Outfitting Guidelines of the Company of the Golden Lion
Companions shall endeavor to create a period “kit” including armor, clothing, shelter, and other materiel, within their means. The Companion’s kit should:
Be a faithful re-creation of artifacts and representations from Western Europe between 1250 C.E. and 1500 C.E.
Be consistent in style per place and time – don’t combine a headdress from 1250 with a cotte from 1475.
Be complete - Hats and shoes, please. Don’t over-accessorize – lots of “danglies” do not present an authentic appearance. Your shelter or kitchen should contain period furnishings – if period furnishings are unavailable, the pavilion should conceal non-period items. Don’t serve chocolate cake with rastons.
Be comprised of period or natural ingredients, materials or fibers - Use good fabrics; wool, linen, and a little silk are preferred, some cottons are OK. Avoid prints, polyester, spandex, and over-use of brocades. Worsted wool will be less scratchy than woolen, but it’s also more difficult to find, and more expensive. Acceptable substitutes for wool will vary little in appearance from the real thing, and should be used only in cases where real wool would cause a great deal of discomfort. Avoid new-world foods (tomatoes, corn, squashes, turkeys) and anything requiring baking powder or soda. Non-period tents will be situated out of the line of sight of the main encampment.
Have mundanities concealed – We don’t care what’s under your surcote, clothing, or bed, but if it’s modern, keep it out of sight.
Be subject to constant improvement – more period is better.
Be maintained good repair.
At a minimum, gentlemen will need a tunic, jacquette, or doublet, hose, body linens, shoes and a hat. Shoes should be – if not period – then not obtrusively modern. A couple of changes of clothing per day planned at the event is recommended. A cloak is a good idea; interline it with polar fleece if warmth is a concern. A warmer option is a jacquette, which functions similarly to our modern jackets.
Again, the minimum for women would be a fitted cotte, body linens, headwear and shoes. A couple of changes of clothing per day planned at the event is recommended. Women will appreciate having a surcotte of wool that could be interlined with polar fleece for extra warmth. A cloak is a good choice, but the surcotte will provide more warmth. Fine woolen or worsted wool veils can also provide warmth.
In general, children are dressed similarly to their parents. Try to avoid tennis shoes; if period shoes are not practical, opt instead for plain brown shoes that approximate the look of period shoes. Commercial tights are OK. Dressing children in layers helps to accommodate variations in temperature. Confer with other Companions to get tips for clothing that grows with children, and to get hand-me-downs. Find or make period toys. In place of diaper bags, use baskets covered with a period fabric.
When they represent the Company in the Companions will equip themselves so that from ten feet away they look like fully equipped men-at-arms of the years 1250-1500.
Equipment fully covered by Surcoats, Jupons, and Coat-Armor need only meet Society safety standards, provided that the covering garment is appropriate to the rest of the harness, and authentic in appearance, and the dubious harness is entirely covered and does not impart an inauthentic outline to the covering garment.
During most of this period, a complete harness for a man-at-arms included greaves. They need not be closed greaves. Late 15th century harness without greaves will be accepted on a case-by-case basis when supported by documentation.
Sabatons are splendid, medieval shoes are encouraged. Sneakers that are all black or brown are acceptable. Hose is good. Sweatpants and, if visible, socks of a matching color, are acceptable. There are hardly any cases where armor covers enough of jeans to make them acceptable.
Full gauntlets are encouraged, but for safety reasons, demi-gauntlets and cup hilts will be acceptable.
The Companie has adopted two different forms of livery, a cloak and a garter. They may both/either be worn by Companions of the Golden Lyon.
The standard Companie livery cloak is a full-round red cloak of wool or an acceptable substitute, 55” in length, unlined, which means that the interior seams must be finished. The cloak is clasped on the right or left shoulder, depending on the wearer’s handedness, with two or three large round hand-made buttons. Decoration of the cloak is TBD. I recommend laundering the wool in hot water; expect 15% shrinkage. This makes 58” wool into 50” wool. Using a dryer sheet will soften the typical scratchiness of the wool.
The standard Companie livery garter is of red leather with the motto “Honestas Supra Omnia” stamped and painted gold upon it. The buckle is of gold metal. The garter is to be worn on the left arm or left leg, above the elbow or knee.
These guidelines are intentionally vague; for more information see the The Companie of Saynte George’s guidelines; they’re pretty good .
Also see Gerry Embleton’s Medieval Military Costume for guidelines.
To purchase clothing or accouterments, see http://www.historicenterprises.com/