Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1356 English knyȝt 

Subjectknyȝt knight
Culture: late Plantagenet English
Setting: Hundred Years War, France mid 14th-early 15thc
Evolution1066 Anglo-Norman miles 1296 Plantagenet knight > 1356 English knight


* Gravett 2020 p126-128
"The idealistic vision of knighthood persisted into the 14th century.  Piers Plowman, written by John Langland in the 1380s, repeats the notion of the 'pure order' of knighthood, and incorporates ideas such as fighting to defend the truth.  Despite instruction otherwise, most people in England spoke English (rather than French) as a first language by the early 14th century, and contemporary romances embrace the idea of a national hero fighting for his country.  In two poems knights are satirized as 'lions in hall, hares in the field'.  Chaucer's high-minded chivalrous Knight fights in Prussia, Lithuania and Russia, Spain, North Africa, Anatolia and Armenia, and has jousted in the lists in Algeria -- all very well except that it was not much practical help to his own country.  Terry Jones has argued that the lack of heraldic display and the stained fustian jupon of Chaucer's Knight are signs of the professional fighting man, perhaps even modelled on Sir John Hawkwood of the White Company.  Others disagree; but even if not technically a mercenary, Chaucer's dowdy Knight is a far tougher character than a first reading would imply, and almost certainly a contracted fighter."

* McGlynn 2008 pxi
"The myth of chivalry has proven persistent. The allure of Chaucer's 'verray, parf[a]it gentil knyght' remains irresistible for its image of a powerful warrior devoted to the ideals of bravery, honour, loyalty and self-sacrifice, all in the service not just of his lord or lady, but also for his role as protector of the weak, the elderly, the young and the defenceless. That Chaucer could describe his knight in such terms appears initially to military historians as a contradiction in terms: a gentle knight was not much use on the battlefield. Chaucer was writing in the second half of the fourteenth century, at a time when the ravages of the Hundred Years War and violent peasant uprisings had racked England and France with breathtaking brutality .... Chaucer, with his high connections and travels across Europe, was well aware of these brutalities.  His 'parfait, gentil knyght' was a call to an idealized version of knighthood, prompted by the horrors of endemic warfare and social unrest.
    "Chaucer was following in the tradition of a long line of medieval writers who sought to mitigate the excesses of war in the Middle Ages through an appeal to the nobler instincts of knights. This literary genre ... explores medieval writers' attempts at reform in calling for a return to the true values of chivalry. However, at the same time, other writers were calmly accepting -- or, indeed, were encouraging -- the waging of war against non-combatants as the most practical way to achieve victory, even going so far as to justify these measures as being in accordance with chivalric values."

Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)

* Wise 1976 p12-13
"In the fourteenth century neither France nor England had the financial resources to engage in prolonged warfare yet the Hundred Years War did create large armies, attracting landless knights, younger sons and bastards of lords, and those seeking to gain a knighthood in the field, from all parts of Europe.  These men, together with the ordinary foot soldiers, formed themselves into Free Companies after the Condotta style and hired out to the most generous side, seeking fame, fortune and perhaps land.  However, because these Free Companies were independent of both England and France and had no means of making a living except by war, they were extremely difficult to disband when a campaign came to an end, and the men who hired them were forced to find fresh battles for them to fight in order to prevent a lapse into brigandage.  Thus the Free Companies had an influential role in the wars of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. ...  The Free Companies which took part in these local wars frequently remained in the area long after their leaders had abandoned their projects, so creating further problems.
​    "After the French defeat at Poitiers in 1356 many of these Free Companies resorted to brigandage as a means of making a living, usually establishing themselves in a stronghold from which they could terrorise the surrounding countryside into paying tribute, capturing for ransom any wealthy travellers who had the misfortune to pass through their area, and sometimes uniting with other armed bands to sack a poorly defended town."

