation garments as the fashion demanded. They didn't

seem to wear bras though.  The construction of Period womens garments is

such that the seem to provide enough support on their own. (Or so my lady

and female friends tell me.)

       

        If you are interested in the topic I suggest that you start looking

at pictures of period artwork or any costume book by Janet Arnold or

Cunnington. There are some other good books by other authors whose names

escape me at the moment, but there are also a lot of truly awful costume

books out there so I hesitate to recommend other books. (Burn anything you

find by Iris Brooke. Very bad.)

 

        Lothar

 

 

From: dnb105 at psu.edu (Ferret)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period unmentionables (yet strangely overmentioned)

Date: Tue, 13 Sep 1994 18:53:27 GMT

Organization: Penn State University

 

>gbrent at rschp1.anu.EDU.AU (Geoffrey Brent) writes:

>>> Men wore lacy white underpants, women wore wool...

 

If you are an 8th Cent. Frank you wore a linen shirt and linen drawers

beneath your hose and tunic. from Einhart's (8th Cent.) description of

national dress of the Franks in his history of Charlemagne (8th Cent.)

in Vita Caroli book III p. 23 (from translation by Lewis Thorpe)

 

(note that hose rather than bracae or breaches are mentioned but

that the lacing of the "shoes" is up the leg over the "hose" in

traditional Northern European fashion. (Germanic's and Gallic's dress has

many similarities, probably due to equestrian neccessities).

 

Frettchen von Rheinpfalz (Ferret)

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: cat at system9.unisys.com (Cat  Okita)

Subject: Re: Unmentionable request

Organization: Unisys GIS (Toronto)

Date: Wed, 14 Sep 1994 21:16:13 GMT

 

In article <Cw49DF.3zB at usenet.ucs.indiana.edu> rorice at bronze.ucs.indiana.edu (rosalyn rice) writes:

>and other such foundation garments as the fashion demanded. They didn't

>seem to wear bras though.  The construction of Period womens garments is

>such that the seem to provide enough support on their own. (Or so my lady

>and female friends tell me.)

 

Actually, the bra as we now know it didn't start develop until the Victorian

era, and as such is *vastly* out of period...

 

<pet peeve - I've got lots, just ask - but they're really cute and furry...>

 

Which isn't to say that they didn't *need* and *use* support - there are

few things less attractive than late period garb with no supporting

garments, at all - they were there, just better hidden.

 

cheers!

cat

============================================================================

Cat Okita                           | I swear I left her by the river

Junior Systems Administrator            | I swear I left her safe and sound

G.I.S. Unisys, Canada                    | I need to make it to the river

 

 

From: vjohnson at iws005.sc.intel.com (Valeri Johnson)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Unmentionable request

Date: 14 Sep 1994 18:50:02 GMT

Organization: Intel Corporation, Santa Clara, CA

 

Here are some sources I have (if it is sources you want). This has been a

topic on the Historical Costume "newsletter"(?) I get.

 

It looks like women didn't wear undies until around Lucrita Borga's day, and

it was scandleous at that time. Queen Eliz. I received a pair of silk stockings

on, I think, a late birthday.... I didn't keep any of the posts, so it's

just my memory.

 

Dress and Undress: a history of women's underwear.  

       Elizabeth Ewing.  New York: Drama Book Specialists, c1978.  

       191p.: ill. Index.  

 

An Tir has a book "From The Skin Out" but it appears that it is controlled by

a guild and is only available to guild members.

 

Any one else?

 

Valeri

 

 

From: corliss at hal.PHysics.wayne.EDU (David J. Corliss)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Undergarments

Date: 15 Sep 1994 10:12:05 -0400

 

Rosalyn Rice writes that "they didn't seem to wears bras", holding this garment

to be Victorian. Cat Okita replied that foundations were worn in late period

just the same.

 

A bra is a short form of a corset, supporting the bust but not confining the

waist. As an indication of this, in late period, many corsets were laced up the

front, so there wearer needed no assistance in getting them on. The laces would

be tied in a bow between in the center of the bust and the ends tucked into the

corset. Often times, the ends of these laces would be decorated, just as laces

for any other purpose. Thus, this pretty little bow became a standard part of

the fashion of the corset. It may still be found on many bras today, long after

the original purpose has been forgotten, and still displays the ancestry of the

bra from a garment of stays and laces.

 

        .......this has been a public service message from the Middle Kingdom

College of Sciences........

 

                            .......which is looking for some well qualified

person or persons to write A&S crtiteria for the engineering aspects of

costuming: hopefully, this will help to bring work on foundations and other

undergarments out of the closet and into a format where all who desire can

easily see the _structural_ aspects of costuming.

 

 

From: dickeney at access2.digex.net (Dick Eney)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: period lengerie

Date: 21 Mar 1995 20:36:35 -0500

Organization: Express Access Online Communications, Greenbelt, MD USA

 

In article <3kmi3c$1jds at freenet3.freenet.ufl.edu>,

Ronald L. Charlotte <afn03234 at usenet.freenet.ufl.edu> wrote:

>SL Beyer (slbeyer at aol.com) wrote:

>: Well the Greeks did have something similar to a bikini, a stropha I

>: believe it

>: was called.  I don't think that's what you're looking for.  I've gotten

>: used

>: to not wearing bras at events and I'm a well endowed woman, some

>: people just can't get used to being unrestrained, If I were one I'd find

>: myself a corset.

>Interestingly, I've seen in a few woodcuts and paintings of partially

>dressed women, an item that looks like a bandeau (a breast wide strip of

>cloth). I'm not certain if it is intended to bind and flatten, or to

>provide some support, but it certainly looks like the item you describe

>survived the greek and roman eras.

>--

Both of the above.  The bandeau (often made of soft leather -- the

supportive brassiere is out of period) was worn bound over the bosom when

the Flat Look was in, and under it when, uh, emphasis was in style.  Goes

back at least to Roman days.  The Greek picture, Tamar tells me, is of

young women getting ready to exercise in the gymnasium.  (Only in Sparta,

I believe, did women also strip nude to work out, despite the literal

meaning of "gymnasium".)  

 

|-----Mandarin 2/c Vuong Manh, C.P. (dickeney at access.digex.net)-----|

 

 

From: IVANOR at delphi.com

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: SCA Fallacies

Date: 10 Apr 1995 23:49:54 GMT

Organization: Delphi Internet Services Corporation

 

Quoting scale from a message in rec.org.sca

   > >Underpants are, too, period.

   > >Carolyn Boselli    Host of Custom Forum 35    SCAdians on Delphi

   > >If you're not new at something, you're not growing.

   >      Hello Carolyn,

   >           Underpants?!  Okay... I have to ask.  Boxers or briefs! :)

   >Alright, so I wasn't very funny!  Although I am interested... what

   >would be appropriate to wear as period underpants?  Is there anything

   >mundanely today that comes even close?  Thanks for the info, ciao...

 

OK, I don't know about men's, but there is evidence for a couple of types of

women's underpants.  First, the bikini types that have already been cited

here, and second, a pair that look remarkably like modern briefs made from

woven fabric, carved into the back of a misericord from about the 14th

century. We know they are underpants, because they are shown in the process

of being put on.  A sketch of this carving can be found at the bottom right

hand corner of page 147 of Donald Matthew's _Atlas of MEdieval Europe_;

ISBN 0-87196-133-4, Equinox, 1983.

 

It looks as if they were constructed with a center panel extending from the

waistband in front to the waistband in back, and two side panels in a wider

oblong shape to complete the garment.  Or else, they were fastened like

sailor pants....  (Which was the standard way of fastening breeches for

at least 2 centuries before it became restricted to sailor pants).

 

Carolyn Boselli    Host of Custom Forum 35    SCAdians on Delphi

 

 

From: jldrake at tasc.com

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Underpants

Date: 18 Apr 1995 22:04:59 GMT

Organization: TASC

 

Duchess Katerina Leona di Forzo d'Agra of Atlantia found a wonderful

illustration of men's underpants.  I belive it was a Durer woodcut of

a bathhouse.  They were basically a diaper cum loincloth.

 

 

From: <removed at request of the author>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Underpants

Date: Wed, 26 Apr 1995 12:02:26 +0000

Organization: Freie Universitaet Berlin

 

On 18 Apr 1995 jldrake at tasc.com wrote:

> Duchess Katerina Leona di Forzo d'Agra of Atlantia found a wonderful

> illustration of men's underpants.  I belive it was a Durerwoodcut of

> a bathhouse.  They were basically a diaper cum loincloth.

