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Hose A word of German origin signifying a covering for the legs; the term was used in the early centur!CS AD for a form of roughly-fitting trousers reaching to the ankle. The stocking, with or without foot portion, which was commonly crisscrossed with gartering on the lower leg was generally referred to by the French word chausses (see Chausses). It was pulled up to the knee over the brales (see Braies). Gradually the chausses became longer and the brales shorter. From about 1340, as garments were tailored to fit more closely, this trend also applied to the chausses. Now usually described as hose, they were r,aade as two long stockings, each expertly cut longitudinally in four sections to fit the leg tightly from foot to crotch. They were made of velvet, silk or cloth and, in winter, could be fur-lined. Often the foot portion was soled so that shoes were unnecessary indoors. By 1360 the two legs of the hose were lengthened to reach the hips. They were kept up by being laced through eyelet holes all round the outer leg to the lower edge of the undertunic. These lacings were known as points (see Aglet). By 1370-80 the legs of the hose had joined to become 'tights' and soon ex- tended nearly to waist-level, where they were laced to the undertunic all round the body (see also Cod-piece). Women wore similar hose but theirs reached only to just above the knee, like stockings, and were gartered there. In the fourteenth century, with the general wearing of soled hose, the fashion for extended toes was introduced. First popular in Poland and Italy, the trend spread westwards, being especially exaggerated about 1380. Some toe points were so extreme that it became difficult to walk and the point had to be stuffed and stiffened with whalebone (see Poulaine). in the fifteenth century hose had become so well-fitting to the leg that it was fashionable to wear parti-coloured or striped designs in order to display the masculine curves to advantage; sometimes one leg was covered in plain material and the other striped or, perhaps, the upper part was striped and the lower plain. With the sixteenth century the hose was often divided into two parts: the upper and lower stocks. The upper section, which covered the buttocks and thighs was, from about 1525, slashed and banded, in a similar manner to the treatment of other garments in this period, while the lower netherstocks were fitting, gartered at the knee, striped or plain. With the Spanish fashions of the second half of the sixteenth century came the mode for trunk hose. These were upper stocks made in the form of full knicker- bockers, which had a fitting waistband and thigh bands; the fullness of the material draped over the latter often hiding the bands from view. Trunk hose were slashed to display an undergarment of similar form but of different colour and material. The strips of the outer garment were known as panes and were usually richly em- broidered, even jewelled. The lower leg was covered by netherstocks which were plain, fitting stockings. Towards the 1580s and 1590s the trunk hose became extremely short and were padded to give a wide, stiff silhouette at buttock level. Below these abbreviated trunk hose the fitted portion of the hose or stocks was divided into two parts: an upper section, which reached to the knee and which were called canions (cannons), and a lower stocking, of different colour and material, pulled up over them. In the early seventeenth Century trunk hose gradually gave place to loose breeches, after the style of Venctians or pluderhosen (see Breeches) and, after this, knee-breeches, so that stockings replaced hose (see Stocking). A form of over-stockings were worn during the seventeenth century called stirrup-hose. These were a protection for the costly silk stockings and worn for riding. They had an instep strap to go under the foot and were laced at the top to the breeches.

All ways there is the problem with bias cut woven fabrics of getting a tight fit around the Ankles, it is about imposable, however there are ways of doing this imposable thing.

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2006 March 28