Generic - Men

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Generic - Men

A man in Generic Kit

Generic Men's Fashion

Men’s generic clothing consists of a tunic and waist tie. Other optional items include trousers (or hose and braies), shoes, a cloak, an under shirt, leg bindings and a leather buckled belt. Either a tunic or shirt must be worn at all times during a display.


This should generally be T-shaped, with sleeves that taper to the wrist and a body that flares out from the hips. Tunics can be made from wool (Encouraged) or linen (Optional). It should be reasonably close-fitting around the neck, and if a “keyhole” neckline is chosen, the slit should be made only large enough to allow the head to pass through; it may be closed with ties. It is recommended that the neck be edged with a bias style strip or reinforced with stitching.

The sleeves must reach at least to the wrist, and should be long enough to cover the hand, provided that they are normally worn pushed back to the wrist. Tunics should be worn rucked up over a belt or tie. When worn like this the tunic must come to at least just above the knee, although it may be worn higher under certain circumstances. Tunics substantially longer than knee length must normally be pulled through a belt to raise the hem to knee level. Triangular pieces (called “gores”) are inserted into the skirt of the garment, to increase the amount of flare. These can be inserted at the side seams, and at the front and back.

Facings (sometimes called “Trims”) should be avoided for generic kit.

AO Special Mention
No rolled up sleeves
Clothing from our period is usually shown with tight sleeves. As such they would have found it impossible to roll their sleeves up their arms. If you do this then your sleeves are too loose and you would do well to tighten them.

Under Shirt

Under Shirts are usually made from natural or bleached linen. The under shirt should be hidden, and not be seen at the cuffs or hem. In general it should follow the pattern of the tunic although they can be side split or front split (after AD 1041).

The under shirt may only be worn on its own only if physical work is being performed.

AO Special Mention
More plain linen shirts and shifts
A natural or bleached linen is encouraged for shirts and shifts. As undergarments they would have been washed more frequently and also been worn less visibly. As such, it is considered unlikely that people would have bothered dyeing them as any dye would have washed out over time.

Waist ties and Belts

Belts and waist ties should generally be no more than 25mm (1”) wide. The ends of belts or ties may have strap ends of authentic pattern attached. Ties may be made of cloth, braided textile or alternatively from leather by using the “split end” form.

Belt buckles may be either D shape or square shape to an authentic pattern and can be made from iron, copper-alloy or bone. Belts may have leather or metal hoops or slides on them made to authentic design to retain the end around the waist. The end of the belt should not be overlong, or tied up in a knot that hangs down.

AO Special Mention
No long belts
Belts should not hang down from the waist by more than 10cm (4"). The excess strap must be kept to a minimum and may be either fed through a leather or metal loop or alternatively knotted off. This does not apply to events during the Angevin period AD 1189-1215.

Trousers or hose and braies

Trousers can be made from wool (‘Encouraged’) or linen (‘Optional’). Trousers should come down to at least ankle length, and can have integral feet. They must be close to the lower leg with no folds or bagginess. Loose trousers classed as ‘Unacceptable’ can be changed to ‘Encouraged’ by the use of leg bindings.

Hose are stocking like garments reaching up to at least mid-thigh, usually worn with a set of (typically) wide baggy linen shorts (called “braies”) to cover the crotch. The ends of these braies should be tucked into the tops of the hose. Hose should come down to at least ankle length, and can have integral feet. They should be tight to the lower leg – making them from wool and cutting the cloth “on the cross” is recommended to achieve a leg hugging shape.

AO Special Mention
Fewer loose tunic cuffs and loose trouser legs
Clothing of the period always seems to be worn tight at the sleeve and to the leg. Clothing should be so tight as to just allow the hand to pass the cuff or the foot to pass through the trouser leg. Excessively loose trousers or cuffs are considered unacceptable and can lead to your garment being banned and you being asked to remove it.
Leg styles Encouraged tight lower legs, Encouraged Leg bindings and unacceptably loose leg.

Leg styles
Encouraged tight lower legs, Encouraged Leg bindings and unacceptably loose leg.

Leg bindings

These are long woollen strips of cloth usually worn spirally around the lower leg from ankle to just under the knee, thus ensuring a close fit. 3m (10’) or more is required per leg. For Generic kit leg bindings should not be ‘cross-gartered’.


These are rectangular garments made of wool. They may be made from one or two layers of material but all layers need to be made from the same cloth and colour. Trims may be applied on the edges. Cloaks should be held closed with a suitable pin, brooch or simple tie. For a right-handed individual, the closure should normally sit on the right shoulder.

As a general guide, cloaks should be as wide as your outstretched arms, and long enough to go from your shoulder to the knee, although shorter cloaks that reached just past the waist were also frequently seen. Most cloaks are just longer than the tunic when worn.

Pouches & bags

Mittens & gloves

Although we have little evidence for gloves, people did have woollen mittens. These can be made either by nålebinding or from woven cloth.

Woven Cloth Mittens by Louise Archer.JPG

Shoes & boots

Shoes are of the simple, two-part turn shoe construction and are usually low, coming to below the ankle. These must be made of vegetable tanned leather. Applied soles and heels made from suitable leather may be used to prolong the life of the shoes.

Shoe leather must not be left as 'pink' veggie tan and must be stained brown. It would be unusual for shoes to be any colour other than brown but red dyed shoes are considered 'Allowable'. Shoes must be constructed from a single colour of leather.

Shoes from Regia's period were not closed by laces and front laced shoes are considered 'Unacceptable'. Some shoes were however closed by a single leather lace around topline of the upper (the opening that you put your foot in).

Most of the evidence from Regia’s period points to people mainly wearing shoes rather than boots. Boots are considered to by any footwear that are higher than then ankle. Boots are not considered to be Generic Kit as these are period and ethnically restricted.



People from the period may have generally gone without socks. Woollen socks made using the Nålebinding technique can be worn and the easier to make crocheted socks are ‘allowable’. Tailored sewn cloth socks are also a good option.

Alternative methods of covering the foot include foot wraps or starting the leg binding from the foot rather than the ankle. Trousers with integral feet also achieve the same result.

Naalbound Sock by Louise Archer.JPG
Woven Cloth Sock by Louise Archer.JPG

Hats and hoods

As there is little evidence for the shape of these garments in Regia’s period, they should not normally be worn as part of generic kit. However, certain simple types of head covering may be worn, especially in inclement weather or as protection from the sun or to disguise an inappropriate hairstyle. Hood patterns may be styled on those found in a later medieval context, but without any form of trailing tail (a liripipe).

Although the cloak may be arranged in such a way as to act as a hood, cloaks must not have attached hoods for generic kit.



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