ok - replying to a few thing here, so bear with me....
My personal opinion is that front-opening would be fairly universal amongst poorer women of childbearing age, simply because it's impossible (or at least incredibly fiddly) to breast-feed with any other type (voice of experience), and poorer women would presumably not be able to afford one for when they had a babe in arms and another for when they didn't...
In theory the most common type for child bearing women would be a version that laced at the sides (both of 'em) as well as the front. That way as the woman gets bigger during her pregnancy, she can just loosen the lacing. Works much better than one that fastens solely at the front (obviously working women wouldn't necessarily have had the confinement period).
2. Albert - first, you are clearly showing a complete ignorance of how clothing is actually made - the construction techniqes of machine sewn clothes are actually completely different from those of hand sewn clothes, and the result is that they do actually look quite a lot different. Likewise on hand made cloth vs. machine made.
Second, you've completely missed my point regarding the extreme labour intensiveness of naalbinding - yes, if anybody wants me to make a pair, I will charge them accordingly (the example I quoted was for a pair of approx. size four - larger sizes would of course take longer, and therefore cost more).
But anyway, my point is that I have never met a re-enactor (or museum or film/tv purchaser for that matter), who would pay the amount it would be necessary to charge. It's unrealistic and naiive to assume that they would.
What do you propose to do about the fact that we're all to tall and clean, and well fed - and that the military types aren't broken enough?
I think the other real point is a compromise is a compromise - none of them are justifiable, but most of them are necessary.
(Natuarally, I don't include things like modern glasses and desert boots in this - they're not a compromise, they're a cop out.)
And since you do not like the idea of a modern concession used simply because it's hidden, I presume that you do not wear modern underwear when in kit, or have modern things hidden in your tent where they're out of sight. Like I saud - compromise is compromise - it really doesn't matter what form that takes.
BTW, I note that you haven't answered the question regarding your group.
Good point about looting. I've also had footware failure out on the field leading to exposing inauthentic socks....of course I guess I could just strap on my sabatons and wear combat boots......
s'a bit 19th century
Erm, Dom, surely for your period (late medieval?), footed hose are the answer, not socks!
As it happens, footed hosen are around for the whole of the medieval period. As are cloth hosen for women (ones that tie above the knee).
In earlier medieval times there are even footed hosen with leather soles. And for viking types there are footed trousers.
But having knitted / naalbound socks is really nice and comfy.
But as well as that, knitted socks are also right for Dom's period (proper knitting, that is, done on two or more needles). It's around in Britain from (probably) sometime in the 13th century (no one can say for certain when - but it's definitely becoming established by the early 14th c. (It wasn't just hats