 

I have seen similar garments (actually I think these were made of a front

and a back part tied together at the sides, so no separate loincloth) on a

painting (1550?) in the German Historical Museum in Berlin, worn by men

swimming in an outdoor swimming pool; the women in the pool are too far in the water to see if they are wearing them as well (above the waist they wear nothing).

 

 

From: powers at cis.ohio-state.edu (william thomas powers)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Underpants

Date: 26 Apr 1995 22:06:40 -0400

Organization: The Ohio State University, Department of Computer and Information Science

 

>On 18 Apr 1995 jldrake at tasc.com wrote:

>> Duchess Katerina Leona di Forzo d'Agra of Atlantia found a wonderful

>> illustration of men's underpants.  I belive it was a Durerwoodcut of

>> a bathhouse.  They were basically a diaper cum loincloth.

>>

>I have seen similar garments (actually I think these were made of a front

>and a back part tied together at the sides, so no seperate loincloth) on a

>painting (1550?) in the German Historical Museum in Berlin, worn by men

>swimming in an outdoor swimming

>pool; the women in the pool are too far in the water to see if they are

>wearing them as well (above the waist they wear nothing).>

 

There are several examples of men's underpants in _Peasants Warriors and

Wives_ "Popular Imagery in the Reformation" by Keith Moxey, Univ of

Chicago Press; isbn 0-226-54391-9

 

They occur in woodcuts from the 16th century dealing with the "Battle

of the Sexes" and seem to consist of a square or rectangular piece of

cloth with a strap at each corner for tying them on.  I would especially

commend to your attention "Battle for the Pants" an engraving by

Israhel Meckenem, (photo, Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen

Preussischer Kulturbesitz.)

 

There are also several pictures that would be most appropriate for

a "Ladies Sewing Circle and Terrorist Society" shirts.

 

wilelm the smith

 

 

From: dpeters at panix.com (D. Peters)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Brassieres, and then back to period clothing

Date: 7 Nov 1995 08:02:11 -0500

Organization: Panix

 

<IVANOR at delphi.com> wrote:

>In the 1920s, when

>flat-chested was the rage, the brassiere was developed to flatten, not

>support.

 

Developed in the '20s, perhaps, but it had its origins in the 1910s.

 

Actually, when I had this as a reference question a while back, the

sources said that the first "bra" was knotted together out of silk

handkerchiefs by an enterprising young lady who wanted something to wear

under an evening gown.  Consequently, I doubt that it would flatten *or*

support very well....

 

Getting back to a period topic, women's clothing in the fourteenth and

fifteenth centuries did tend to have a kirtle/"first layer" gown that

served as a support garment.  Later, of course, came the arsenal of corsetry.

Earlier than that, I *have* seen references to women binding their

breasts (the bliaut "corset" idea having been largely discredited in

historical costuming circles, I believe).  It was many years ago, but I

remember a book (_Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Four Kings_, perhaps) that

contained a sound bite from a clergyman of the period, warning women that

those who bind their breasts now with linen bands will find them bound

with bands of flaming fire in the hereafter.  The clergy presumably would

not speak out against a practice that no one practiced, so perhaps a good

place to look (at least for starters) might be at religious writings of

the time.

 

D.Peters

 

 

From: dpeters at panix.com (D. Peters)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: "First layer" clarification (was brassiere stuff, wasRe: Names)

Date: 7 Nov 1995 08:11:40 -0500

Organization: Panix

 

As I was sending my last message, my spouse looked over my shoulder and

observed that Joe Scadian-on-the-street might read this and think that

"first layer" meant  the layer touching the skin.  That is *not* what I

meant; Over one's shift, one would wear a kirtle/cote/what have

you--*that* is the first layer. Over that, one wore a cote-hardie, or

houppelande, or surcote, or whatever.

 

Wearing that first layer fitted to *your* body and its idiosyncrasies

means that just about any body shape can wear later fourteenth-fifteenth

century clothing and look good.

 

Hope that clarifies things.

D.Peters

 

 

From: afn03234 at freenet2.freenet.ufl.edu (Ronald L. Charlotte)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Brassieres, and then back to period clothing

Date: 8 Nov 1995 12:41:45 GMT

 

dpeters at panix.com (D. Peters) wrote:

> Getting back to a period topic, women's clothing in the fourteenth and

> fifteenth centuries did tend to have a kirtle/"first layer" gown that

> served as a support garment.  Later, of course, came the arsenal of corsetry.

> Earlier than that, I *have* seen references to women binding their

> breasts (the bliaut "corset" idea having been largely discredited in

> historical costuming circles, I believe).  It was many years ago, but I

> remember a book (_Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Four Kings_, perhaps) that

> contained a sound bite from a clergyman of the period, warning women that

> those who bind their breasts now with linen bands will find them bound

> with bands of flaming fire in the hereafter.  The clergy presumably would

> not speak out against a practice that no one practiced, so perhaps a good

> place to look (at least for starters) might be at religious writings of

> the time.

 

On page 286 of _Dress Accessories_ by Egan and Pritchard (ISBN 0 11

290444 0) is a picture attributed to the 15c manuscript Histoire de

Girat de Nevers of a woman undressing.  Visible under her dress is what

looks like a bandeau or strip of cloth.  Similar bands have been

recorded in the mosaics of Pompeii.  So I suspect that the practice is

likely to be of long standing through much of period.

--

   al Thaalibi ---- An Crosaire, Trimaris

   Ron Charlotte -- Gainesville, FL

   afn03234 at freenet.ufl.edu

 

 

From: jtn at newsserver.uconn.edu (Terry Nutter)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Names

Date: 7 Nov 1995 20:49:50 GMT

Organization: The University of Connecticut

 

Greetings, all, from Angharad ver' Rhuawn.

 

Lothar writes:

 

: >: One thing:  Brassieres were invented in the 19th century.  If you are

: >: quite worried about modesty, wear a large, plain kerchief around your

: >: neck and stuffed down the front, over your tunic and under your bodice,

: >: so as to prevent the "cherries of paradise" from "advertising their

: >: presence" through the cloth of the tunic.  If the bodice is made properly

: >: and worn properly, it will have some supporting effect.

 

:      If you want to be that authentic with your garb. Plenty of people

: in the SCA wear modern shoes and undergarments because those garments are

: more comfortable than anything that the wearer could make.

 

Ummm, Lothar?  I suspect I have rather more direct experience than you

with the relative comfort of brassieres versus either kirtles or corsets

for large-breasted women...;^}  My direct, personal experience is that

(1) period undergarments for women, at least for the last roughly 250

years, are at least as comfortable as modern ones; (2) they are relatively

easy to make; but (3) the _idea_ of making them is daunting, so most women

don't try.

 

There only thin in the world wrong with being daunted by an idea like that

is that it discourages the attempt.  There is no _need_ to make the attempt;

but I suspect that many who make it will find it rewarding, and not only

because they will feel more authentic.

 

:      In some styles of clothing women had fitted clothing that held

: everything in place. In other styles I guess that the well-endowed just

: lived with backaches.

 

Actually, I suspect that in most of those styles, the stuff _underneath_

fitted much more closely in the, erm, relevant area than the stuff on

top did.  Certainly I have seen no evidence against that; although I have

also no evidence for it in general, other than the knowledge that it is

true in specific for some times in the late 13th C -- together with the

direct, personal experience that more than just backaches is at issue,

and if it were me, I'd find a solution; and I don't think I'm smarter or

more ingenious than my medieval forebears (if anything, less ingenious;

the culture I'm in solves so many more of my practical problems for me).

 

Cheers,

-- Angharad/Terry

 

 

From: gfrose at cotton (Terry Nutter)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Questions about Medival Underclothes

Date: 11 Jul 1996 05:26:51 GMT

Organization: Not Much

 

Greetings, all, from Katerine Rountre.

 

Galleron writes:

 

: >What do other ladies wear beneath

: >their chemise?

 

: If you're a medieval lady, nothing. John de Mandeville (14th c.) was

: shocked to find that the women of India wore breeches.

 

This is at best misleading.  The lady is asking about all undergarments.

 

The first thing to notice is that almost any sweeping answer will be

wrong for some place and time in recognized period.

 

The second, is that for much of Europe, you're looking at the wrong

layer. We use the term "chemise" for the loose layer that went

closest to the skin.  Foundation garments (other than underpants,

which in general were not worn) went _over_ the chemise, between

it and the underdress.  (One common ahistoricity of SCA clothing:

most women wear too few layers.)  There are others who know much

more about it than I do; but that's where to look for kirtles, and

later corsets.

