Norman Conquest Encyclopedia

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Clothing

The rich and successful Viking took considerable trouble with his appearance. Leather shoes were worn and a knitted sock has been found in York. Trousers were worn and subject to fashionable variation, and a tunic and a cloak completed the garb of an unarmed man. The Anglo-Saxon style of dress was derived from the Germanic tribes, but was not dissimilar. The cloak was knee-length, held with a brooch. The tunic was of wool and the legs covered with trousers or leggings, maybe hanging loose or perhaps bound round with strips of cloth called wininga. Shoes were of leather and headgear was a cap with a forward-drooping peak, known as a Phrygian cap. Norman clothes were somewhat more sophisticated. A linen shirt was worn by a knight, together with baggy breeches which narrowed to fit tightly below the knee. Criss-cross bindings round the lower leg denoted the nobility, as opposed to spiral wrappings for lesser men. A tunic went over the shirt and a cloak completed the clothing. Shoes were of leather and laced up.

See also: Anglo-Saxon; armour; hauberk; Norman; Viking; York

Related Reading:

Early Saxon warrior, late 5th to early 6th century (© Osprey Publishing Limited, from Warrior 5 Anglo-Saxon Thegn 449-1066 AD , by Mark Harrison, artwork © by Gerry Embleton; Viking warrior 8th to 9th centuries (c Osprey Publishing Limited, from Warrior 3 Viking Hersir 793-1066 AD , by Mark Harrison, artwork © by Gerry Embleton)