The Viking Age was a fascinating period full of wild and crazy folklore. This period was part of the Middle Ages and took place between the years 793 and 1066.
Today, people are still extremely fascinated with Vikings, and with Viking fashion.
If you’re wondering just what female Viking clothing looked like, read on to learn all about this unusual fashion period.
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Viking Clothing: The Basics
Vikings dressed based on age, gender, and economic status. Most men could be found wearing trousers (pants) and tunics, while the women typically wore dresses with straps over their underclothes.
Most Viking clothes were made of material wool or flax that was hand woven by the women of the era. Leather was also common depending on the person and their status.
When scientists uncovered the graves of wealthy Vikings, they also found some imported clothing. Silk, gold threads, and precious metals were often discovered. Fur and jewelry were also common for those who wore the more wealthy Viking fashion.
Female Viking Clothing
Most female Viking clothing consisted of a strap dress with a smock or undergarment worn underneath. Strap dresses were form-fitting and made of coarse materials. A Viking dress was hand stitched together at the sides, or in some cases, it was worn open.
Gussets were sometimes sewn into the dresses to give them more flow and more shape. They may have also been added to a Viking dress as the woman got older or grew in size. Strap dresses fit over the chest area and were held up by a strap that went over each shoulder.
These straps were fastened to the front of the dress using a shell-shaped pin or brooch. You’d also find a string of beads between two brooches at the chest of some female Viking dresses.
So, when it comes to Viking fashion, what about the details underneath the dresses? Most women wore a smock or undergarment under the dress for coverage. Check out this website for womens Viking clothing to see some examples of commonly worn outfits.
Some research has found that Danish Viking women typically wore plain undergarments, and Swedish Viking women wore pleated undergarments. A beautiful cloak was often worn over the shoulders and was fastened by a small round brooch to keep it in place. More ornate female Viking cloak designs might feature woven edges or strips of fur for a beautiful touch.
Female Viking Accessories
While dresses and cloaks were common, accessories were also worn by female Vikings. Belts were worn around the waist to hold dresses in place and were also likely used as sheaths for swords or knives.
A small leather purse was also carried by many Viking women. This “purse” was used to hold onto small objects like sewing needles and fire flints. This tool consisted of a curved piece of iron used to spark a flame for fires.
So, what about the type of shoes that women wore? Most donned leather footwear on their feet to protect them from the elements.
Female Viking Warrior Clothing
During the Viking period, many women joined in battle. These brave women were called valkyries, or shield-maidens.
While a typical Viking woman would wear a dress and cloak, female warriors often dressed like their fellow males. They also carried shields, earning them the nickname shield-maidens.
If the shield-maiden did not dress like a man, she would typically wear a long dress with a simple cloak or sheath over it. Instead of aprons, these brave warrior women wore armor to protect them in battle.
And while dresses were usually long in length, it was important that they never touched the ground. Most dresses worn by female Vikings came just above the ankles so they could walk or run without stepping on the hem.
Colors in Female Viking Clothes
You might wonder what types of colors these female Viking women wore. In most cases, the basic dresses and undergarments were crafted of white, tan, or neutral-colored fabrics.
Colored clothes came into the picture when the women put on their cloaks or aprons. These hues were usually rich and vibrant and featured deep jewel tones like dark blue, ruby red, or deep emerald green.
Aside from their attire, researchers also believe that many female Vikings wore some form of makeup. However, the makeup worn wasn’t done in the same way that we think of it today. Makeup was usually another word for “painting the face,” which warrior women did to intimidate their enemies.
Eyeliner was commonly worn by both women and men during this time period. Some evidence shows that Vikings wore makeup as early as the 8th century. But back then, it was utilized as a type of “war paint” rather than an attempt at vanity, and it also showed economic status.
The ingredients used to make this makeup consisted of a variety of natural materials. Kohl, ochre, burnt almonds, oxidized copper, ash, and lead are just a few examples of what may have been used to add color to the face.
Dress Like a Viking Warrior
As you can see, female Viking clothing was an important part of the culture during the time. Whether it was a simple dress and cloak or serious armor, this clothing only added to the intrigue of this fascinating time in human history.
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