 

And, of course, on the lower legs, you have hose, which _are_ under

the chemise, but I don't think that's what the lady meant....

 

Cheers,

-- Katerine/Terry

 

 

From: dickeney at access1.digex.net (Dick Eney)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Questions about Medival Underclothes

Date: 11 Jul 1996 10:43:36 -0400

Organization: Express Access Online Communications, Greenbelt, MD USA

 

In article <Pine.SOL.3.91.960710224644.23780A-100000 at general1.asu.edu>,

<innana at imap2.asu.edu> wrote:

>> Greetings from Arval!  Galleron wrote:

>>

>> > > What do other ladies wear beneath their chemise?

>>

>> > If you're a medieval lady, nothing.

>>

>> At all times from 600 to 1600, in all places from Ireland to the Steppes?

>> That rather strains credibility.

>       If women wore no underpants *at anytime* what did they do when

>menstrating. It should be fairly obvious that without some sort of

>undergarment to hold rags or whatever near the nether regions the result

>would be a huge bloody mess. It would seem logical that for at least one

>week a month they were wearing SOMEThing.

I have a copy (which I have been promising to xerox for what seems a

decade) of a French book inventorying and giving patterns for Joan of

Arc's wardrobe.  It does indeed contain undergarments, including panties

that look like a modern bikini bottom.  (But with string ties, of course,

not elastic.)  Basic cleanliness -- something with which our beloved

ancestors were perfectly acquainted, though their plumbing didn't allow

them to practice it as devoutly as we do -- requires that you wear

something under your spiffy exterior garments, if only to absorb sweat and

epidermal cells.  These under-clothes, of course, would be intended to be

easily changed and washed, so that the costly _ex_terior garment could be

worn for quite some time before becoming unendurable.

 

|---------Master Vuong Manh, C.P., Storvik, Atlantia---------|

 

 

From: moondrgn at bga.com (Chris and Elisabeth Zakes)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Questions about Medival Underclothes

Date: Sat, 13 Jul 1996 23:23:36 GMT

Organization: Real/Time Communications Internet customer posting

 

mittle at panix.com (Arval d'Espas Nord) wrote:

 

>Greetings from Arval!  Galleron wrote:

 

>> > What do other ladies wear beneath their chemise?

 

>> If you're a medieval lady, nothing.

 

>At all times from 600 to 1600, in all places from Ireland to the Steppes?

>That rather strains credibility.

 

Okay, here's some data, interpret it as you will:

 

In the "February" picture of the Duc de Berry's Book of Hours, it

shows three people sitting in front of a roaring fire. The second one

is a man wearing ankle-length boots, just-below-the-knee stockings, a

tunic and hat. Behind him is a woman wearing the same thing, with the

addition of an underdress. In the field behind them is a man in a blue

tunic wearing some form of underwear (it resembles short boxer

shorts). This garment is seen again in the June, July and September

pictures. I *think* all the figures are male, judging by the relative

shortness of their tunics, but I could be wrong.

 

I will grant things like "artistic interpretation", and "this is just

one small corner of France", but is it possible that people wore what

they wanted, just like now?

 

       -Tivar Moondragon

 

C and E Zakes

Tivar Moondragon (Patience and Persistence)

and Aethelyan of Moondragon (Decadence is its own reward)

moondrgn at bga.com

 

 

From: Lissa & Eric McCollum <ericmc at alliance.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Questions about Medival Underclothes

Date: Tue, 16 Jul 1996 17:20:08 -0400

 

Gary J. Wolverton wrote:

 

>         As far as underwear -per-se- (this tidbit is semi-documented, I just

> don't remember which book of mine it's in) some gentlefolk, both men

> and women, wore a loincloth of sorts that I am assuming was of the

> wrap and tuck variety. Unless of course you happened to be higher up

> in the food chain and had available a pin or brooch of sorts. I'll try

> and find the documentation and post it if this thread is still around

> when I find it.

 

I was leafing through the book "A History of Private Life", and came across

a wood cut from 1574. (p. 586) It shows the 'master of the baths', dressed in what looks suspiciously like bikini bottoms, tied on the side. (I know they're

not speedos, but still...) I can't tell for sure, but I think the woman seated

behind him is wearing something similar. Now, this is a bathing situation, and

not specifically underwear, but I would guess that something like this could

have been used.

 

Gwendolen Wold

 

 

Date: Thu, 22 May 1997 23:36:23 -0700

From: "David Dendy" <ddendy at silk.net>

To: <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Re: Period underthings... (long)

 

> I figured the most fruitful source of info on the subject would be

> this very list.  So, costume mavens, tell us: what did folks in our

> period do for underclothes?

 

If you look at the illustration for the month of February in the "Tres

Riche Heures du Duc de Berry" (15th century France), you will see that for

the common folk, at least, the answer is 'nothing'; this is likely so for

the fine lady as well, but she is more fastidious about lifting her skirts.

 

This lack of 'underthings' in our modern sense was probably general; modern

non-scratchy and easily cleaned fabrics were not yet available, and people

would not be anxious to wear wool that intimately. Also, at least according

to Janet and Peter Phillips ("History from Below: Women's Underwear and the

Rise of Women's Sport", *Journal of Popular Culture*, 27 (2), 1993, pp.

129-148), "Pre-20th-century women had to do without knickers and the like

because of the perpetual threat of thrush. Thrush . . . or, to give it its

medical name, *monilasis*, is a condition caused by infection from a fungus

of the genus *Candida*, usually *Candida albicans*." They go on to explain

(in rather unsettling detail) why constricting underclothes favour thrush,

but if you want the details I refer you to the article.  The authors also

give a series of reference to the non-wearing of "knickers" (the authors

are Australian, which explains that term), including C. Willett and Phillis

Cunnington, *The History of Underclothes*.

 

What was worn instead were petticoats and chemises, which protected between

body and outer clothing, but are hardly underthings in our modern sense.

 

Whether many of our authenticity mavens in the SCA actually wear authentic

underwear is something I cannot answer, not having the hardihood to ask.

(It's a little like asking a Scot what is worn under the kilt--you know

what answer you'll get.)

 

Incidentally, I once won a contest for period underwear at the Lionsgate

Bardic Revel by submitting an empty box and the "Tres Riche Heures"

illumination as documentation.

 

Yours at doubtless too much length, Francesco Sirene (e-mail

ddendy at silk.net)

 

 

Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 07:48:15 -0400

From: Margo Lynn Hablutzel <Hablutzel at compuserve.com>

To: A&S List <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Period Undergarments

 

Well, what was worn depends upon the period.  For the most part (I am an

early period person, accept this bias), the women's undergarments were

simply another gown, but made of something lighter.  In the later

cotehardie period, there are arguments that the undergarments were actually

of heavier fabric to act as a foundation garment.

 

Men pretty much wore their clothes.

 

There are books on undergarments and occasionally costume guilds will have

'fashion shows' of these things, although they often end in the 18th

century. Alban is correct, there were not many undergarment-like things in

period, certainly not as we think of them with a separate pair of pants and

the optional bra or shirt.  I recently saw an article on the bra which did

date it back only to the 18th centurty, with a precursor in the 17th.

 

One thing that bugs me are the people who clearly need SOME support who are

bouncing and sagging around with nothing on the argument that in period

there was no underwear.  It appears that the undergarments worn in period were more supportive than that, so they should wear something or have

better-constructed garb.  If for no other reason than the potential

long-term damage to sensitive tissues.  One darned good reason (in addition

to comfort) that I wear modern undergarments with all my garb.

 

                                       ---D Morgan

 

          |/   Morgan Cely Cain * Hablutzel at compuserve.com

 

 

From: Barbara Nostrand <bnostran at lynx.dac.neu.edu>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Period Undergarments

 

Noble Cousins!

 

Lady Morgan wrote:

>One thing that bugs me are the people who clearly need SOME support who are

>bouncing and sagging around with nothing on the argument that in period

>there was no underwear.  It appears that the undergarments worn in period

>were more supportive than than, so they should wear something or have

>better-constructed garb.  If for no other reason than the potential

>long-term damage to sensitive tissues.  One darned good reason (in addition

>to comfort) that I wear modern undergarments with all my garb.

 

While I am not going to tell anyone to stop wearing support undergarments,

I do not believe that the above analysis is completely correct.  Depictions

of old women (frequently called witches) often show them with sagging breasts.

Further, we have ample documentation (by cultural anthropologists) of entire

cultures where women did not wear (at least until very recently) anything

resembling underwear of any kind.  

 

Finally, I don't have a copy of the illumination mentioned earlier to look at.

