In 2005 there was an excellent 12 part (1/2 hour each) BBC series called Tales from the Green Valley. It documents 3 archaeologists and 2 historians who spent 12 months working on a restored 1620 Welsh hill farm. This is no silly “reality” show with contestants and challenges or a social experiment. These were 5 people who labored every day of an entire year, working the land with only period tools, materials, skills and technology. They cooked and ate period dishes gleaned from period farm diaries, worked with near-period breeds of animals, harvested local fruits, thatched a cow shed, plowed, planted, sheered sheep, and harvested. Through heat and snow, they spent every waking minute there, steeped in the life of 17c farmers.
The farm itself was rebuilt and its garden, orchard and copse repopulated with period appropriate plants and species in the 17 years prior to the 2003 filming. The site is actually a functioning 16c farm called Bullace Hill, which hosts a living history event one weekend a year for young students. There are three farms involved in the Green Valley, located in Somerset and Monmouthshire.  Their website lists books and period recreated fabrics that can be purchased. Definitely worth a look!
During the second half of the first or second episode, three of the participants are shown dressing in what looks like a reproduction building that included beds and bunks. The men wore what you’d expect: breeches, very large shirts with drop shoulders, wool hosen and heavy wool doublets with sleeves. Their doublet sleeves appear to be sewn in, which makes me question when this began. In the Elizabethan era sleeves were tied in. The epaulets were smaller than I would have expected, but I have a feeling that there was no “correct” size and they were made at the whim of the seamstress. The color of the breeches is what I can only call “dun.” A visitor during Christmas wore an even more close-fitting doublet with slashed sleeves and the type of collar one associates with the Pilgrims. What struck me was the heaviness of the wool outer garments, some of which may have been felted. This was wool meant to keep you warm, unlike a recreation made with natural but convenient fibers intended to not smother the American reinactor in July. It was only bulk that would keep these folks warm. As they noted, one good soaking in the frequent Welsh rains and a doublet could gain 10 pounds and take weeks to dry by the fire. One of the other men frequently wore a less fitted jerkin and often wore multiple thinner layers.
As I usually deal with English Renaissance costume for reenactments in America, I was less familiar with the women’s clothing of 1620. They wore the typical chemise and heavy wool skirts. One woman showed her corset, which had a wooden busk down the front and channels with probably stiff reeds along the sides. The corset shape hadn’t changed much since the English Ren, but the pattern of the reeds was not what I had expected. As each woman, or someone in her family, had to make her own corset, I would not be surprised to discover that the reed placement and qty depended on the creator. We did not see her entire dressing process, but it seems that she either had a bodice that was similarly colored, or she was not wearing anything over the corset (which seems unlikely). Later episodes showed the women ins close fitting doublets with skirting that was perhaps 14 inches long. Again, the sleeves were sewn in. Their clothing very much resembled some of the Dutch paintings, which are some of the only images we have of the lower classes at that time.
I was less familiar with the women’s head covering; I’m simply used to seeing the biggins with the even width band around the forehead. On the farm, they wore those funny shaped biggins with the rounded shape over the forehead, that curves back at the temple, then back out again over the ears. I’ve always thought it an unattractive shape, but I hadn’t realized how practical it was! The lower rounded part over the ears is over the ears; it would help keep the ears warm. A head cloth was worn under the biggins, covering the forehead and holding the hair back. It also helped keep the biggins in place. I’m not sure I’d want to spend an entire year in these clothes, but as one of the participants pointed out, they weren’t costumes, but practical clothes.
Here are the articles I’ve found associated with the show:
Other similar sequels: