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How to Dress like a Viking

Dawn's Dress Diary

Via: Dawn's Dress Diary

To all my dear brothers and sisters of the shield. You want to dress like a true Viking, right? Well, if you're going to make it part of your everyday wear, become a true reenactor, or get Wed like a Viking, this will be the guide for you! We will show you the best way to dress like the ancient Norse, with a definitive list of things to consider before committing to any purchases. 

Shirts

Shirts

Via: Hurstwic

Do you want to look authethically ancient like the Norseman or woman? The tunic is the best way to get started on this aestheic.

Vikings' shirts varied drastically from person to person based on economic status and the kind of person. Their top ‘shirt layer’ would be a woolen tunic that ranges in sizes, colors, length, and makes but was generally based on a simple pattern.  These would be fastened around the neck by a simple bead or drawstring. The more affluent people would trim this area with silk.

Under this layer would be an undergarment tunic that was plain and served to keep the warmth in during the cold climates of their homeland.  This was made of linen and went up against the skin. 

Pants

Hurstwic

Via: Hurstwic

There was a range of trouser styles in the Viking world, from baggy to tight, but the baggy was preferred for comfortability and moveability. These had no pockets or flies, so their convenience was less so than modern-day trousers! Everyday items were carried in bags around a belt, on the back, or tied to a brooch. These were held up by straps under the tunic, although some might have had drawstrings instead. 

For the undergarments, less is known about what they look like. But unless you want to go entirely historically accurate, sticking with modern underwear is 100% more comfortable than loose linen shorts. 

Shoes + Socks

Hurstwic

Via: Hurstwic

I think Viking shoes look not only stylish, but essentially comfortable. Which is great because by adding these to your costume will help a tonne! 

Viking shoes were made of leather and tied with laces in some cases, while others were firm slip-on. The style of shoes varied drastically, as you can see, and would have been practical for walking around, battle, and other activities. These would have been worn over shocks or extended trousers with no foot holes.

During cold weather and long wintery treks, linen strips were woven around the outer trouser ankle just above the shoe to act as a barrier of extra warmth and minimize dragging loose clothing. 

Dress Styles

Hurstwic

Via: Hurstwic

Viking women always look stunning, and do you know why? Its because their dresses are uniquely Norse whilst being practically warm and adorned with sparkling brooches!

Viking women wore dresses which went down to just above the ankles and were made of the same material as men’s shirts or trousers. These dresses had long sleeves and were decorated by brooches with hanging beads. Hanging adornments were made of stone, glass or bone and were very common and not simply just to look pretty. They could also be used to hold useful items as they worked such as needles or a knife.

A dress might have been layered with an sleeveless overshirt apron with straps to hold it in place over the shoulders and tied with brooches. The piece would then be brought in at the waist by a belt to hold pouches.

Accessories

Accessories will help complete any outfit. Even if you don’t have any historically accurate shoes, shirt, or dress, by throwing just a couple of elements which scream ‘Viking!’ you can help make yourself dress like a proper modern Norse man or women. 

Cloak

Scandinavia Facts

Via: Scandinavia Facts

Cloaks are a must have for any outside occasion where you must dress as a Viking! They are warm, but looks great over any outfit. Historically these were square sheets of material made from linen, wool, or furs and drapepd over the back and shoulders, often held up by a brooch.

Belts

Scandinavia Facts

Via: natmus.dk

You can’t have a Viking without a stylish belt! These were a staple of their everyday wear as not only did it hold up their trousers, but it held in their bellies too! A belt acted as a holder for pouches and swords around their waist before the word pocket had even been invented!

Headbands and Hats

natmus.dk

Via: natmus.dk

Vikings used many things to decorate their heads, However they didn’t use horns like many film makers believed! Helmets were fairly simple, although they did have varying designs based on the region and maker. 

Spotern

Via: Spotern

They loved bands of simple design made from metals or materials to suit most occasions. This is seen in tiaras with glass or gems for weddings, or other formal outings. Then there are linen bands which stretch around the forehead and above the ears for more everyday wear. Bands kept hair out of the face and made their wearers look regal!

Hurstwic

Via: Hurstwic

Men liked to wear caps often made of linen for everyday wear, but during war they resorted to metal helmets. A soft cap can look just as striking as any metal helmet does! You can have some real fun with the many styles on offer  in this department. 

Brooches

Brooches

Via: natmus.dk

Brooches were the pinnacle of decoration in Viking clothes. Therefore, they were a huge part of what it mean to ‘dress like a Viking’. They were part of the dressing for holding up robes, tying tunics, and wrapping the cloak up nice and warm.

Beads

Brooches

Via: Hurstwic

Vikings loved their beads! Women in particular often draped their dresses with hanging beads made of wood, stone, and glass to name a few! These colorful adnorments completed any outfit and added life to their otherwise plain wardrobes. 

Weapons and Shields

Weapons and Shields

Via: Scandinavia Facts

The weapons of the vikings was legendary! There were the axes that fordged whole cultural lingages as the Norse travelled into the Uk and pillages for wealths beyond our imagination. Then there were the weapons held for peace,ancestral swords passed between lovers at the atlar of Frigga. 

Wearing a weapon is optional of course as most places now days with raise alarmed eyebrows if you tried to enter your local club with  sword the size of a head! You can also get modern swords which are blunt but still look great for a classic aesthic. 

Rings

Rings

Via: Sons of Vikings

Vikings loved their rings! It allowed them to show their partnership to another human being as well as their affluence and wealth through various materials and styles.  Rings did not just symolise an oath to a loved one, but also a lord or person they are sworn to follow and protect as warriors or maidens. 

For those swearing under the oath of marriage they will have a band dedicated to their love and Freya. Check out The Freya Wedding Ring Set for those set to do just that!

For the oaths between lords, ladies, and the ordinary man or women they will have a band which symbolises strentgh.The Norseman Set is a modern example that fits this very bill!

Check out “How Vikings choose the best wedding ring” to learn how you can find the perfect wedding ring to match your modern Viking style!

Final Remarks

 Life in Norway

Via: Life in Norway

You can finally dress like the a Viking and live your ancient dream in a modern setting.  You could have a spin at creating all these materials and outfit pieces on your own and look for organic materials.

Embrace the strength of the ancient Norse and bring a splash of life into an age of massproduced items made from machines. Live a little simpler and express your inner Viking through what your wear and you just might live a happier life!

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