Here you can find a basic kit list with additional resources for men and women who would like to do an impression within the Compagnia's dates and culture, a 1375-1400 European impression. If you would like to represent someone from another culture, please discuss it with us first. Keep in mind that this is really only to get you started and we encourage reenactors to do their own research and improve their impressions. We are always learning more and discovering new details so these kit items can change and evolve over time. As a starter sewing manual we encourage you to purchase a copy of the Medieval Tailors Assistant which has many basic patterns appropriate for those who are sewing their own kit. Buy a copy of the Medieval Tailor's Assistant before you buy a shiny sword or armour. Or really, anything. You will outgrow it and it isn't always right, but you'll use it a whole lot. It is also worth having a look at La Cotte Simple, a very useful blog with many handy references on the finer points of medieval tailoring. 

A little guide to our philosophy of reenacting. Your first kit should be for a working class person, and that's the kit in which you will work and play and trek and camp. It is in every way your most important kit. The creation of your working-class kit will teach you a great deal, and wearing it will inform your later kit decisions. And here's the thing; reenacting well is a lot of work. Your clothes need to be accurate and comfortable while you dig a ditch or make fascines in the July sun. Or cook, or sew, or paddle or even fight. So fabrics matter, and care of finish and cut matters. These are not costumes. These are working clothes. No one in the company is not expected to work. We have no great lords who get to sit about while the peasants do the work. We all work together to make a fun experience.

When you have some good, comfortable, authentic working-class clothes, you can start thinking fancy. But the thing is, you are going to wear these 'fancy' clothes to exercise, to work, and to fight. Tempting as the silk jupon may be, the wool one will last longer and serve better. You will never be able to tell the cook or the fire tender or the Captain, 'I can't work, I'm too well dressed.' That's just not allowed. Got that? (NB from the Captain: At Aix 2016, in my very finest Noble clothes, I cut firewood for 15 minutes. Had to be done. )

Medieval Patterns Reconstruction is also a great resource for appropriate patterns. There are also several good sources from which you can buy pre-made or custom kit, such as: Medieval Design in Italy, (which gets five stars from us. Buy anything in period. They do it right) and Sartoria Monro (also in Italy, very very well done) as well as Medieval Market, which is also very good, but you need to exercise a little caution and ask an experienced reenactor before you buy. The best shoes come from Graziano Del Barco. His shoes cost about $100 and he ships very quickly. His all hand-made shoes are CONSIDERABLY more. Also superb are the shoes from NP Historical; they are pricey. Finally, and closer to home, Boots by Bohemund makes fine, acceptable shoes around $75 USD.

When buying off the rack, please ask a veteran before you buy, even from the suppliers listed above. Never buy anything from Reliks or Kult of Athena or any such supplier without consulting. Or, spend your money and be prepared to be told you cannot wear the item you purchased. Eventually you will learn to look at contemporary sources and judge for yourself; we're all fallible, and what we say this year may, in fact, change. 

How do you learn to judge for yourself?

Here are some good contemporary sources; all from the last quarter of the 14th century, all directly related to the world we portray.

Gaston Phebus 'Livre de Chasse' Morgan MS M. 1044

Giron Le Courtois

14th Century Herbal

Altichiero

A final note for this page before you look at the kit list. All this talk of working-class clothes, hard camp-work, and research sounds dull and un-fun? This pastime is probably not for you. Mostly, it is about hard work and research.

OK, now that we're past that: we're gender-neutral. Feel free to portray whatever gender you feel most comfortable with, or both genders at different times. All we ask is that you work hard to research your kit and do the best impression possible. And don't mix genders at the same time. We strive to represent the cultural norms of the period. Or rather, we're modern people with modern ideas, but we strive to recreate the past inside their norms.

As you scroll you will notice galleries which include original images of various garments. They span about a 40 year period, so you should be careful if you decide to faithfully reproduce any one item. Each image is titled with where it came from so you can easily learn more about the source with a quick google search. If you have images you would like to add to the database feel free to send them to lis_beattie@hotmail.com for consideration and upload. 

Women's kit

Shift: Minimum 2

A shift is a basic white linen unfitted short dress which acts as underwear for women. It is similar to the men's shirt but goes to below the knees and has gores at the sides to make walking possible. Sleeves are generally either long to the wrist or the shift can be made sleeveless as a bust support garment. There is some evidence for medieval bras as well. More research could be done on these and we encourage you to experiment. 

Underwear gallery

Kirtle: Minimum 1

This is a fitted dress which is tightly tailored and laces down the front or the side. If made correctly it can offer bust support. It should be ankle length or longer. It has long sleeves which are tight at the wrist and should have buttons going up the forearm. It is recommended to have one in linen. For winter trekking and spring and fall events, a wool kirtle is a good idea as well. For high fashion, silk kirtles are excellent. 

Kirtle Gallery

Head Covering: Recommended. 

Women in the medieval period usually covered their hair to work or for various fashion reasons. There are a number of options available, including a linen or silk veil, with or without a wimple; a white linen turban; or a white linen cap. Generally hair is not worn down and unbound, especially in grown women and people who are not high nobility. If uncovered, the hair is usually braided around the head. There are numerous other exciting high fashion hair covering options, which will not be discussed here. See the note above on work. If you have short hair, you'll want to cover it.

Head Covering

Hose: Optional

Women wore short hose which usually went to just above the knee and were held up with a garter. They are handy as shin protection for trekking through the woods or in colder weather. They should be made from a durable wool or heavy linen. They can be made with or without feet. Similar to mens' hose. 

