The most important part of a men’s wardrobe is his trousers. After all they protect those parts that are considered essential. You do need to have something in place that is suitable and robust. In the past there was but one thing that all men required to ensure their manhood was protected, they went out and got a codpiece. It’s not a regular piece of modern clothing, the Tommy Bowe Menswear range that you can buy from EJ Menswear doesn’t look like it has an option for one anytime soon. The only men that wear them with any regularity are Cricket players, for obvious reasons and Medieval reenactors. Where did we get the idea to wear the from?
They start off as a prominent piece of protective armour on plate mail. Then, in 16th century Europe, masculinity was hyper exaggerated, along with conceptions of chivalry, honour and romance. For the intention of proving masculinity in the most transparent of ways, codpieces were quickly hijacked. The most intricate models were singularly showy, and portraits suggest that the codpiece achieved epic proportions in the mid-16th century. No cost was spared: codpieces were made, bejewelled or embroidered in luxurious silk velvet. They were also required by young boys to wear them.
Costume scholars have long suggested that, as a result of the vogue for femininity that swept through the French and English courts, the codpiece fell from fashion. A change of emphasis to the face and hips was heralded by intricate ruffs and ballooning breeches as worn by Lord Percy Percy in Blackadder II.