However, just because we have a picture which exposes the genital region does

not mean that people commonly went without underwear.  If you simply use this

argument, then the existence of the bare butted monk in the movie "Monty

Python and the Holy Grail" could be used to prove that 20th century Englishmen

(or at least 20th century English clerics) commonly went without underwear.

Consequently, please tell us more about the illumination and in what context

it was found.

 

                                             Your Humble Servant

                                             Solveig Throndardottir

                                             Amateur Scholar

 

 

Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 12:43:50 -0500 (CDT)

From: "Jennifer E. Jobst" <jenj at cs.utexas.edu>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Period Undergarments

 

My persona is from the 1300's.  From what I have seen with finds in the

bogs and whatnot, most women seem to have worn a lighterweight chemise

(the one I have seen was fairly wide-necked and sleeveless, about mid-thigh

length) and nothing else underneath.  Clothing for my period was fairly

tight, with fitted undertunics often worn under a more volumous sideless

surcote or other cote.  While I usually wear a bra in mundane clothing, I

find that if I fit my clothing well I really don't need a bra.  I do,

however, have a silk chemise which I usually wear with my wool cotehardies

for comfort (and an extra layer of warmth).  From what I can gather, many

women layered their clothing because it was so much colder back then.

 

        As far as things worn on the lower half, I have found no

references. Of course this does not mean they didn't exist.  Someone

pointed out that women do menstruate and it would be very messy if they

weren't wearing SOMETHING underneath.  If anyone has more detail on this

I'd love to know.

 

        I've also seen a reference for a primitive corset made out of

leather that was form-fitting, but not too tight.  Whether or not this

actually was the case I don't know, since the reference was in a book of

wedding dolls from early greece to today.  Anybody else got any info on

this one?

 

Jennifer Jobst

University of Texas, Austin

475-9400

 

 

Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 14:18:55 -0400 (EDT)

From: Rooscc at aol.com

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: underthings thread

 

Don't forget that cloth can be used in ways that don't

count as *clothing*--i.e., constructed garments.

A menstrual clout would be one example, but it may

well be that women bound their breasts for certain

activities or to accommodate certain fashions.

 

References to the monthly use of rags--which were

washed and reused--appear in modern literature up

until very recently, but I have not found a medieval

reference per se. I have found curious mention of

the use of herbs as a "bed" for women--this is in

Albert for example--in a context that makes me

suspect that the Latin term should not be taken

literally (that is, not the "bed" a person sleeps on). The

herbs in question would not be absorbent but may

indicate a deodorant or hygiene consideration. [My Latin

just isn't strong enough to figure some of this out.]

 

I also wonder if references to the "weakness" of women

refers to menstrual cycles specifically. I read a polemic

about women as university teachers which rested solely

on this weakness, while admitting full competency in

the subject matter to a particular woman scholar. A good

bet for finding more on this would be rules for convents,

but I don't know of any right off.

Alysoun

Middle

 

 

Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 18:05:32 -0500 (CDT)

From: "Shannon R. Ward" <sward02 at mail.coin.missouri.edu>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Period Undergarments

 

On Fri, 23 May 1997, mmy wrote concerning the Tres Riches Heures of the

Duke of Berry, specifically the month of February:

> However, in the same picture there are men working in the fields who

> have wrapped the tails of their shirts through their legs and caught

> the ends up in their belts. If they're wearing hose, as one might

> expect, the bending over that they do in the course of their work

> might expose them rather embarrassingly if they hadn't made this

> arrangement with their shirt.

 

Look further in this book to the month of June where the workers are

havesting hay. Note the middle reaper is wearing a white shirt and what

appear to be a pair of white skivies which start at the top of the thigh

and appear to ride low on the hips. The third reaper also has short

boxer-like undies, but it is harder to tell because of muddy colors (that

eloborate gothic building in the background is Sainte-Chapelle for you

architecture buffs out there). The same figure in white and his briefs are

clearly see in the month of June. Now the September figure showing his

tush in the vineyard might have his shirt tucked around and up between his

legs, but as it is not a chilly scene and there are no gathers in the

cloth, it would seem unlikely. But as we can't see the flesh of his hip,

it is hard to tell.

 

These seem to match the period men's underwear being sold at Pennsic one

year. Does anyone have a pattern or remember who that merchant was?

 

Tatiana Dieugarde          

 

who once almost had a heartattack when told her "smalls" were on the list

field. The person apparently meant the "children". **whew!**

 

 

Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 21:47:23 -0400 (EDT)

From: ALBAN at delphi.com

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Period Undergarments

 

Maggy Mulvaney suggested

>>However, in the same picture there are men working in the fields who

have wrapped the tails of their shirts through their legs and caught

the ends up in their belts. If they're wearing hose, as one might

expect, the bending over that they do in the course of their work

might expose them rather embarrassingly if they hadn't made this

arrangement with their shirt.

<< 

 

Did they fold their shirts under their belts for embarrassment's sake,

or simply to get the shirt tails out from under their feet and out of

their way?

I've noticed, when I wear loose shirts with long tails, when I bend

over as if gardening, and even more so if I'm on my knees, the shirt

will hit the dirt quite often and soak up water and mud and such.

 

If that were one of my only 2 or 3 shirts, you betcha I'd tuck

it under the belt to keep it from getting too dirty.

 

But then, I'd also likely tuck it in to keep from exposing myself....

 

Alban

 

 

Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 09:32:48 -0400 (EDT)

From: Marybeth Lavrakas <lavrakas at email.unc.edu>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Breast support in garb [SCA]

 

>I'm looking for breast support options for wearing under 5th century Irish

>garb (linen tunic/bog dress styles).

 

>Eachna ingen Gan Aimn - 5th century Irish Celt

 

I sometimes use a cotton bra that is built rather like a sports bra--but

it's not so tight.  This provides decent enough support (and a little

extra layer of camoflage if I'm wearing something a tad seethrough!), has

very wide straps so they don't dig into my shoulders, and 'cause it's 100%

cotton it breathes very nicely.  I bought several of them a few years ago

at Lane Bryant (large size chain store), but have been thinking of making

one myself...um, maybe after I finish that overdress, and hem my leine,

and sew the sleeves on that other dress...

 

kathryn Rous

 

 

Date: Tue, 12 May 98 09:12:41 CST

From: <pwells at oknd.uscourts.gov>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Breast support in garb [SCA]

 

   I wear a bustier under my chemises. If someone looks close enuff, you

   can see a few lines/seams, but I've been told it gives a delightful

   shape and cleavage. More importantly, it gives the necessary support.

   (I'm a "D" also.)

 

 

Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 07:23:48 -0700 (PDT)

From: Sandy King <sandymail1 at yahoo.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Breast support in garb [SCA]

 

I have experimented with a shelf-style bra and even separate bra cups

(made for sewing into swimsuits), but have found they don't work too

well in loose-fitting dresses. They do work somewhat better in

tighter-fitting dresses, because the fit of the dress helps hold the

bra in place.

 

Have thought about sewing bra cups into a semi-fitted, sleeveless

underdress made of thin cotton gauze, to minimize the layering/heat

problem, but haven't tried this yet.

 

My lord has (jokingly) suggested duct tape! (Apparently he DOES

believe it will fix anything...) While some actresses actually do

resort to tape (probably athletic tape) for support under tight/thin

dresses, I'm not recommending it.  But then, I haven't tried it, either!

 

Caolan of Wolf Rock

Calontir

 

 

Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 07:45:44 -0700

From: "Melinda Shoop" <mediknit at nwinfo.net>

To: <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Re: Breast support in garb [SCA]

 

I have heard, but not actually tried, that the binding of the breasts with

an ace bandage is actually comfortable, and supports well.  I recently

tried going without a bra with my new Viking tunic and shift, and

discovered that it was far more comfortable without the bra than with!  And

it fit better without the bra as well, even though I had made it to be worn

with one.

 

As an additional benefit, I found that the line of the garment was better,

and hung more like the original.  I guess that there weren't too many

Viking women out there with DD bosoms!!

 

Vigdis Bjornsdottir

 

 

Date: Wed, 13 May 98 23:44:44

From: "Arianne de Dragonnid mka Grace Schosser-Payne" <arianne at trimaris.com>

To: "sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu" <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Re: Breast support in garb [SCA]

 

On Tue, 12 May 1998 06:07:42 -0400, Gwen Morse wrote:

>I'm looking for breast support options for wearing under 5th century Irish

>garb (linen tunic/bog dress styles).

<snip>

>Surely there must be other women out there who yearn for "modern" support

>under their "period" clothes? Any suggestions would be appreciated!

-------------------

Good Gentles,

 

First, let me mention that I have not tried the method I am about to suggest.  Before my pregnancy, I was a B and could let them hang loose if I wanted to under the right outfit.  Since then I've continually worn the best support I could find, period or not, so the extra weight wouldn't make them sag (my apologies to any lords reading this, but look at the subject line).

 

I'm sure you know about the Greek form of the bra:  a long strip of a soft cloth, wrapped around the breasts when compression was the style and just under when cleavage was.  When I first joined, a large-breasted friend of mine suggested that as a period bra, although she suggested making attachable straps for it. Done in the right fabric, say a well-washed linen, this sounds like it would be quite comfortable.  I would suggest making it long enough to go around twice and tie in front, whatever width you need in the center but tapering off until the ends are narrow enough to be tied together below the breasts without making a bulge.  I would also suggest sewing the straps on in the back so you don't need help putting it on.

 

If anyone tries this out or has better documentation for it, please let me know. After all these years, I'm seriously considering making one.

 

Yours in the Dream,

       Arianne de Dragonnid

 

 

From: rushmanj at expert.cc.purdue.edu (Jennifer Rushman)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: undergarments for ladies cotehardies

Date: 15 Sep 1998 15:29:55 GMT

Organization: Purdue University

 

Eloise Beltz-Decker <eloise at ripco.com> writes:

>On Mon, 14 Sep 1998, Carole & William wrote:

>> I am looking for viable sources to make undergarments that will make my

>> cotehardies look right. (Brassiere straps are just a little out of

>> place!)  If someone could guide me to either hard or electronic

>> documentation I would be most grateful.

 

In "Clothing and Textiles" there is an example of a 'chemise' to wear under a\

cotehardie.  It is much like a slip.  It has narrow shoulder straps, a scooped

neck and backline and flares slightly.  I have made myself an underdress that

fits very closely and provides support to the bust.  It sews shut on the side

to improve the fit however, the period 'chemise' doesn't seem to have this.

I think the 'chemise' was to act like an undershirt/slip and absorb sweat and

allow a smoother line to the dress.  I have found my underdress very valuable

when wearing lightcolored cotehardies.

Hope this helps you out.

 

L. Clare Hele, Barony of Rivenstar, Middle Kingdom

Jennifer Rushman, Graduate Student, Purdue University

Go Boilers!

 

 

From: geard at clear.net.nz (J Geard)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: undergarments for ladies cotehardies

Date: Sat, 19 Sep 1998 10:56:27 GMT

 

On 15 Sep 1998 15:29:55 GMT, rushmanj at expert.cc.purdue.edu (Jennifer

Rushman) wrote:

>In "Clothing and Textiles" there is an example of a 'chemise' to wear under a\

>cotehardie.  It is much like a slip. It has narrow shoulder straps, a scooped

>neck and backline and flares slightly.  

 

This sounds a lot like the clothing of bathkeepers shown in

illuminations from the Bible of Wenceslas IV. Olga Sronkova, in

_Gothic Women's Fashion_ (Prague: Artia, 1954) reproduces a number of

pictures of bathkeepers, along with contemporary shots of women in

childbed, as evidence for a garment which was probably the underwear

of the late 14th century. It looks like a sleeveless cotehardi with

shoulder straps.

 

  Alys le Chaunster

 

 

From: tsunade at aol.com (Tsunade)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Fabric question?

Date: 13 Oct 1998 03:12:29 GMT

 

>Ronald Osborn wrote:

>> I recently bought some wine-colored wool for an Elizabethan dress.

>However,

>> I am at a loss to decide what fabric to use for the underskirt. As this is

>> only my second costume, what sort of fabric should I use for a noblewoman's

>> chemise and underskirt? (Please keep in mind that I am still in high school,

>> and my budget cannot afford silk right now. :) )

 

I am a big fan of "weaver's cloth" for making chemises out of.  It runs about

$3 a yard and is pure cotton.  It has a more homespun look than broadcloth, and

is available at just about anywhere fabric is sold.

     As for an underskirt, you can use just about anything in appropriate

fabrics that will match the dress.  If you are making an underskirt that fits

your farthingale closely, you may want something stiffer(tapestry or brocade).

If it's a more flowing underskirt, go with whatever will work and move nicely

under the overskirt.

 

Tsunade

 

 

From: Eloise Beltz-Decker <eloise at ripco.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Petticoat problem

Date: Tue, 2 Nov 1999 07:53:54 -0600

 

On 31 Oct 1999, JLNash55 wrote:

> I have a small query about the Renaissance ladie's undergarments.  The dates I

> am interested in would be late 15th and early 16th century in countries such

> as Italy and Germany.  Specifically, I am trying to find out if ladies wore

> anything under their dresses to "bell" the skirt out around their legs (such as

> layered petticoats, the farthingale, etc.)  I have found endless references for

> the upper body but no information at all for undergarments of the lower body

> and I want my dresses to fall right. From the paintings that I have seen it

> seems that they must have used *something*.  I would deeply appreciate any

> information or direction that anyone could give me.  Thank you all.

 

        Well, for Italy I have a cheap cotton skirt to wear under to help my

outerskirts not to go between my legs when I walk. HOwever, German is a

whole other thing, as my Guildmistress recently discovered. IF you make

those pleats they wore about 12" deep, then roll the pleat like a

cinnamon bun from tip to waistband, and then sew them on perpendicular

like cartridge pleats, it's almost as good as having a wheel farthingale

- and it looks *exactly* like the paintings. Anyone who saw TRM

Arabella's stripey black-and-purple Germans that she wore to Midrealm

Court at Pennsic has already seen what I mean.

 

Eloise of Tree-Girt-Sea, who's putting a skirt like that on her next

        fancies. I want I want I want! :->

--

Eloise Beltz-Decker     eloise at ripco.com                        

http://pages.ripco.com:8080/~eloise/    

        ICQ #46704590

 

 

From: savaskan <savaskan at sd.znet.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Petticoat problem

Date: Tue, 02 Nov 1999 19:49:33 -0800

Organization: Savaskan Anatolians

 

Eloise Beltz-Decker wrote:

> HOwever, German is a

> whole other thing, as my Guildmistress recently discovered. IF you make

> those pleats they wore about 12" deep, then roll the pleat like a

> cinnamon bun from tip to waistband, and then sew them on perpendicular

> like cartridge pleats, it's almost as good as having a wheel farthingale

> - and it looks *exactly* like the paintings.

 

But Germans should have a smooth cone shape, not a wheel farthingale

shape. There is not a shelf at the waist where the pleats are attached.

The pleats used in Germans are either, knife pleats, box pleats or

organ-pipe pleats, which are cut on the round and shown in Blanche

Payne, FIRST Edition (has diagram of bases done in organ pipe pleats

from the period.)

 

Juliana, OL, Caid

 

 

Date: Tue, 27 Jun 2000 23:04:19 +0100

From: "Melanie Wilson" <MelanieWilson at bigfoot.com>

To: <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Re: Help needed-riding habits

 

> So my question is:  do you know what sort of crotches the

> trousers worn under riding habits had?  No crotch, buttoned, or sewn

> as today? Since I've never ridden, I've no clue which would be more

> comfortable and I'm not sure how much that would have mattered back then

> anyway.

 

Certainly most ladies hunting aside in my recollection use breeches as worn

by men. In fact I'm pretty sure my side saddle books give pretty much those

exact words (and most of them were written in victorian times)

 

AS somebody who rides aside & wears victorian kit (not necessarily at the

same time). A crotch is pretty essential IMHO.

 

I'm pretty sure I read somewhere of ERI wearing leather breeches, fashioned

after the male type for riding too.

 

The crotchless knicks are esential for going to the loo in masses of

petticoats etc, but as most of these were disposed of for riding & when

riding to hounds , for instance, ones normal loo requirments tend to go in

sweat ! Sorry that would be glow for victorians :)

 

Hope that helps ?

 

Mel

 

 

From: gunnora at my-deja.com

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Any sources for migration era danish underwear?

Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 13:39:59 GMT

 

> RJ Bachner <trj at total.net> asked:

> : I am looking for sources on Danish late migration era underwear

> : as worn by late migration era danes.

> : Did they wear underwear or did they go commando as it were?

 

Tangwystyl answered:

> Underwear tends to be a difficult topic to research (at least for many

> eras and cultures) for two reasons: ordinary depictions of people in

> ordinary circumstances will usually not show it, and in many cultures

> the clothing layer nearest the skin was made out of (more

> comfortable) plant fibers, which are less likely to survive in

> archaeological contexts. <snippage>

 

I wanted to clarify a little.  What most modern people think of

as "underwear" wasn't being worn until around the 1800s more or less.