* Gravett 2020 p38-39
"At the beginning of the 14th century, knights and squire might serve in several different contexts.  They might be employed as household knights, as feudal troops, as volunteers, or as paid fighting men.  Many knights were quite prepared to fight when the call came for troops, but their wish was for relatively short campaigns.
    "Knighthood now formed a bridge between county knights and the landed aristocracy, whose great estates and judicial rights had been slowly eroded by the increase in royal power and government involvement in local areas.  This stability and order was reinforced by the continuation of service, now increasingly laid down by indenture (contract).  Some knights originated as members of the free peasantry whose family had risen in government or religious lay office until their status (particularly in the legal profession) rendered them worthy of knighthood.  Marriage was still a lucrative way to acquire wealth, but for landless younger sons there was not much to offer a girl's family in return for her dowry.  Not many of the English gentry made a career of war, although the landless knights had less call on their time at home, and were often willing to stay in the field.  Others pursued military careers even after the Treaty of Bretigny in 1360 had removed English troops and garrisons in France, and instead joined the free companies.  There were a few knightly bandits in England, gangs led by gentry such as the Folevilles and Cotorels in the 1320s and 1330s, who settled matters of land ownership by summary justice.
    "After 1360, the term 'knight of the chamber' began to be used to the exclusion of 'household knight', perhaps because of their more domestic duties.  It should be remembered that Edward III took a less active military role in his later years and his own household was being run more along the lines of those of the great magnates.  Under Richard II a new term appears: 'king's knights' were men who drew annuities from the exchequer instead of royal household fees.  King's knights formed the nucleus of the later 14th-century armies, but were not as close to the king himself as the earlier household knights.  In 1394 Richard II had 48 king's knights for his Irish expedition, over half the total number of knights and bannerets in charge of retinues."

* Karras 2003 p23-24
"The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries witnessed something of a blossoming of chivalry all over Europe but especially in the northwestern regions ....  This was the era of the Hundred Years War between England and France, which lasted, on and off, from 1337 to 1453 (followed in England by the Wars of the Roses from 1455 to 1485).  The war made knighthood a matter of actual combat, not just tournaments, and raised the level of public interest.  Although knighthood at this time had a concrete military meaning, however, its administrative meaning remained important as well.  In England, for example, being a knight meant that one was a member of the county gentry.  This status could not be separated from the knights' military role; a significant portion of the county gentry had fought in the royal armies in France or in border campaigns, and used the profits they made from booty and ransom, as well as the networks of patronage adn clientship they developed, to improve their local standing.
    "Knighthood, then, was a matter of social status as well as -- or even more than -- military function.  Court display and the ideology of chivalry that emphasized the honor and importance of the knight gave the lower aristocracy something by which to distinguish themselves from bourgeois merchants, who were beginning to wield substantial economic, and in some places political, power.  Chivalry allowed one social group to see itself not only as an elite who followed a higher code, but also as the real men whose activity was indispensable to society.  It was not an outmoded game but an integral part of how the ruling elite defined itself.  Indeed, the ideal of knighthood could be part of the aristocracy's defense against royal power.  As the aristocracy's struggle with the monarchy played itself out in many regions, chivalric literature emphasized how crucial they were to the king's military success and brought out the fundamental tensions between royalty and personal renown, between individual bravery and prowess and collective military success.  As infantry and artillery threatened to make knights obsolete, the chivalric ethos measured a man's worth by how bravely and strongly he fought as an individual rather than how he contributed to the winning of a battle."

* Gravett 2020 p14-15
"Despite the change in language [from French to English] among knights in England, their very status would form a bond between such warriors from all over Europe, men who shared the same sort of privileged existence, who understood chivalry, armour, weapons and horses, who had learned poetry, romances and good manners, had coats-of-arms and took part in tournaments.  They knew they were set apart from others, yet English knighthood was not as elitist as, for example, the French equivalent.  At the great battles of the 14th and 15th centuries, dismounted knights stood side by side with free-born longbowmen.  Their society was dissimilar from that in German lands where initially there were still serf knights called ministeriales; it differed too from that in Italy, with its long tradition of urban centres harking back to the Roman past, where knights were more relegated to the countryside."

Armor (Helmet, Jupon, Plate, Gauntlets)

* Woosnam-Savage 2017 p31-32
"Many mid-14th century monumental brasses show knights wearing shorter versions of loose-fitting surcoats, which had appeared in the middle of the 12th century, worn over hauberks.  Loosely tied around the waist, and slit to allow riding, some bore painted and embroidered heraldic charges.  Shortened at the front, they reveal the lower edges of the various layers of armour worn beneath.  Some knights obviously wore a combination of layers starting with the aketon beneath a coat of mail which in turn could be worn beneath the pair of plates.  This was a poncho-like defence of small plates, perhaps of iron or whale baleen, riveted to the inside of a surcoat (often with floral rivet heads), which had appeared during the latter half of the 13th century.  The latter half of the 14th century saw the surcoat develop into a thigh-length garment, the jupon.  This was tight-fitting and often padded, and could be laced up at the sides or buttoned down the front.  Like the surcoat it often bore the heraldic devices or mottoes of its owner; Edward III wore a green jupon embroidered with the motto 'it is as it is' at a tournament in 1342."

