A Viking warrior sporting a Viking Fashion

Exploring Viking Fashion: Clothing, Footwear, And Hairstyles

Explore the world of Viking fashion! This article delves into the clothing, footwear, and hairstyles of the Viking Age, showcasing their practicality, ingenuity, and even artistry. From the long under-dresses and brooches worn by women to the leather shoes and boots crafted by hand, discover how Vikings adorned themselves.

Women wearing Viking clothes



In the Viking period, women's clothing has been well-documented through archaeological finds in Viking Age graves. These discoveries have allowed for the reconstruction of their attire, which typically included a long under-dress with long sleeves, accompanied by a sleeveless tube-shaped apron or mantle dress. This ensemble was fastened below the shoulders with two large metal or tortoiseshell-shaped brooches, often adorned with a string of colorful glass and amber beads. Additionally, many women wore a small separate apron and a shawl, secured by trefoil-shaped brooches.

The materials used for these garments were primarily wool or linen. Evidence such as spindle whorls and loom weights indicates that wool was spun and woven into cloth or wadmal. To add color, natural dyes were used, offering a range of hues including red, green, yellow, and blue.

Completing their attire, women also wore leather belts from which they hung small leather bags to hold items such as sewing needles and hones. This practical yet stylish clothing ensemble showcases the ingenuity and artistry of Viking women's fashion.


Men in ancient times adorned themselves with jewelry, a rare find in archaeological digs but nonetheless revealing. Unearthed mostly from graves, these artifacts provide a glimpse into their fashion and attire fastening methods.

Their wardrobe consisted of trousers, tunics, and cloaks crafted from wool, linen, and sometimes animal skins for added warmth during winter. To secure their garments, men utilized bone or metal pins, along with large penannular brooches and sturdy leather belts.

One exceptional discovery was a fragment of a thick, woollen glove or mitten found in a Shetland peatbog. The fabric, woven in a 2:2 twill pattern, was radiocarbon dated to 970 ± 30, corresponding to the calibrated range of 1010-1160.

Viking footwears


Vikings were known for their handmade leather shoes and boots, as evidenced by excavations in Waterford city center revealing over 700 fragments. Initially, calf and cattle skin were used, later transitioning to pig and sheep skin in the 11th century.

Early shoes were often crafted from a single piece of leather, stitched together using thin leather strips or waxed sheep's wool. Discoveries from York showcase ankle boots, some secured with a toggle or metal buckle on the side.

To complement their footwear, Vikings wore woollen socks. Initially, these socks were likely made from woven cloth known as wadmal. However, by the 14th century, nalbinding, an early form of knitting, was used to create woollen socks.

A red-haired woman with a group of men



Viking women took great care of their hair, often wearing it long and styled attractively. Historical evidence, such as images on runic stones, silver and bronze figures, pendants, and the Oseberg tapestry, showcases their well-kept hairstyles.

One of the most common Viking women's hairstyles featured a knot at the back of the head, with the hair cascading down from the knot like a ponytail. This style is depicted in an 8th-century grave find from Kent, England. Additionally, a Viking Age grave discovery in Hollola, Finland, revealed exceptionally well-preserved hair with a knot, allowing experts to reconstruct this ancient hairstyle, which was likely only possible with very long hair.


The Vikings placed significant emphasis on their hair and beards, as evidenced by royal bynames like Sweyn Forkbeard and Harald Fairhair. Sweyn likely had a divided beard, while Harald likely boasted a fine head of hair. Archaeological finds, including combs, indicate regular hair grooming was common.

References to Viking grooming practices appear in various sources, including an anonymous letter in Old English. One source advises against adopting the "Danish fashion," described as a reverse "mullet" style with long hair on top and short hair at the back. Beards were also meticulously groomed, as seen in artifacts like a carved male head from the Oseberg ship burial, featuring an elegant, long mustache and beard.


Viking clothing was both practical and stylish, with an emphasis on functionality for the harsh Norse climate. People wore garments made from wool, linen, and sometimes animal skins, and adorned themselves with jewelry and brooches. Leather shoes and boots were the footwear of choice, while hairstyles were often elaborate, with both men and women taking great care of their appearance.

If you're interested in exploring Viking fashion for yourself, Triple Viking offers a wide selection of Viking clothing and accessories to help you channel your inner Norse warrior or shieldmaiden.

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