4 – They Were Fashion Icons
There are certain depictions of Vikings which suggest their clothing style was greatly admired by those they came into contact with. An 11th century English drawing shows King Canute as an elegantly dressed and well-groomed man complete with socks, trousers, tunic and a cloak draped over one shoulder. It is hard to believe that the Vikings were the Gok Wan of their age; especially since historians are still not sure precisely what their attire consisted of.
They know that Vikings enjoyed colorful clothing with patterns and are also sure that fashion and style changed from region to region over time. Unfortunately, the majority of Viking clothes had rotted away by the time archaeologists located their burial sites. As a result, the picture historians have of Viking fashion is based on the textiles and objects found in their tombs. As well as not being able to reconstruct this attire correctly, it is also possible that their burial clothes were ceremonial. This would mean these items are not representative of their everyday clothes. In other words, we don’t have enough evidence to suggest the Vikings belong in Warrior GQ.
Archaeologists have attempted to take a guess as to the clothing of the Vikings. For example, there are a large number of belt buckles found in women’s graves; these buckles are located on the shoulder of the females which suggests they worn ‘harness’ dresses. Further excavations suggest that women wore dresses with built-in sleeves. Females wore double-layered clothing with a linen base on the inside with wool forming the outer layer.
Men probably wore the same materials and also wore a linen shirt which was pulled over the head. They wore a woolen coat on the outside along with short or long trousers. In most instances, these trousers would only go down to the knee. Finally, men tended to wear hats while women would wear either a small hat or a scarf.