ARN - Newby Question

Theron Bretz tbretz at
Fri Apr 14 12:51:58 PDT 2000

>Well I guess I didn't give enough information on myself,
>I am Caerell MacDomnaill born of the Highland in 1160.

OK, a few things to note.  Assuming it's still the 12th century for you,
you're seriously pre-dating rapier combat by about 320 years.  So anything
you do from that point on is a compromise with authenticity.  This is not,
in and of itself, a bad thing.  I myself date my persona to the 1470s,
slightly before the true development of the arte.

So, what are your options?  First, you can adapt the clothing a 12th century
Scotsman would have worn.  In this case, a tunic over your armour.  12th
century fashion was even more uniform than 16th century fashion.  The Scots
did seem to go for various plaids and the like.  A leather jerkin would not
be an option since such garments didn't exist that early.  One option might
be a long-sleeved quilted gambeson (although not too heavily quilted), to
simulate the sort of lightweight protection one might wear onboard a ship.

By the way, you are aware that the state of shipping in the 12th century was
rudimentary at best, aren't you? Most of the Spanish coast was in Moorish
hands at the time, if I recall. But I digress...

Your other option is to wear clothing appropriate to the time period of the
activity, in this case, the 16th century.  If so, a leather jerkin
(essentially, using the same pattern as a doublet) is perfectly appropriate,
and I daresay, a dashing fashion accessory.  You'll have to rationalize why
your fighting clothes bear no resemblance to your day-to-day togs, but if I
manage to get away with it, anyone can.

>So the type of Jerkin I am looking for need not be Scottish, but maybe
>something a Scottish sailor might have found useful and taken it as a part
>of his kit.

See above.  For something like a jerkin, the design would really be quite
universal, with experts being hard-pressed to catalog regional or national
differences..  Find a good doublet pattern, get your leather, and go to

Don Etienne

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