In general: No boxers.  No panties.  No bras.

 

When we're talking about "medieval underwear" you're usually talking

about a chemise on ladies, or a shirt on men, often made of linen as

Tangwystyl mentioned.  This would be the garment layer that kept the

woolen layers off your skin.  There doesn't appear to be a concern

for "support garments" that kept the tender bits secure.

 

So no, there were not Migration Age boxer shorts or briefs.

 

Does this mean that the modern medievalist has to do without?  Depends

on your personal preference.

 

For instance, in many layers of Viking Age women's dress, it can be a

real challenge to hike everything up, then hike underthings down, prior

to attending to matters in a privy.  Sometimes you feel like before

your're done adjusting layers the original matter you came to attend

might become a moot point :-)  That's why a lot of medievalist ladies

don't wear modern underthings -- it's not for authenticity but because

they're a pain to deal with.

 

If you're really interested in trying the medieval way, I encourage you

to try it.  If you're chafing or things aren't being supported like

you'd like, cheat a little and wear your modern underclothes layer for

comfort.

 

::GUNNORA::

 

 

From: wtp at nds10758.cb.lucent.com (Powers)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Any sources for migration era danish underwear?

Date: 13 Sep 2000 15:03:24 GMT

Organization: Lucent Technologies, Columbus Ohio

 

Gracious Gunnora; "Peasants Warriors and Wives" dealing with popular imagery

of the reformation time period has quite a few depictations of undergarments

(men and women fighting over who would wear the (under) pants in the family).

 

Most of them appear to be simple rectangles of cloth with a tie at each corner.

 

Not high middle ages but not 18th century either.

 

Thomas

--

Powers,W.Thomas

x6895

 

 

From: <hrjones at socrates.Berkeley.EDU>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Any sources for migration era danish underwear?

Date: 13 Sep 2000 17:44:33 GMT

Organization: University of California at Berkeley

 

gunnora at my-deja.com wrote:

:> RJ Bachner <trj at total.net> asked:

:> : I am looking for sources on Danish late migration era underwear

:> : as worn by late migration era danes.

:> : Did they wear underwear or did they go commando as it were?

 

: Tangwystyl answered:

:> Underwear tends to be a difficult topic to research (at least for many

:> eras and cultures) for two reasons: ordinary depictions of people in

:> ordinary circumstances will usually not show it, and in many cultures

:> the clothing layer nearest the skin was made out of (more

:> comfortable) plant fibers, which are less likely to survive in

:> archaeological contexts. <snippage>

 

: I wanted to clarify a little.  What most modern people think of

: as "underwear" wasn't being worn until around the 1800s more or less.

: In general: No boxers.  No panties.  No bras.

 

: When we're talking about "medieval underwear" you're usually talking

: about a chemise on ladies, or a shirt on men, often made of linen as

: Tangwystyl mentioned.  This would be the garment layer that kept the

: woolen layers off your skin.  There doesn't appear to be a concern

: for "support garments" that kept the tender bits secure.

 

: So no, there were not Migration Age boxer shorts or briefs.

 

I'm going to respectfully disagree with this characterization (the more

general one about "underwear wasn't worn until the 19th century"), unless

you mean to refer to the specific forms of modern garments.  In the sorts

of contexts I mentioned above, there are plenty of artistic

representations of men -- and occasionally women** -- wearing what can

only reasonably be described as "underpants".  That is, a garment

primarily designed to cover (and protect?) the genitalia region, which was

not normally expected to be visible as an outer garment.  Of course, we

have artistic evidence of it because sometimes it _was_ visible, but the

conditions under which people are shown with "underpants" visible make it

fairly clear that they are special and fairly limited circumstances.  The

coverage and nature of garments in this general class can vary a fair

amount, and we don't have artistic evidence from _every_ pre-1600 culture

that specifically addresses the question.  But we do have evidence from

enough various cultures spread over space and time that it could easily be

as reasonable a presupposition that a culture _did_ have some garment of

this sort as that it didn't (in cases where there is no direct evidence).

 

What I'm objecting to, is the impression given by your response that

nobody before the 19th century had any garment that could fall in the

functional category "underwear".  I don't think this was what you meant to

say, but it's how the average person is likely to read it.

 

** I have a little "picture file" collected of medieval European artwork

showing "women in underpants".  It isn't very large, but there _is_ stuff

in it.  In addition to the factors that women (when wearing skirts) can

find the no-underpants state more convenient, and have less "need" of a

layer to prevent chafing against pant-like outer garments, one can't

entirely discount the greater historic tendency for artists to present

women -- far more frequently than men -- in a state of complete nudity.

 

Tangwystyl

*********************************************************

Heather Rose Jones         hrjones at socrates.berkeley.edu

**********************************************************

 

 

From: <hrjones at socrates.Berkeley.EDU>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Any sources for migration era danish underwear?

Date: 13 Sep 2000 17:48:11 GMT

Organization: University of California at Berkeley

 

Powers <wtp at nds10758.cb.lucent.com> wrote:

: Gracious Gunnora; "Peasants Warriors and Wives" dealing with popular imagery

: of the reformation time period has quite a few depictations of undergarments

: (men and women fighting over who would wear the (under) pants in the family).

 

: Most of them appear to be simple rectangles of cloth with a tie at each

corner.

 

On the other hand, this is a case where we have to examine carefully what

the the artistic representation is trying to "say".  The old saw about

"who wears the pants in the family" is specifically and explicitly about

women "usurping a man's rightful place" by appropriating a specifically

masculine garment.  So, while this particular motif (and I've seen a fair

numbers of examples of it) is useful evidence about the nature of _men's_

garments, it is less clear that it says anything about _women's_ garments.

 

Tangwystyl

*********************************************************

Heather Rose Jones         hrjones at socrates.berkeley.edu

**********************************************************

 

 

From: sergei592 at aol.com (Sergei592)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Any sources for migration era danish underwear?

Date: 13 Sep 2000 20:21:04 GMT

 

NO underwear till the 1800s? Ewww! That explains the Middle English jingle 'he

that scytteth with his hole/But he wippe it klene/On his britches it shall be

sene'.

 

Sometimes change IS really progress.

 

 

Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000 13:41:11 +1030

From: Rebecca Tonkin <rebecca.tonkin at student.adelaide.edu.au>

Organization: The University of Adelaide

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: 14th C underwear

 

While looking through the books in the library

in search of women's 14th C underwear, I came across

"A history of the breast" by Marilyn Yalom, 1997.

In it (ch2) she quotes the 14th c poet Eustache Deschamps

as recommending sewing into one's dress "2 pouches into

which the breasts are squeezed... and thrust upwards"

(quote). The source is given as "cited in J Houdoy,

<La beaute' des femmes dans la litterature et dans

l'art du VIIe au XVIe siecles>, p 60-61".

 

Does anyone know if this is a reliable source ?

 

It sounds like a kind of built in breast support in

the undergarment, which could be rather useful

as an alternative to corsets or bandages,

but as I do not read French I don't know how to

document it further...

Any thoughts appreciated.

Rebecca.

 

 

From: ghelena661 at aol.com (Ghelena661)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Date: 27 Nov 2001 10:42:41 GMT

Subject: Re: Elizabethan Men's Underclothes?

 

   According to Janet Arnold in her book Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd,

it is doubtfull that people in Eliz. times wore underwear as we know it.  I am

refering to 'tighty whiteys', BVDs, Hanes, ect.  I personally do not wear

modern underwear underneath my garb because I find it uncomfortable.

 

   There are a couple of sets of bottoms style underwear in the QEW, but

Arnold believes that they were worn by sick or infirm people and not every day

folk. Queen Elizabeth's wardrobe was very well documented for expense purposes

and there are no drawers bought, made, or given to her.  Some really personal

stuff was listed (portable toilets are my favorite aka 'closed stool'), there

would have been no proprietary reason not to list drawers.

 

   In answer to your question, I think you can safely wear any sort of

underwear you like and feel comfortable in.  Since Eliz. men often laced thier

breeches to thier doublets, there was no fear of thier pants coming down

unexpectedly. You may find it easier not to wear modern underwear.  Frankly,

it is much easier to visit the restroom without it.  Mundane undies also bind

and chafe a little under some period clothing.

 

May your threads never tangle,

Roxanne Greenstreet

 

 

From: Heather Rose Jones <hrjones at socrates.berkeley.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Elizabethan Men's Underclothes?

Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2001 09:50:59 -0800

Organization: University of California, Berkeley

 

Ghelena661 wrote:

>      According to Janet Arnold in her book Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd,

> it is doubtfull that people in Eliz. times wore underwear as we know it.  I am

> refering to 'tighty whiteys', BVDs, Hanes, ect.  I personally do not wear

> modern underwear underneath my garb because I find it uncomfortable.

>

>      There are a couple of sets of bottoms style underwear in the QEW, but

> Arnold believes that they were worn by sick or infirm people and not every day

> folk.  Queen Elizabeth's wardrobe was very well documented for expense purposes

> and there are no drawers bought, made, or given to her.  Some really personal

> stuff was listed (portable toilets are my favorite aka 'closed stool'), there

> would have been no proprietary reason not to list drawers.

 

On the other hand, this is the inventory records for a woman, and the

question was about men's underclothes, so the conclusions may not transfer.

 

I would be extremely surprised to discover that Elizabethan men did not

wear any "underpants", since this would be a complete change from what

we see in artistic representations of semi-dressed men through the

centuries up to that date.  On the other hand, I would be unsurprised to

discover that Elizabethan _women_ did not wear "underpants", since the

evidence for women's underpants in centuries leading up to then is

scanty to non-existent.

 

Tangwystyl

*********

Heather Rose Jones

hrjones at socrates.berkeley.edu

*********

 

 

From: Nils K Hammer <nh0g+ at andrew.cmu.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Elizabethan Men's Underclothes?

Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2001 17:34:22 -0500

Organization: Csd Education - Phd, Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, PA

 

I know a historian who has woodcuts showing boxers when the

wind lifts up peoples kilts. As for the guys who wear tights

that go all the way up, they can't have anything on their

behinds, since huge numbers of life size renn. paintings seem

to concentrate on mens rears in great detail, and no lines

are showing.

 

Nils

 

 

From: Heather Rose Jones <hrjones at socrates.berkeley.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Elizabethan Men's Underclothes?

Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2001 19:52:56 -0800

Organization: University of California, Berkeley

 

Nils K Hammer wrote:

> I know a historian who has woodcuts showing boxers when the

> wind lifts up peoples kilts. As for the guys who wear tights

> that go all the way up, they can't have anything on their

> behinds, since huge numbers of life size renn. paintings seem

> to concentrate on mens rears in great detail, and no lines

> are showing.

 

But there are also huge numbers of Renaissance paintings of men with

joined hose where the points have been partially unlaced and you can see

underwear where the top of the hose is sagging.  (For some reason,

portrayals of the soldiers involved in the crucifixion habitually

feature this sloppiness of dress.) Keep in mind that these are generally

hose cut from woven fabric, not thin knit like modern tights.  I doubt

that they would show "panty lines" much.

 

Tangwystyl

*********

Heather Rose Jones

hrjones at socrates.berkeley.edu

*********

 

 

From: zebee at zip.com.au (Zebee Johnstone)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Elizabethan Men's Underclothes?

Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2001 22:16:52 GMT

 

In rec.org.sca on Wed, 28 Nov 2001 16:40:19 -0500

Nils K Hammer <nh0g+ at andrew.cmu.edu> wrote:

>cool, I have got to see more art.

>Anybody know where we should look to solve the great

>question of our day, whether the boxers had a fly?

 

The only pics I've seen that show umm.. access provisions are the

aforementioned y-fronts.   They seem to have a horizontal seam about

where y-fronts do.  Whether they functioned as y-fronts are supposed

to [1] isn't clear as while Renaissance artists did delineate the male

form in loving detail, there are some things even they didn't consider

suitable for chapel ceilings.

 

Be interesting to know when the fly came about!  Presumably after the

18thC drop front, but what did your average 18thC gent wear under his

drop front pantaloons?  Drop front boxers?

 

I recall a set of interviews with people who had been born around

1900. That generation had seen so many changes, the interviewer asked

which ones had affected them most.

 

One woman said "elastic".  Made underwear so much easier to get on

with.

 

Silfren

 

[1] A quick survey of local male aquaintance indicated that of those

who admitted to having worn y-fronts, none of them used them the way

they were intended...

 

 

From: ghelena661 at aol.com (Ghelena661)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Date: 02 Dec 2001 13:15:00 GMT

Subject: Re: Elizabethan Men's Underclothes?

 

There is a photograph of short underwear in the Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe

Unlock'd. There is another photograph of a long version.  Arnold believed that

the short pair were for men and the long ones for women.  Once again, Arnold

did not believe they were a common item worn by either sex in the late 1500's.

 

   Also, by 1580 the codpiece was going out of fashion.  It was replaced by a

button front fly.  Please refer to Patterns of Fashion by Janet Arnold.

Curiously enough the buttons that were used were very small and set close

together.

 

May your threads never tangle,

Roxanne Greenstreet

 

 

From: Heather Jones <hrjones at socrates.berkeley.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Female underwear in the 12th century

Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2003 09:26:14 -0800

Organization: University of California, Berkeley

 

Julie wrote:

> Does anyone happen to know whether women in the 11th or 12th century wore

> underwear? (I'm thinking England, specifically, either Saxon or Norman.)

> I'm not talking about a shirt or a chemise, but something similar to

> breeches for men.  Actually, if anyone knows whether women wore anything on

> their upper legs under their regular clothes, that would be really helpful.

 

Current research indicates that, in Europe at this period (in

fact, pretty much going up to the 16th century), it was not the

norm for women to wear anything identifiable as underpants.  In

fact, it was so not the norm that the motif of "women wearing

underpants" is used as a symbol of an unacceptable appropriation

by women of male attributes.  For this reason, whenever this

topic comes up, there will be a number of images offered in

evidence that purport to show medieval European women wearing

underpants ... and every image of this type that I have ever

become aware of can be identified as "a woman appropriating male

attributes, as indicated by the wearing of underpants".  It makes

it a rather complicated topic to discuss, particularly since the

images offered in evidence have often been removed from their

original context.

 

Whether or not you choose to wear underpants yourself is, of

course, a personal decision, but it would not appear to be

historically accurate for the context.

 

Tangwystyl

(who may be presenting an academic paper on this very topic ....)

 

 

From: Heather Jones <hrjones at socrates.berkeley.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Female underwear in the 12th century

Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2003 20:54:37 -0800

Organization: University of California, Berkeley

 

Cynthia Virtue wrote:

> Heather Jones wrote:

> > fact, it was so not the norm that the motif of "women wearing

> > underpants" is used as a symbol of an unacceptable appropriation

> > by women of male attributes.

>

> Is your conclusion that any sort of underwear fits this category, not

> merely the difference between a woman in panties and one in men's briefs?

 

I want to qualify the scope of what I'm talking about fairly

precisely.  By "medieval" I'm not covering the Roman Empire

material (where we have both pictorial and archaeological

evidence for women wearing "bikini underpants") and not covering

the Renaissance evidence (which I believe is still a subject of

some debate) that may support a "bloomer" like" underpants for

women.  I'm also specifically covering Christian Europe (noting

that, at the same period, trousers were obligatory, rather than

forbidden, for women in many Islamic cultures).

 

Within that scope, I know of no evidence of women wearing

underpants that does not fall in one of the known genres of

"women appropriating men's attributes".  Some of these known

genres include:

 

- Depictions of legendary or mythological figures notorious for

appropriating male characteristics, e.g., Queen Semiramis.

 

- Depictions of proverbial sayings or motifs, including the image

of "the fight over who wears the pants in the family" (to put it

in the modern expression), e.g., several carved misericordes with

this motif.

 

- Depictions of cross-dressing saints (although I'm not certain

that I've seen any showing underpants specifically); this is an

entire genre of early saints involving women who typically run

away from forced marriages to pass as male hermits or monastics.

 

Tangwystyl

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: djheydt at kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt)

Subject: Re: Female underwear in the 12th century

Organization: Kithrup Enterprises, Ltd.

Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2003 00:15:26 GMT

 

Heather Jones  <hrjones at socrates.berkeley.edu> wrote:

>Current research indicates that, in Europe at this period (in

>fact, pretty much going up to the 16th century), it was not the

>norm for women to wear anything identifiable as underpants.  In

>fact, it was so not the norm that the motif of "women wearing

>underpants" is used as a symbol of an unacceptable appropriation

>by women of male attributes.  For this reason, whenever this

>topic comes up, there will be a number of images offered in

>evidence that purport to show medieval European women wearing

>underpants ... and every image of this type that I have ever

>become aware of can be identified as "a woman appropriating male

>attributes, as indicated by the wearing of underpants".  It makes

>it a rather complicated topic to discuss, particularly since the

>images offered in evidence have often been removed from their

>original context.

