Ten years ago, I got a bag of mail rings from a friend who had no use for them. I made a small, tank-top-esque mail that I wore when visiting a medieval-themed bar in Stockholm called Sjätte Tunnan. A while later, I bought another bag of rings from another friend, from which I made a second small mail - this one roughly the size and shape of a t-shirt. Then, after several years of not really knowing what to do with these two useless (from a defensive point of view) pieces of armor, I decided to put together a set based on what a Norman soldier would have worn at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Today, it's more or less complete.
Layer 1: Cloth
The first layer of the armor is the normal clothing, so to speak. I wear a simple, handmade orange tunic and a pair of linen pants I found on second-hand many years ago. The latter is high on the list of items that need to be replaced in this outfit. The leg wraps are made of scraps from a wool dress I made, and are about 3 meters each. On my feet are a couple of modded shoes I bought on the market of Medieval Week in Visby several years ago. Oh and the markings on my face are pressure marks from the mail and helmet.
Layer 2: Gambeson
Layer two is a padded coat - a gambeson - with a matching padded hood called a coif. These are both made from layer upon layer of linen, meant to absorb any blunt damage. They're about half to one quarter of the recommended thickness, but I chose mobility and not dying of heat over historical correctness. Proper gambesons actually provide really good protection, even against arrows.
Layer 3: Mail
On top of the gambeson is the mail. This consists of two parts - the hauberk (upper body) and the coif (head). They are in my case made with two different kinds of rings, allowing them to have patterns as shown above. Historically, these rings would have been thick and riveted, rather than made of flexible spring-steel like mine. The way the gambeson and hauberk open in the front would allow me to mount a horse, like many Normans did when they invaded England.
The mail coif has a leather flap that covers the mouth when full protection is needed. I'm also wearing a belt bag to carry all my loot in.
Layer 4: Weapon, shield and helmet
Finally, I carry a shield, a helmet and a sword. The former, I made myself, and the other two are from an online store called SPQR. The only piece missing here is a pair of gloves. While nothing close to an exact replica, I have to admit I am very pleased with how it all came together in the end.
The weight of the whole set is 16 kg. Cloth and gambeson: 3.5 kg. Hauberk: 4.4 kg. Mail coif: 1 kg. Sword + scabbard: 2.1 kg. Helmet: 2.1 kg. Shield: 2.9 kg.