Women’s Medieval Chemise

Women’s Medieval Chemise

$139.95

    • Based on contemporary medieval artwork(see Historical Inspirations below)
    • Made in 100% lightweight Linen
    • Comes in Five sizes to accommodate most body types
    • Comfortable and authentic sleep or lounge wear
    • The perfect base layer for all your medieval gowns – comfortable and smoothing
    • No visible machine stitching
    • All interior seams finished
    • Size 6 available as custom order +$15

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About our Linen Chemise

Throughout the Middle Ages clothes were worn in layers, with a light, linen tunic forming the foundation over which additional linen or wool garments were worn. The exact nature of these earliest garments is unknown, but by the 13th century, the man's tunic had evolved into a simple, relatively short, white linen shirt. Unfortunately, the exact nature of women's undergarments is far less clear; women generally being depicted in period illuminations either fully clothed or stark naked.

What is clear is that some sort of undergarment was worn, and it had to be designed to work with the tight sleeved gowns and cotehardies fashionable amongst 14th century ladies. An answer may be found in the Bohemian King Wencesclaus IV Bible (c.1400), which depicts repeated examples of serving women at work, stripped to a simple, sleeveless chemise. Experimentation has shown that this chemise fits beautifully under reconstructions of 14th century gowns and smooths the lines of the overdress, creating the elegant silhouette shown in artwork of the period.

Following this example, our chemise is made of a light-weight, white linen, sleeveless with a square neckline. Ankle length on most women, the chemise will help improve the lay of your gown without interfering with your train. Best of all, this chemise not only makes a perfect underdress, but following the lead of good King Wenceslaus' ladies, it is perfect, authentic clothing for working around camp or lounging in your pavilion.

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Size Chart

Note: In our women’s clothes we’ve abandoned ‘standard’, modern sizing because it is far from standard, and tends to cause more confusion than provide accurate information. So, please judge your size by your chest measurement. We do not give waist and hip measurements because the chemise is an ‘A’ line style and flares out from the bust so that fit at the hip is generally not an issue.

Size Max. Bust Measurement Length (from shoulder)
2 36″ / 91cm 52″ / 132cm
3 40″ / 102cm 52″ / 132cm
4 46″ / 117cm 54″ / 137cm
5 50″ / 127cm 55″ / 140cm
6 56″ / 143cm 55″ / 140cm

Only available in White.

Throughout the Middle Ages clothes were worn in layers, with a light, linen tunic forming the foundation over which additional linen or wool garments were worn. The exact nature of these earliest garments is unknown, but by the 13th century, the man’s tunic had evolved into a simple, relatively short, white linen shirt. Unfortunately, the exact nature of women’s undergarments is far less clear; women generally being depicted in period illuminations either fully clothed or stark naked.

What is clear is that some sort of undergarment was worn, and it had to be designed to work with the tight sleeved gowns and cotehardies fashionable amongst 14th century ladies. An answer may be found in the Bohemian King Wencesclaus IV Bible (c.1400), which depicts repeated examples of serving women at work, stripped to a simple, sleeveless chemise. Experimentation has shown that this chemise fits beautifully under reconstructions of 14th century gowns and smooths the lines of the overdress, creating the elegant silhouette shown in artwork of the period.

Following this example, our chemise is made of a light-weight, white linen, sleeveless with a square neckline. Ankle length on most women, the chemise will help improve the lay of your gown without interfering with your train. Best of all, this chemise not only makes a perfect underdress, but following the lead of good King Wenceslaus’ ladies, it is perfect, authentic clothing for working around camp or lounging in your pavilion.

All drawings from details of the King IV Wenceslas Bible, circa 1400, Staatsbibliotek, in Vienna, Austria

A woman prepares for her day, hair covered by a veil, she has just tied her ankle boots and buckled garters over her linen stockings, she now prepares to dawn her simple wool kirtle for the chilly fall day.

A woman lounges in her simple chemise, her hair contained by a linen turban. She wears a pair of warm, purple wool stockings, held in place by a pair of leather garters, her feet protected from the hard stone floor with a pair of leather turn shoes.

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