 

I can think of one exception.  The calendar page for February in

the _Tres Riches Heures_ shows a snowy scene outdoors, and

indoors three farmfolk warming themselves by the fire.  The woman

has hiked up her skirts to warm her legs, and she is wearing

braies or something like them.  The men have hiked up their

tunics for the same purpose, and they are not wearing any

underwear at all.  (I suspect they had been wearing braies and

hosen, but took them off when they came indoors, possibly to dry

them.)  This doesn't have the feel of "world turned upside down

signalled by woman wearing braies." Merely of "Gee whiz it's

cold and damp out there, much better to sit indoors by the fire."

 

Dorothy J. Heydt

Albany, California

djheydt at kithrup.com   

 

 

From: "Adam Rezzelle" <arezzelle at rarezzelle.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Female underwear in the 12th century

Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2003 19:56:32 -0500

 

You can see that here:

http://humanities.uchicago.edu/images/heures/february.jpg

--

Rory

BorderVale Keep

 

"Dorothy J Heydt" <djheydt at kithrup.com> wrote

> I can think of one exception.  The calendar page for February in

> the _Tres Riches Heures_ shows a snowy scene outdoors, and

> indoors three farmfolk warming themselves by the fire.  The woman

> has hiked up her skirts to warm her legs, and she is wearing

> braies or something like them.  The men have hiked up their

> tunics for the same purpose, and they are not wearing any

> underwear at all.  (I suspect they had been wearing braies and

> hosen, but took them off when they came indoors, possibly to dry

> them.)  This doesn't have the feel of "world turned upside down

> signalled by woman wearing braies."  Merely of "Gee whiz it's

> cold and damp out there, much better to sit indoors by the fire."

> Dorothy J. Heydt

> Albany, California

> djheydt at kithrup.com

 

 

Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2003 21:00:29 -0500

From: Cynthia Virtue <cvirtue at thibault.org>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Female underwear in the 12th century

 

Of course, the TRH stuff is 300 years later than the lady's inquiry.

 

Some think that nothing was worn, even for menstruation, that the

shift/chemise took care of it.  This site which discusses it, may be of

interest: http://www.mum.org/whatwore.htm

--

Cynthia Virtue and/or

Cynthia du Pré Argent

 

 

From: Sunny Briscoe <sunnyday72 at gmail.com>

Date: September 20, 2006 8:30:36 PM CDT

To: "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." <ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Undergarments and stuff

 

On the realm of Venus website, there are images to a couple of pairs of

women's underpants.

http://realmofvenus.renaissancewoman.net/wardrobe/extdraw1.htm Some of her

images come from the books "Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd" and "A

History of Underclothes"

 

Supposedly there is commentary (I have only heard about this, but haven't

seen it for myself yet) about how the only thing that should be between a

women's legs is her husband, that women shouldn't wear underpants, because

whores do, etc...  My understanding of human nature is that we don't

complain about stuff that people aren't doing (Ben Franklin's comment would

not have made sense unless at least some women were wearing underpants of

some sort).  My understanding of the female body is that we very much want

some sort of underpants - women are messy.

 

There is a reference to Eleonora di Toledo's underpants.  She had several

pair in her wardrobe, and at least one fur lined (blech!) pair. in the book

"Moda a Firenze 1540-1580: Lo stile de Eleonora di Toledo e la sua

influezea"

 

I don't believe it's unreasonable to assume that women's underpants would

follow a similar form as men's fashions either.

 

Elisabetta Morosini

 

On 9/20/06, mikea <mikea at mikea.ath.cx> wrote:

> On Wed, Sep 20, 2006 at 07:58:49PM -0500, Marc Carlson wrote:

>> I'd like to thank folks who've offered suggestions on where to research this

>> topic, but honestly that wasn't what I was writing for earlier.  I've been

>> researching this topic for a long time now, so when I say that there aren't

>> any extant examples, I mean it.  All we have are pictures and guesses.

>> 

>> BTW, Michael, I suspect that the picture you are describing (folio 2v

>> "February") could be showing any number of things - particularly with the

>> peasant working in the field with his skirts tucked up and showing *his*

>> braes.  My take on it is that he's shed his undergarments to help get warm.

> Certainly could be the case, and I've wondered about that, but _why_

> would he want the wind whistling around his goolies while he was

> trying to use radiant heat to warm 'em? Self-defeating. Could be some

> artistic license. Sample of one: not enough to draw _any_ sort of

> general conclusion from.

> --

> Mike Andrews        /   Michael Fenwick    Barony of Namron, Ansteorra

> mikea at mikea.ath.cx  /   Amateur Extra radio operator W5EGO

> Tired old music Laurel; Journeyman Chirurgeon; SCAdian since AS XI

 

 

To: Authentic_SCA at yahoogroups.com

Subject: New Janet Arnold Book and Underwear as Outerwear

Posted by: "Folo Watkins" folo at advancenet.net   folo01

Date: Sun Oct 26, 2008 6:58 am (PDT)

 

Totally oop for us in Regia but possibly of interest to y'all, this

just came over the Aussie Living History list:

 

"This modern fashion trend [of underwear as outerwear], which seems

to us to reflect our more easy-going attitudes to our bodies, is

strikingly similar to the layering and glimpsing of undergarments of

English 16th and early 17th Century costume.

 

"This week sees the posthumous publication of the fourth volume in

the great costume historian Janet Arnold's meticulously detailed

series, Patterns of Fashion.

 

"Having documented every item of outer clothing for the period,

Arnold has turned her attention to Tudor and Stuart underwear. The

book is sumptuously illustrated with photographs of surviving items

of the clothing our forebears wore next to the skin, including

gorgeous detail of lavish embroidery, lace-work and stitching. And it

shows clearly the ways in which men and women of substance also

enjoyed letting their expensive underwear show.

 

"Indeed, the most striking difference between underwear-flaunting

then and now seems to have been that in Tudor times, it was not only

women, but men too who adopted fashion designs which allowed them to

reveal their undergarments."

 

The full story--with illos of Elizabethan fashion--is at

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7689554.stm

 

Cheers, Folo

www.micelfolcland.org

 

 

To: Authentic_SCA at yahoogroups.com

Subject: Re: New Janet Arnold Book and Underwear as Outerwear

Posted by: "Terri Morgan" online2much at cox.net   thatdamehrothny

Date: Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:13 am (PDT)

 

It is a great book and has totally changed my idea of how to put together

shirts and chemises. In fact, now I *have* to make a little shirt, just to

play with the seams!

 

Hrothny, whose apprentice has an advance copy and lets her read it (wheeee!)

 

 

To: Authentic_SCA at yahoogroups.com

Subject: Re: New Janet Arnold Book and Underwear as Outerwear

Posted by: "kittencat3 at aol.com" kittencat3 at aol.com   elllid

Date: Sun Oct 26, 2008 1:29 pm (PDT)

 

<<< Ooh! Sounds intriguing! What's the earliest chemise in it, do you remember?

Leonor, being tempted... >>>

 

The dates on the book are 1560-1620, I believe.

 

Also, since Arnold helped to restore them, this will likely contain the

details on the Medici grave clothes, including Eleanora of Toledo's pair of

bodies. Should be quite fascinating.

 

Sarah Davies

 

 

To: gleannabhann at yahoogroups.com

Subject: For those costumer people

Posted by: "davidduggar" ddugga at lsuhsc.edu davidduggar

Date: Mon May 16, 2011 8:49 am ((PDT))

 

The April 15, 2011 issue of Library Journal lists in its "Best of 2010: Reference" column the following book:

 

Cole, Shaun. The Story of Men's Underwear. Parkstone Intl. 255p. illus. bibliog. ISBN 9781859956229. $39.95.

No book on this list drew as much fanfare as this first serious reference work on men's underwear. From the loin cloths recovered from King Tut's tomb to the enhancement styles of Andrew Christian and the playful patterns of ginch Gonch, Cole describes the shift of men's underwear from its original utilitarian purpose to today's attention-seeking designer waistbands. Also covered are European codpieces; union suits first made by BVD in 1876; briefs, which showed up in France in 1906; and the creative genius of Calvin Klein's 1980s marketing campaign. Lavish full-color illustrations (many from period paintings or advertisements), a glossary, and bibliography complete the work.

 

 

This may be a good source for documentation (or to other good references in its bibliography) for those looking at costuming in men's undergarments. Check your public and academic libraries.(Only 4 months till Kingdom A&S).

 

Rory (librarian)

 

<the end>



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