Hose Gallery

Shoes: Minimum 1 pair

Unless you have a lot of experience with leather-work, it is probably best to purchase shoes from an experienced maker. See above but caveat emptor...

Accessories gallery

Overgown: Minimum 1

The overgown is a loose, tunic like garment, which goes over the head. It should be ankle length and can have either fitted, buttoned  or loose sleeves. This is a great working garment, and is easy to make so it's a great starter sewing project. It is a good idea to have one in linen, and you can make them in wool for additional over layers. They can also be made fitted, with short sleeves and buttons up the front as a high fashion garment, in wool or silk. 

Women's Gowns gallery

Belt: Minimum 1

The belt is generally made out of leather. It can be very simple or very complicated. Some belts had metal mounts or embossing on the leather. Belts could be symbols of status and wealth or just a basic piece of clothing to hold daggers, belt pouches eating kits and the like. 

Hood: Optional (Recommended)

The hood is a great kit item for the rain and the cold. It can be made long to cover the shoulders, or quite fitted and short as a fashion item. 

 

Garters: Optional

For women, these help the hose to stay up. They can be made from woven fabric, or leather and are buckled just below the knee.

 

 

Men's kit

Braes: Minimum 2

Braes are like the boxer shorts of the medieval period. They are short white linen pants that end above the knees and can be easily changed and washed. Tube braes are a simple, slightly early form that are very comfortable and have good movement. There are also examples of very short braes which are a lot closer to briefs. These can be held up with a soft rope tie or soft leather belt. You will probably want at least two pairs for most weekend events and more for longer events. 

Underwear Gallery

Shirt: Minimum 2

Your shirt is the next undergarment layer and you will want two for most events. Medieval shirts are white linen; they are loose, to allow freedom of movement, and have no collar or cuffs. 

Coif: Optional, at least one is recommended 1

This is a small linen cap which protects your hat from your sweat, your hair from your chainmail, etc. It can be worn to cover the hair, keep sweat out of the eyes and other handy things. 

Head Coverings

Hose: Minimum 1 pair

Men's hose are fitted leggings that go all the way up the leg and are open at the crotch. They are held up with either toggles or ties which are looped to a soft leather belt or soft rope which is tied around the waist - the same one which holds up the braes. They can be made from linen or wool, and can be quilted and lightly padded to be worn under armor. Hose can have feet, which go right into the shoes, or have a heel strap. If you choose to go with the heel strap you will need some form of wool stockings or socks. 

Hose Gallery

Shoes: Minimum 1 pair

Unless you have a lot of experience with leather-work, it is probably best to purchase shoes from an experienced maker. Boots By Bohemond sells affordable and reasonably durable shoes. There are also a few other sellers such as, Viking Leather craft. 

Accessories gallery

 Gown: Minimum 1 linen ( summer) 

The basic gown is good for working and every day wear. It is unfitted so is a good starter project on which to learn basic sewing skills. Generally it has two large side gores, and loose sleeves with buttons at the cuffs. It is generally considered a sound huntsman's or workman's garment. It is recommended to have one in a reasonably thick coloured linen and one in a relatively light wool. For winter events a heavier wool gown is recommended, as they are easily layered. For a higher culture version the gown can be made with a high collar, buttons down the front and it can be made in an authentically patterned silk.  

Men's Gowns gallery

Belt: Minimum 1

The belt is generally made out of leather. It can be very simple or very complicated. Some belts had metal mounts or embossing on the leather. Belts could be symbols of status and wealth or just a basic piece of clothing to hold daggers, belt pouches eating kits and the like. 

Doublet: Optional

This is a tightly fitted garment, usually worn by fighting men. It is generally laced up the front and has buttons on the forearms which are also tightly fitted. Buttons can be made from cloth or metal. Some people like to hold up leg armour with this garment. Hose can also be laced to it. It can also be made in a sleeveless form, but should not be worn as an outer garment. Probably not good in your starter kit.

Doublet Gallery

Hood: Optional (Recommended)

The hood is a great kit item for the rain and the cold. It can be made long to cover the shoulders. Or quite fitted and short as a fashion item. 

Garters: Optional

They can be made from woven fabric, or leather and are buckled just below the knee.

 

General Accessories and Gear

Hats: Can be straw or felt. There's a lot to know about hats. But a straw one to keep the sun off your face is recommended.

Knives and eating gear: You will want a small knife and pricker for eating and general work. You will also need a bowl, cup, and spoon. They should be made from wood, horn, or metal. 

Belt pouches/ purses: These were commonly used in the period and are very handy for carrying every day items.

Canteen: A necessity for hydration. Generally made of ceramic, leather or copper.

Bedclothes: We recommend 2 wool blankets as a starting point for sleeping gear. 

Baskets / Containers: If you plan to trek with us, an authentic pack basket is recommended for carrying things around. There are other period appropriate packs, which you can talk to us about. You may also want a leather shoulder bag in which to carry small items like your lunch. 

 

Knights and Men-at-Arms

Until you have spent some time getting used to the clothing and reenacting that goes along with being a working class person we discourage you from tackling the impression of a wealthy person. Kit for these impressions should be researched and developed over time and discussed with other members of the group.

See Equipment requirements for deeds of arms and the I.A.S. Concord supplemental rules for multi-opponent deeds of arms 

Voir les règles relatif aux Équipements pour faits d'armes ainsi que les règles supplémentaire relatif au fait d’armes à combattant multiple.