Component Entry, Female, Male, Unisex

Braies, Long 4 Piece

TitleBraies, Long 4 Piece
Entry #GGC2021.014
Alternate NamesBraies, underwear, Breeches  
YearAntiquity-end of period
Time rangeAntiquity-end of period
EraAntiquity, Bronze age, Iron Age, early medieval, high Medieval, Late Medieval
Countries/culturesWestern European, Central European
MakerVincent De Vere,
ConfidenceImage Example


Attempt to replicate one of the simple versions of commonly seen undergarments.                      



One of the many variations of the underwear seen in imagery from antiquity through to the end of the SCA period.  A common and personal garment like underwear is less likely to survive or be well represented in documentation.  There are many works of art that do represent people in undergarments and so the use of the garments can be documented and construction can be inferred.  Undergarments would nearly be universally constructed from linen.

Of the different styles of braies they vary in length, in how they are held up or how much fabric is used in their construction (ie, how baggy they are). Use of braies is often one of the later stages of refinement for SCA participants as they are rarely seen.  Wearing Braies can take some getting used to as they tend to have more fabric bunched up then we are modernly use to.

This is an attempt to replicate one of the very basic ‘boxer short’ style braies.  It is made from 4 pieces, either leg is sewn up the leg and sewn together with a square crotch gusset as well as an attached waist band.

The example is made out of linen and the braies are held up by rolling the waist band over a separate belt or cord tied around the waist..

Many illustrations of people from all levels of society survive showing people wearing undergarments but this example gives us insight to the construction technique.

The historical use of braies by women is assumed by us and use by members of the SCA is common.

Inspiration Images

Common Materials

  • Fabrics:
    • linen  

Effective Substitutions

  • Fabrics:
    • linen blends
    • Linen
    • wool
    • cotton
    • cotton blends

Ensemble Components

  • Underwear such as braies are seen through many time periods and cultures and so can be associated with many different ensembles



Instructions for constructing braies like this are covered in books like Medieval Tailor’s Assistant, a very good book worth buying

source image Public Domain

Source of Period PicMaciejowski bible
Model Vincent de Vere
PhotographerVincent De Vere

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