One of the more amusing English sumptuary laws was passed in 1463 under King Edward IV. It required that “no Knight under the Estate of a Lord, Esquire, Gentleman, no none other Person” shall wear a gown, jacket, or coat “unless it be of such Length that the same may cover his privy Members and Buttocks.” [Capitalization in the original!]
3 Edw. 4 c. 5, 2 Stat. of the Realm 401
Though this painting of the treason trial of the Duke of Alençon before Charles VII depicts an event that took place in France, it was painted around the time of Edward IV’s law. Depending on their social rank, some of the men in the foreground would have been obeying the law in England, while others clearly would not.