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Discussing: Stupid clothing question

Stupid clothing question

I need to know very soon - do Men wear socks in Middle-earth? I mean, between trousers and boots? I assume they do, but am not sure. And are they called stockings or socks? Hoping for help, RAKSHA

 

 

Re: Stupid clothing question

Strangely enough, I always assumed they didn't wear socks. Consider that undergarments - including underwear, socks, stockings, brassieres, etc - didn't really come into fashion until, what, the 17th century? Maybe. You could probably research it, but I've always considered Middle-earth Medieval and therefore sockless. Ah, but creative license is a wonderful thing. Aeneid

 

 

Re: Stupid clothing question

You mean that Strider, Faramir, all Rangers north and south went running through the woods in all weather with bare feet inside boots? Didn't they have bulky underpants, called "smallclothes", in the Middle Ages? RAKSHA

 

 

Re: Stupid clothing question

Raksha-- My father assured me long ago that there is no such thing as a stupid question, ;-D In the Middle Ages, people wore either hose or knitted stockings (socks). Hose were worn throughout the entire period. Basically, they were like modern socks except that they sewn from woven fabric instead of knitted. The fabric would probably be woollen--linen does not have much stretch so it would not work well for hose. The hose could be short or go all the way up to the crotch. Since elastic would not be invented for quite a while, people wore garters(ties) to hold up their hose, or the tops of the very long hose were fastened to the upper garment (a shirt or doublet) with ties called "points." Inside a close-fitting boot, I would guess you could dispense with the garters. Knitted socks became common rather late in the period and initially would have been made of silk and quite expensive. (There is a special exception to this--in Scandinavia, they were using a single-needle form of knitting from early times). With some trepidation (afraid of starting a thread), I approach that underwear question. Women wore a long shift under their outer garments; there is no evidence of underpants as we know them (from earlier times--Rome--there are depictions of women in what look like modern bikini briefs.) Men wore a long shirt under their outer clothes and, yes, sometimes a loose pair of breeches or a loin-cloth as underwear. If it was available and you could afford it, your underwear was made from linen. Branwyn

 

 

Re: Stupid clothing question

Raksha-- I would go with socks or hose. Took a look in the OED--the term 'stocking' is quite late--16th century. The words 'socks' and 'hose' are in use much earlier. You could cheat a little and put your rangers in knitted woolen socks; I wouldn't want Faramir to have cold toes! Branwyn

 

 

Re: Stupid clothing question

Thanx Branwyn; I'm going to go with "socks" mainly out of a reluctance to inflict garter belts on the Men of Gondor. I don't need the materials as yet; but might in the future; since 18 more chapters are ahead and then other LOTR Men of Gondor fics I intend to write. I continue to be amazed at the spectrum of knowledge in the heads of HASA members! And grateful at their willingness to share it! This thread is going into my offline Clothing file! RAKSHA

 

 

Re: Stupid clothing question

Garters! Raksha, not garter belts! It's just a strip of fabric or a cord that you tie around your leg, on top of the hose to hold them in place. Now I am going to be haunted by the image of rangers in garter belts... Branwyn

 

 

Re: Stupid clothing question

Oopsie. So that's where Edward III got the garter from, or was it Joan of Kent? (and founded the Order of the Garter, Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense) Still don't want to fuss with garters. I just see can't see Aragorn or Boromir or Beregond dealing with them, not to mention Faramir. RAKSHA

 

 

Re: Stupid clothing question

Still don't want to fuss with garters. I just see can't see Aragorn or Boromir or Beregond dealing with them, not to mention Faramir. A lot of garters were buckled, thin, leather straps. They could even have decorated ends, with identifying bits from the coats of arms. Very masculine. Way cool. Much cooler than socks that drooped around the ankles. Gwynnyd

 

 

Re: Stupid clothing question

A lot of garters were buckled, thin, leather straps. They could even have decorated ends, with identifying bits from the coats of arms. Very masculine. Way cool. Much cooler than socks that drooped around the ankles. Gwynnyd That is the type of garter used in the emblem for the "Order of the Garter"--can't get much better than that! [smiles] Though the beauty of knitted socks is that there is some elasticity in the knitted stitches, so you wouldn't need garters with them. Hose, which are cut and sewn from cloth are another story--garters would be needed. Branwyn

 

 

Re: Stupid clothing question

So I googled on "medieval underwear", and found Sherts, Trewes, & Hose .iii, which is clearly by someone in the SCA. There are other pages on underwear, and plenty of pages on other topics in their Greydragon library. I also chased through a search on "knitting origin", and came up with little but comments about knitted cotton socks (or sock fragments) from as early as 400 C.A. Egypt. For what it's worth. My personal opinion is that Gondor was technologically more advanced in some ways than Medieval Europe. Also, Gondor was in contact with Harad and other cultures both south & east. Who knows what they might have picked up from their uneasy allies / enemies. Not to mention they started out with close ties to the Elves, who surely had an elegant way to prevent their shoes from chafing their feet... My 2¢ DrummerGirl (Hobbits, with their mantel clocks, waistcoats and umbrellas,are sock naturals. )

 

 

Re: Stupid clothing question

Thanx for your 2 cents!!! That's a great link! RAKSHA

 

 

Re: Stupid clothing question

DrummerGirl - these are fascinating links. I know I plan on spending some time browsing the Greydragon library later today. May I humbly request you add it to the URL library? I think others would find it useful, and we'd have it in a more permanent form. For what it's worth, I think Tanaqui has Faramir take his socks off in her story "Knight's Service", and it didn't make me flinch or anything. Not that I'm the end-all in what's appropriate, by any means. Marta

 

 

Re: Stupid clothing question

Hobbits, with their mantel clocks, waistcoats and umbrellas,are sock naturals. ) Well, they wouldn't be actually - they went barefoot! 'They wear no shoes, because their feet grow natural leathery soles and thick warm brown hair'. I agree that Hobbit society (especially in The Hobbit) does not seem to fit in with Middle Earth in LOTR. Jay

 

 

Re: Stupid clothing question

Hello, Marta & Raksha - Thanks for your comments! Sorry, I didn't notice them until this very day. I have added a link to Library of House Greydragon to the URL libray under "General Reference". It seems to work... Let me know if it doesn't work for you, OK? DrummerGirl

 

 

Re: Stupid clothing question

Hi, Jay! Well, they wouldn't be actually - they went barefoot! 'They wear no shoes, because their feet grow natural leathery soles and thick warm brown hair'. Silly me! I should know better! I guess I was thinking of their pretty much Edwardian / Victorian culture. I suppose those who wore boots used socks? *attempts to regain credibility* DrummerGirl

 

 

Re: Stupid clothing question

I suppose those who wore boots used socks? *attempts to regain credibility* DrummerGirl "The habit of building farmhouses and barns was said to have begun among the inhabitants of the Marish down by the Brandywine. The Hobbits of that quarter, the Eastfarthing, were rather large and heavy-legged, and they wore dwarf-boots in muddy weather. But they were well known to be Stoors in a large part of their blood, as indeed was shown by the down that many grew on their chins. " The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Prologue, Concerning Hobbits So the Stoors of the Marish might have worn socks in muddy weather... - Barbara, sneaking off with the strains of "Stormy Weather" running through her poor overwrought mind...

 

 

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