* Reid 2007 p74
"The two armies at Crécy were dressed and equipped in much the same fashion.  [CONTRA Seward 1978 p51-52]  Knights wore armour that was more efficient and lighter than that worn at Halidon Hill, which for the English was important, now that they had adopted the Scottish habit of fighting on foot wherever a suitable defensive position could be found.  The gambeson was no longer worn, making the wearing of armour not quite so hot to fight in.  The hauberk was generally made of chain mail, with back and breast plates worn over it, while the lower body was protected by overlapping horizontal hoops of steel loosely riveted together and fastened to the back and breast plates allowing full body movement.  The upper leggings were protected by mail leggings and cuissarts, a new form of armour made of padded leather with strips of steel riveted to it and strapped round the thigh; the cuissarts were brightly coloured.  The lower leg was armoured with plate armour over the shins and strapped on over the mail leggings.  The arms were protected in a similar fashion to the legs.  Steel gauntlets were worn and caps of steel or cuir-bouilli defended the knees and elbows; bands of loosely riveted steel guarded the shoulders.  On top of their armour all knights wore the jupon, a tightly fitting sleeveless garment sometimes padded but always finished in an expensive cloth such as silk or velvet, and beautifully embroidered with the knight's heraldic arms.  The conical bascinet, with or without a visor, was replacing the helm, and the camail, a curtain of mail to the shoulders, was attached to the bascinet by lacing."

* Seward 1978 p51-52
"In 1346 an English man-at-arms was still armoured mainly in 'chainmail' of interlinked metal rings.  A shirt of this mail, over a padded tunic, covered him from neck to knees and was laced on to a conical helmet which was open faced but which had a visor.  (The great barrel helm was seldom worn in battle nowadays.)  He had steel breastplates and plates on his arms, together with elbow pieces and articulated foot-guards over mail stockings.  Over all he wore a short linen surcoat.  English knights were noticeably old-fashioned compared to the French [CONTRA Reid 2007 p74], for across the Channel Philip VI's paladins had their shoulders and limbs also covered with plate, and helmets (bascinets) with hinged, snout-like visors which had breathing holes.  Their surcoat had been replaced by the shorter leather jupon."

* Prestwich 1996 p23
"There followed during the Hundred Years War a rapid move towards the full-scale adoption of plate-armour.  The great helm, often featuring an elaborate crest, had become a piece of specialised tournament armour.  For battle, the lighter bacinet was far more practical.  One characteristic form was fitted with a projecting snout-like visor, which could be easily raised.  Breastplates may have developed first for tournaments, but were soon incorporated into battle-armour.  Unfortunately, the habit of wearing flowing surcoats, or tighter jupons, over body armour makes it impossible to determine many details with precision.  In 1368 Thomas Erskine, a Scot, was given permission to buy armour in London and take it to Scotland where he needed it to fight a judicial duel.  He needed a bacinet, breastplate and backplate, a pair of 'bracers' for his arms, with cuisses and greaves for his legs."

* Anglo 2000 p205
"With regard to war, the anonymous author [of Modus armandi milites ad torneamentum] simply lists aketoun, plates de Alemayne ou autres, along with bone gorgeres, gladius, haches a pik, et cultellus.  He also mentions a shield but notes that it is rarely carried in war because it hinders rather than helps.  For mounted lance play (Ad hastiludia), only aketoun, haubert, gambisoun of silk, steel plates, and bacyn et galea are specifically named ...."


* Wilkinson 1971 p59
"Along with the sword, fourteenth-century European warriors had a considerable armory at their disposal, ranging from daggers to longbows.  Axes, so popular with the Danes, remained a favorite weapon both with the foot soldier and the knight, who fought on horseback and on foot. ....  For foot combat it was more common for the head to be mounted at the end of a long shaft, and in order to provide extra strength for the handle, long metal arms, langets, extended from the head along its sides.  The edge of the axe-head was usually curved in order to give as much leverage and cutting power as possible.  Like the shorter axes, they were fitted with a spike on the head."

