The doublet was the main fashionable outfit. It was a padded jacket worn next to the shirt, close-fitting and waisted but not usually belted (in contrast to the tunic). It was mostly made of expensive textiles, such as the smoothest wool, and some were even of silk, velvet or damask. There were different ways to fasten the doublet in this period: either with leather laces or buttons. By the end of the fifteenth century the front of the doublet was wide open and a stomacher shaped as a ‘V’ was worn underneath. Also, by this period, it was fashionable to have the upper part of the sleeves stuffed, with the occasional deliberate slit to display the lining underneath the top layer of the doublet. It is possible that this is what lies behind the image of the timbers at Vaynor as Dyblu derw, dwbled irwydd ‘oak that has been doubled, doublet of fresh timbers’ (poem 38.47).
Gowns worn by fifteenth-century women were long with plenty of embroidery, especially at the front. Like some mantles of this period, they were also adorned with fur. A fashionable style that became popular during Guto’s time was to have a wide ‘V’-shaped collar on a woman’s gown, as well as a waist pulled in quite high up on the waistline. Men also wore gowns, although some would prefer to wear a doublet and a tunic under their mantles. An fascinating decoration for long gowns of this period was to slit the sides and, by the last quarter of the century, pleats or folds in the fabric were also popular.
The shirt was usually made of white linen and worn under the doublet and sometimes the tunic. An upright collar was added during this period which was sometimes seen under the doublet. The sleeves of the shirt were also altered throughout the century. At the beginning of the century, bagpipe sleeves were fashionable which were tight around the upper part of the arm but very loose around the rest of the arm.  These sleeves were not restricted to shirts; they were also seen on gowns.
Loose woollen trousers called a llawdr or llodrau were associated with the lowest social class. The poets often describe thieves and sinful individuals wearing this kind of legwear in their satire poems.. A very tight set of trousers known as ‘hose’ was a popular article of clothing worn by the nobility in this period. A hose was worn over the leg; sometimes reaching down only to the ankle as a legging or gaiter, sometimes also covering the foot like a long stocking. They were worn with the short doublet, and because they extended from the shoe up to the top of the leg, they revealed too much of the body according to some people.
Bibliography: I. Brooke, English Costume from the Early Middle Ages Through the Sixteenth Century (New York, 2000), 160.
: Brook, English Costume from the Early Middle Ages Through the Sixteenth Century (New York, 2000), 126.
: A.M. Jones, ‘Gwisgoedd ac Ategolion yn Llenyddiaeth yr Oesoedd Canol, c.700-c.1600’, Traethawd Ph.D (Prifysgol Cymru (Aberystwyth), 2007), 200.
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