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European Male Civilian clothing


For men, the simplest clothing option is equipment set for musician/peasant/commoner.


It looks approximately like this picture

from Fecamp Psalter:


The set consists of the following components:

Chemise; coat d’arms; headwear (coif); hose (chausses); underwear (brais); footwear; belt; bread bag; food and water containers; blanket

Undershirt (chemise) might not be very visible, but it’s still there. Made of white coarse flax (rough linen) or cotton. Looks more or less like this shirt: (This one is Thomas Becket’s)

The cut is described here

Mind that the neck hole should be cut in the front instead of the side



Outerwear (coat).

Coat of black (dark grey, brown etc) linen with long narrow sleeves. You may want to decorate it with pillow bar on the edge of your sleeve and neckline while

it’s not mandatory. People of low state wore short (knee-long) coats.

Do not forget to make pleats on the coat’s sleeves which used to be popular at the time. Make them long enough.

The cut is similar to the chemise – see appropriate section of the Female set


 Headwear (coif).

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Find an instruction for making this cap is here


You can also make a hood like the one pictured on this illustration from Fecamp Psalter instead of a coif. I’d like to draw your particular attention to the short and “upright” tip of the hood (called liripipe).

Here’s the sewing instruction here

Hose or chausses.

Look at the following example: Hose of Rodrigo Ximeneze – burial hose of Rodrigo Ximenez de Rada (+1247), IPHE Madrid

The sewing pattern for male chausses is the same to the female ones (see the Female Set). The only difference is the length: the male version reaches the groin and attaches to the man’s waistline. Thus, you need to measure your length up to your groin (unlike to the female version measured up to her knee) with your knee bent. Pick linen or wool broadcloth for your chausses. For marching, broadcloth is preferred since it prevents both heat and cold and wears longer. For garter, use a two-tailed textile trim (sew the trim’s middle point to the top part of the hose and use the tails to tie it to the brais) or fingerloop braiding cord. As a last resort, you can just use a cotton rope.

Brais – male underwear.

The picture downloaded from

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Sewing instruction and the photos of the final product are here here

 Footwear. See the Female Set. The people of low state wore high boots (quarter boots, buskins). Looks like pictured.


The footwear is normally ordered from a skinned shoemaker.

DO NOT FORGET about the pattens!

Belt. Your costume set will need a woven belt – for example, card weaving is a good

option. Otherwise, you could use a cord or a rope for a poorer option of the belt (see the musicians picture).


Bread bag – see the Female Set (see the Female Set)


Food and water containers (see the Female Set)


Wool blanket to cover or sleep on at night

 If you are supposed to be a musician, you will need a musical instrument which was in use in the XII century (not your particular sample, of course).Okay, nowwe’reallset. Put the small things in the bread bag. All the rest like the blanket and your spare clothing goes in a simple canvas bag (for a musician) or a basket (for a farmer). 

If you are just a commoner or a farmer please don’t bother about music. 


In Fecamp Psalter

Noble Citizen

The clothing set of a noble citizen is a bit more complicated. You should remember that noble people’s clothing were different from that of the commoners in the number of layers, the fabric and decorations more that in cut itself.


The noble citizen’s clothing set includes:

Chemise made of fine cotton or linen; coat d’arms; bliaut; chausses; brais; footwear; belt; cloak; bag; food and water containers.


Coat d’arms is made of linen, fine linen or broadcloth, or thick silk. In case the coat is worn underneath a bliaut use the instruction in 1.2 above to make it. If you suppose to wear itas an outerwear (two layers are acceptable in our desert climate) you could still follow the same instructions but don’t forget to add decoration along the rim, the sleeves, and the neckline. The bliaut looks like on the pictures below (1175-1200 Scenes from the life of John the Baptist:

Bliaut (outerwear dress). The cut and sewing process is similar to those of the

female version (see Female Set) with a shorter sleeve faucet.


Here are examples of male bliaut from 12th-century Psalter at Westminster (1st) and Winchester Bible 1160 (2nd)

The bliaut is made of silk or thin wool cloth. Add decorations on the rim, the sleeves and the neckline. If using design fabric like decorated Damask silk, the extra decoration might be skipped. Below is an example of a similar bliaut:

A tunic of the infante Don García (d. 1145 or 1146) son of the emperor Alfonso VII)


Made of silk or fine wool cloth following the similar steps as the ones in a commoner’s set (see 1.4 above).

The upper rim is decorated with embroidery or lacing.

Here is an example of chausses pictured as a part of a noble citizen’s costume (1175-1200 Scenes from the life of John the Baptist).

Brais is made of fine cotton. Use the instruction in here


Footwear - Ankle boots. Looks like this picture from London museum shoes and pattens book, 12th century.

The footwear of noble people has even more reason to be ordered from

a professional than a commoner’s one 

A noble rider can afford low-rimmed open toe shoes

Belt. The noble would use a woven belt of either card or loom weaving technique,

or a leather one.

Attach a pouch to your belt - you can use the one described in the Female Set or this leather one from Hortus deliciarum.

Use the following pattern from Dress Accessories. Medieval  finds from excavations in London:

For a noble, a cloak is inevitable part of the costume.

The outer part is made of wool cloth or silk,

the lining of plain or printed silk.

See the Female Set for instructions.

Kaisermantel of Otto IV (12th century)

Bag. Here is a good option for a bag from the pilgrim’s equipment pictured on the Cathedral of Saint-Lazare, Autun (1120-1130). See the Female Set for instructions.Otherwise, you can give this bag to your servant and carry around nothing else but a leather pouch for a Psalter, like the lower pictures. The construction of the pouch is described here. (англ.)

The food and water containers are similar to those described in the female set.

Now, grab your small possessory and put them in your bag. Leave the bigger stuff like wool blanket for night camping, spare underwear set, ceramic or metal bowl etc – with your loyal servant. If by some reason you travel alone, just tie them to your saddle. 


 If you are supposed to be a musician, you will need a musical instrument which was in use in the XII century (not your particular sample, of course).


If you are just a commoner or a farmer please don’t bother about music :)

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