* Lewis 2021 p79
"The poleaxe occupies a unique position in the history of edged and percussive weapons in Western Europe. It uniquely combined an axe edge with a spike, plus a hammerhead on the side opposite the edge. But how was it used, and who used it? ....
    "The poleaxe is a shorter and more rugged type of halberd, an axe on the end of a pole. Its usual form has a shorter axe blade with a straight edge and a four-pronged hammer replacing the beak. Other variations can have a convex edge, a beak and even a flat spear instead of the usual triangular one."

* Fryer 1969 p79
"Pole Axe  A staff weapon with axe-head having a hammer, or spike at rear."

* Troso 1988 p35
"Asica da fante  Ferro asimmetrico avente da un lato una lama (scure) variamente sagomata e dall'altro un becco di falco o un martello.  In alto, lungo l'asse dell'asta, può sporgere o meno una punta di stocco.  Azione di stocco e fendente. Effectto tagliente, perforante e fratturante."

* Gravett 2020 p109
"By the end of the 14th century the pollaxe was ... coming into use, a staff weapon with an axe blade and top spike, backed by a hammer or spike, or else having a hammer with top and rear spike."

* Higgins Armory Museum > Castle Quest
"POLLAXE  Powerful two-handed weapon for armored combat."

* Dowen/Hurst 2020 p52 caption
"A formidable weapon, the pollaxe had emerged in response to the development of more extensive plate armour, which had rendered swords less effective."

* Cornwell 2008 p110-111
"One side of each head was a heavy hammer, weighted with lead, which could be used to crush plate armour or, at the very least, knock an armoured man off balance.  The opposing side was an axe that ... could split a helmet as though it were made of parchment, while the head of the axe was a spike thin enough to pierce the slits of a knight's visor.  The upper shaft of each axe was sheathed in iron so an opponent could not cut through the handle."

* Stone 1934 p


* Norman/Pottinger 1979 p92-93
"Sword blades were of varied types; some were purely for thrusting, others were designed so that they could be used for both cutting and thrusting.  Many knights carried a thrusting sword hung on the front of their saddle, as well as the dual-purpose sword on the hip-belt.  The exclusive thrusting sword had a stiff blade of diamond cross-section tapering from the hilt to the point, which was sometimes reinforced for piercing."

* Gravett 2020 p105
"A narrower-bladed sword with long grip (between 7 and 10in., 17.75 and 25.5cm) appeared at some time around the middle of the 14th century.  Some of these were made with a short section of blade in front of the guard left blunt (later called the ricasso), enabling the user to hook his finger over it and hold the sword further forward, the better to deliver a thrust."

* Capwell 2012 p20-21
"By the 14th century, a sword had developed that was exclusively a stabbing weapon.  Called an 'estoc', 'tocke', or 'tuck', this new, narrow-bladed weapon had no cutting edges; it was a long steel spike fitted with a sword hilt."

* Wilkinson 1971 p51
"Suspended from the saddle was the thrusting sword, with a stiff, narrow blade tapering acutely to the point, which might well be thickened for greater strength.  There is evidence that this type of sword was used as a lance, the knight charging with the pommel against his shoulder.  In order to obtain a more secure grip on these larger swords the first finger was looped over the cross guard, and an inch or so of the blade was left blunt; this portion was called the ricasso."

* Edge/Paddock 1988 p87
"The exclusive thrusting swords had stiff, sharply tapered blades of diamond section and by 1360 a portion of the blade nearest to the cross-guard was left blunt, forming a ricasso, so that the index finger could be wrapped over the guard to give more control over the point.  These swords generally had elongated pommels of fig or scent-bottle shape, which would allow both hands to be used; a hand placed behind the pommel would give extra impetus to a thrust."

