Component Entry, Female, Male, Unisex

Braies, Short 5 Piece

TitleBraies, Short 5 Piece
Entry #GGC2021.013
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.                      


Many illustrations of people from all levels of society survive showing people wearing

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 5 pieces, either leg is sewn up the leg and sewn together with a central panel made from a front and back panel as well as bottom gusset. The waistline is folded over to allow for a drawstring.

The example is made out of linen and using a shoestring for the drawstring.

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

A loincloth in 1412 Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry

Source of Period PicA loincloth in 1412 Très Riches Heuresdu Duc de Berry
Model Vincent de Vere
PhotographerVincent De Vere

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