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Author Topic: Late Medieval Braes with a Braes Girdle  (Read 7215 times)

Ian

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Late Medieval Braes with a Braes Girdle
« on: 2014-09-11, 23:36:04 »
So most reenactors are aware that braes are like pretty baggy during early and high medieval, and then start to shrink toward the late medieval.  I don't know if anyone's been following the braes thread on the AA (all five pages worth) but it's pretty interesting (and a second related thread).  Mac and Will (Galleron) were experimenting with a design of braes using a braes girdle (belt) inside of a casing to recreate the braes depicted on a woodcut of Saint Sebastian.  Part of the motivation is that in the reenactor world the 'diaper' look is very prevalent, but it's NOT prevalent in manuscripts, especially late medieval.  Gentlemen didn't walk around with their braes hanging out like modern reeanctors and SCA folk do.  The problem is off-the-rack hose are one-size-fits-a lot, so they don't rise properly in the back, and people where garments that are too short and designed to be worn with split hose, not single point hose...

I got to inspect Will's at a meeting and decided to make my own.

A braes girdle inside a casing is soooooo much more comfortable for me than a draw string, it's like night and day.  I have two openings in the casing on the front and two in the back.  Each opening in the casing reveals a portion of the belt that I've punched holes in to lace my points through.  My split hose (high butt-covering single leg hose worn in the late 14th until the advent of joined hose) point in both the front and the back.  They hold up the hose a lot better than a draw-string, and they don't need to be adjusted as frequently.

One nice feature is also that if you have to use the privy you can unstrap the belt, go the the bathroom, and re-strap the belt and your hose wind up right back where they started!  Totally worth the upgrade if your not satisfied with your braes.  You can add a belt casing to any style.  Mine are more fitted as per the late 14th / early 15th, but the belt casing can go on baggy braes too.

Here's the woodcut and another painting, and my version underneath.  You can see how the points lace through the belt.  It's like the Cadillac of medieval underwear, love these things!  I would love to go around preaching the wonders of a belt in your underwear, but the forum will have to do. :)  Definitely recommend trying it.







« Last Edit: 2014-09-13, 00:41:43 by Ian »
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Sir Rodney

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Re: Late Medieval Braes with a Braes Girdle
« Reply #1 on: 2014-09-12, 01:46:32 »
I’ve been following that thread with great interest.  Your design looks very nice!   8)

I can’t quite make out the details on your casing.  Did you roll it to the outside, tuck the raw edge under, and then straight stitch through the face/raw edge tuck/inside fabric?
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Ian

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Re: Late Medieval Braes with a Braes Girdle
« Reply #2 on: 2014-09-12, 11:51:55 »
I’ve been following that thread with great interest.  Your design looks very nice!   8)

I can’t quite make out the details on your casing.  Did you roll it to the outside, tuck the raw edge under, and then straight stitch through the face/raw edge tuck/inside fabric?

No, but I should have, I basically did that backwards.  The casing was the hard part of this.  Next time I would make the casing longer so it could gather more along the length of the waistband.  (Will's and Mac's both have a longer casing, I just mis-measured).  Since I needed 4 pointing locations available the casing is 4 parts, then the edges of those are hemmed so you have a nice finished edge for the openings in the casing.  That seam allowance is what I forgot to account for, so I probably lost close to 4 inches off the casing from finishing those seams on the casing openings.

One cool feature is the seam of the front half of the braes in the crotch is wider than the seam of the rear crotch.  This has the effect of gathering the fabric in the front of the crotch a little forming a little cupped section that you can guess what it would be for :)  I also added a modesty panel inside there (as did Will) because if that's all your wearing the linen is a bit 'shear' ... :)
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Sir William

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Re: Late Medieval Braes with a Braes Girdle
« Reply #3 on: 2014-09-12, 12:59:26 »
That looks like a fantastic solution; I'm not a fan of draw strings either.  I'm gonna go check out that other thread.
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Re: Late Medieval Braes with a Braes Girdle
« Reply #4 on: 2014-09-12, 23:10:57 »
The first link to the AA thread just links to a pic of your undies. ;)

I was kind of wondering if you had added a modesty panel in there, but was too afraid to ask. lol
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Ian

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Re: Late Medieval Braes with a Braes Girdle
« Reply #5 on: 2014-09-13, 00:40:29 »
The first link to the AA thread just links to a pic of your undies. ;)

I was kind of wondering if you had added a modesty panel in there, but was too afraid to ask. lol

Whoops!  Fixed... I was just trying to see who actually cares about what I write! yeah... :)

As far as the modesty panel, if you use a medium weight linen you probably wouldn't need one.  Also if you're a natural blonde... haha
« Last Edit: 2014-09-13, 00:43:44 by Ian »
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Re: Late Medieval Braes with a Braes Girdle
« Reply #6 on: 2015-01-01, 13:52:20 »
:) several years ago i made the long version of these, about mid shin. the thing that bugged the the most was that i made them just like the pictures so i put a split at the bottom of them and when i put on my hosen they always rolled up.

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Re: Late Medieval Braes with a Braes Girdle
« Reply #7 on: 2015-01-01, 19:45:23 »
Only in the reenacting world will you find a bunch of adult men deliberating ad infinitum on underwear
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Re: Late Medieval Braes with a Braes Girdle
« Reply #8 on: 2015-01-01, 21:47:50 »
Only in the reenacting world will you find a bunch of adult men deliberating ad infinitum on underwear

I beg to differ. You can come across the same type conversations drooling over the latest female models in Victoria Secrets. :) Just saying.   
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Re: Late Medieval Braes with a Braes Girdle
« Reply #9 on: 2015-01-01, 23:04:38 »
Bet there would be less drooling if they were wearing medieval underwear ;)
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Re: Late Medieval Braes with a Braes Girdle
« Reply #10 on: 2015-01-02, 08:05:14 »
Bet there would be less drooling if they were wearing medieval underwear ;)

Depends on what kind of medieval underwear they were wearing. Dat Lenberg bra tho.
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Re: Late Medieval Braes with a Braes Girdle
« Reply #11 on: 2015-01-05, 19:11:25 »
Little known fact: the holes are there by purposeful design :p
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Re: Late Medieval Braes with a Braes Girdle
« Reply #12 on: 2015-01-15, 13:40:27 »
I favor anything that better braces your braes :)
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Re: Late Medieval Braes with a Braes Girdle
« Reply #13 on: 2015-02-12, 15:44:19 »
Sir Ian,

I'm about to make a pair of these.  Any idea why they chose to put the buckle over the hip instead of center front?  It looks like it would be easier to cinch up in the front and that the buckle would get in the way of the points that are also over the hip.  I'm wondering if actually wearing them for a while will reveal the purpose of that positioning.  Your look great, and we are all thankful you included the "Modesty Panel."

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Ian

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Re: Late Medieval Braes with a Braes Girdle
« Reply #14 on: 2015-02-12, 15:56:55 »
No, I don't know for certain why the buckles always seem to be over the hips.  I didn't place a buckle at the front because I've never seen it done that way.  You get to make one less opening in the casing this way.  It doesn't get in the way of the points at all even with the buckle over the hip, nor is it difficult to cinch up in that location. 

Unless you're going to point your hose directly to your doublet which is also appropriate for the turn of the 14th/15th century then the braes girdle method is far superior to a drawstring.  Vastly more comfortable, and it doesn't pull the braes down.
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