* Wise 1976 p70-71
"By the second half of the fourteenth century plate armour was being used so extensively, and protected the wearer so efficiently, that an entirely new type of sword began to appear; the thrusting sword, or estoc.  In cross-section the blades of these new swords were either an elongated diamond or a flattened hexagonal shape, in both cases without a fuller.  These narrow, stiff blades, tapering to a very sharp point, were designed solely for thrusting at the chinks in armour.  Contemporary illustrations often show the estoc being held against the shoulder, rather like a lance or spear, and in the fifteenth century these swords were frequently without sharpened edges, making them entirely a thrusting weapon.
​    "Such swords, aiming for small cracks in an opponent's armour, needed much finer control than the earlier slashing swords, and to achieve this knights began to hook their forefingers over the base of the blade, above the crossguard.  About 1360 that part of the blade, the ricasso, was left blunt for between one and two inches.  This gave rise, at the end of the century, to a bar branching out from the front half of the guard and curving round in a loop to protect the forefinger.  The estoc remained popular in the next century but never replaced the slashing sword, which continued to be used alongside it."

* Woosnam-Savage 2017 p42
"Other specialised swords with longer grips and longer blades, for use with two hands, appeared before 1325, and were noted as in 1378 (whose sword was called 'Bell-the-Cat').  They were used in close combat and for opening up breaches in the enemy ranks."

* Treasures from the Tower of London 1982 p44 (describing a hand-and-a-half sword, possibly English early 15thc)
"Such a sword was essential once plate armour became common, making the wearer almost invulnerable to sword cuts.  The first six inches just in front of the hilt are not sharpened so that the blade can be grasped by the left hand, indicating that the sword was intended for use with both hands on foot."


* Edge/Paddock 1988 p87
"As in previous centuries, the sword remained the knight's principal weapon, but from the beginning of the century new varieties started to emerge.  These were designed either to deliver a very heavy cutting blow or specifically for the thrust, to deal with the ever-increasing weight and robustness of the knight's armour.  Long-bladed swords of war with grips of increased length continued to be popular as they were capable of delivering a blow that could shear off a limb, but an intermediate type emerged which was designed both to cut and thrust.  This had a double-edged blade which was wide at the shoulders, but which tapered rapidly to a sharp point for thrusting."

* Wilkinson 1971 p51
"Developments begun earlier continued during the fourteenth century, and specialized swords became the order of the day; indeed, some knights carried two swords.  At the belt, hung a general-purpose sword with a blade designed for stabbing and slashing and fitted with a straight, or slightly downcurving, cross-guard and a pommel which was wheel- or pear-shaped.  Blades tended to be longer than previously, and to compensate for the extra weight pommels were somewhat larger.  Blades tapered gradually to the point and were double-edged."

* Boutell 1907 p128
"In England, the earlier swords, even if they were not very perfectly adapted for thrusting, were perfect in the hands that then wielded them for striking blows; and, later, the English swords of the fourteenth century and of the early part of the fifteenth century, while well qualified to inflict wounds with the point, were second to none in their efficiency for the delivery of genuine hard English blows with their edge."

* Gravett 2020 p106
"Dual-purpose weapons for cutting and thrusting were made from the beginning of the 14th century, with a tapered blade which was fullered for just over half its length, but with the lower part of the blade made in flattened diamond section.  Another type of weapon has a long tapered blade, fullered for about one-third of the length, with a long grip.  One group dating from about 1355 to 1425 has a long tapering blade usually of hexagonal section, and a long grip.  The pommel is a flattened oval or else a late 14th-century 'scent-stopper' variety."

* Norman/Pottinger 1979 p92-93
"The blade of the dual-purpose sword was usually wide near the hilt and sharp on both sides but tapered to a very sharp point for thrusting.  One sometimes reads that the medieval sword was a clumsy weapon, blunt and unwieldy.  No one who had ever held a genuine sword in his hand could say that, since they feel so perfectly designed for their purpose as soon as one's hand closes round the grip.  The few still in their original condition are very sharp indeed.  Many blades were a good deal longer than formerly, and, to balance the extra weight, the grip was also made longer and the pommel was often of elongate shape as well.  In order to get a better grip when thrusting, the first finger was sometimes hooked over the front bar or the cross-guard, and so that this finger should not get cut, a short section of the blade was occasionally made with a thick unsharpened edge, later called the 'ricasso.'"

* Woosnam-Savage 2017 p42
"Many swords had a blade with a section like a flattened diamond, tapering to a needle-like point, which gave increased rigidity for thrusting ...."

* Capwell 2012 p14 (describing an arming sword, French or English c.1350-1400)
"The late medieval 'arming' sword, so named because it formed part of the knight's basic equipment when he was dressed or 'armed' for battle, comprised a cruciform hilt with a circular 'wheel' pommel and a relatively short, sharply tapered cut-and-thrust blade. It was a small, light and well-balanced weapon which facilitated a fast, agile fighting style, a form of movement that in no way resembled the slow, lumbering slugging matches which tend to characterize modern misconceptions of the age of chivalry. Medieval fight masters, in fact, understood the usefulness of the thrust as a deadly mode of attack; the swords of their age bear witness to that fact, for their blades frequently display a pronounced taper towards the point, providing a very effective stabbing potential, while also retaining a strong cutting ability. The use of the thrust is well documented in pictorial sources, which from the 13th century onwards illustrate deadly stabbing attacks delivered in sword and shield (or buckler) combat."

Daggers (Ballock, Quillon, Rondel)

* Edge/Paddock 1988 p88
"By the middle of the [14th] century, knights are depicted wearing daggers as an accompaniment to the sword. These would appear to have been of three basic forms. The quillon dagger resembled a small sword, usually with a hilt decorated and formed en suite with the sword. The ballock dagger, as depicted on the brass of William de Aldeburgh in Aldeborough, Yorkshire, had a hilt consisting of a grip, usually of wood, horn or brass, which formed rudimentary quillons. The final form, which appeared later in the century, was the rondel dagger. An early example, dated to the 1350s, appears on an effigy at Clehonger in Hereford, but it is not until the 1380s that it is commonly illustrated; after 1400 it appears on brasses practically to the exclusion of all other types. It consisted of a blade with a hilt in the form of a grip mounted to either end with a roundel or disk of metal or occasionally wood."

* Seward 1978 p52 
"The basic weapon of both English and French was a long straight sword, hung in front at first but later moved to the left side and balanced by a short dagger on the right (called a misericord or 'mercy' on account of being used to dispatch the mortally wounded)."

* Bennett 1998 p2167
"misericorde  dagger used to strike a final blow and mercifully kill a seriously wounded opponent; also considered to be a last resort weapon.  It was widely used from the 14th century, and was normally held with the point projecting downwards from the hand.
    "The misericorde was usually a straight dagger without a guard; the blade had a triangular section and only one cutting edge.  From effigies it seems to have commonly been carried on a chain from the belt on the right side.  Misericordes were often decorated with such scenes as the 'Dance of Death'."

* Gravett 2020 p108
"The dagger carried from the last quarter of the 14th century was often a form of rondel dagger, with a disc or rondel at the base of the grip, but a pommel instead of the more usual second rondel at this end.  These daggers were usually of triangular section, single edged and tapering to a point, being sturdy but very sharp weapons.  Quillon daggers (with cross-guard styles after those of a sword) were also worn, or occasionally ballock daggers (with two swellings at the base of the hilt), although they were more usual with civilian dress.  Like scabbard leather, sheaths were often highly decorated with punched or engraved designs, and civilian daggers might be fastened behind the pouch, slung from the belt, or hung from a cord on the belt."

* Woosnam-Savage 2017 p44
"Daggers of various forms, such as the baselard were carried by civilians as well as knights.  Daggers were used in close combat and were used to dispatch the wounded, hence the possibly generic term misericorde for any type of dagger or knife used in such a manner, such as at the battle of Rosebeke (1382):
'Hardly were [the Flemings] down than the pillagers came slipping in between the men-at-arms, carrying long knives with which they finished them off.  They had no more mercy on them than if they had been dogs.'  Jean Froissart, Chroniques, Book II, 1388

* Fryer 1969 p66
"Misericord  A narrow-bladed, sharp-pointed dagger, made to penetrate the joints or vizor of plate armour and give the coup de grâce to a fallen adversary."

* Bull 1991 p63 
"Daggers were commonly worn on the belt opposite the sword.  Some were matched to the sword with straight quillons; the 'ballock' dagger was equipped with a phallus-like grip with round lobes below, and the 'baselard' had a cruciform pommel and a diamond-section blade."


* Wilcox 1958 p64
"About the middle of the fourteenth century, the cotehardie appeared. For men, it was a short, fitted tunic, reaching halfway down between thigh and knee. It buttoned down center front and had long, tight sleeves with buttons from elbow to the little finger."