Unlock the Past: How to Dress Medieval in Simple Steps

Unlock the Past: How to Dress Medieval in Simple Steps

Are you curious about the allure of medieval fashion? Do you want to embody the spirit of a knight or a maiden from the past? In this article, we will guide you on how to dress in medieval style in simple steps. Discover the essence of historical costumes and period clothing, and learn how to elevate your style with medieval clothing tips and a medieval fashion guide.

If you’re new to the world of medieval fashion, don’t worry. We’ll provide an introduction to the basics of dressing in medieval style. We’ll explore the dress codes and styles associated with the medieval era and help you research the period to make informed decisions about your attire.

Choosing the right fabrics is crucial to achieving an authentic look, and we’ll provide tips on how to select the appropriate fabric for your ensemble. We’ll also cover the essential garments and accessories, such as tunics, dresses, belts, and headwear, needed to create a basic medieval outfit.

Layering and adding trims to your clothing can elevate your look and add depth to your costume. We’ll provide tips on how to effectively layer and incorporate decorative trims to achieve an authentic medieval style.

No medieval outfit is complete without the right accessories and footwear. From belts and jewelry to shoes and boots, we’ll guide you on how to choose and incorporate these finishing touches to complement your overall look.

Hairstyles and headwear play a significant role in completing a medieval look, and we’ll provide guidance on how to style your hair and select appropriate headwear to enhance your ensemble. Colors and patterns were also essential elements of medieval fashion, and we’ll explore their significance during the era to help you select appropriate hues and designs for your attire.

Ensuring the right fit and tailoring for your medieval clothing is vital in creating an authentic and comfortable costume, and we’ll share tips and techniques on how to tailor your garments to ensure they fit perfectly and showcase the desired medieval aesthetic. Lastly, we’ll explore how to modernize medieval fashion for contemporary use, whether it be for cosplay or everyday wear.

In the end, dressing in medieval style allows you to explore history while expressing your unique sense of style. With the right tools and guidance, you can unlock the past and unleash your inner knight or maiden. So, let’s dive into the world of medieval fashion and discover its allure together!

Embracing Medieval Fashion

Medieval fashion is a timeless style that can add an air of mystery and nobility to any wardrobe. If you’re looking to dress like a medieval knight or maiden, you’ll need to understand the medieval dress code and its associated outfits.

When it comes to medieval-style outfits, the options are endless. From flowing dresses to chainmail armor, the medieval era offers a plethora of fashion choices. Women typically wore long dresses or skirts paired with bodices or blouses, while men donned tunics and trousers. Knights and soldiers wore armor made from chainmail or plate, often embellished with family crests or other decorations.

The medieval dress code was heavily influenced by social class. Nobles and royalty wore garments made from expensive fabrics such as silk, velvet, and fur, while peasants made do with simple wool or linen clothing. It’s important to keep this in mind when selecting outfits and accessories for your medieval ensemble.

If you want to dress like a medieval knight, leather boots and a belt are essential accessories. A cloak or tabard emblazoned with a family crest or emblem can add an extra touch of authenticity to your costume. Women can complete their medieval look with a headpiece such as a circlet or veil.

It’s worth noting that medieval fashion can vary depending on the time period and location. For example, the clothing worn during the early medieval period in Europe was vastly different from that worn in the late medieval period. Similarly, clothing styles in other parts of the world during the medieval era may differ from those in Europe. Be sure to conduct thorough research to ensure your medieval outfit is historically accurate.

Embodying the Spirit of Medieval Fashion

Medieval fashion is not just about the clothes you wear but also about the attitude you exude. To truly embrace medieval fashion, you should embody the spirit of chivalry, nobility, and honor. This means carrying yourself with confidence and pride, just as a medieval knight would have done.

Take inspiration from historical figures such as King Arthur, Joan of Arc, or Robin Hood, and let their courage and determination guide your fashion choices. Remember, medieval fashion is not just about the clothes you wear but also about the person wearing them.

Researching the Medieval Era

Before diving into the world of medieval fashion, it is important to conduct some research. Gathering inspiration and information about the medieval era will help you make informed decisions when selecting your attire and ensure it aligns with the period’s dress code.

To get started, consider looking into historical costumes, researching books about the medieval era, or visiting museums with relevant exhibits. These resources can provide a wealth of knowledge about the period’s fashion, including the types of fabrics, colors, and patterns commonly used during the medieval era.

Another helpful tip is to look into period clothing patterns. This can help you get a better sense of the construction and silhouette of medieval garments, which can then inform your fabric and accessory choices.

Medieval Dress Code

Understanding the medieval dress code is also crucial when researching the period’s fashion. The dress code varied depending on factors such as social class, occupation, and location. For example, knights and nobles often wore more ornate and luxurious clothing compared to peasants.

The specific garments worn also differed between genders. Women typically wore long, flowing dresses or gowns, while men wore tunics and trousers. Fabrics were often rich in texture, including wool, linen, and silk.

Garment Genders Description
Tunic Both A loose-fitting shirt made of wool or linen.
Dress/Gown Female A long, flowing garment made of wool, linen, or silk.
Hose Both Tight-fitting leg coverings made of wool or linen.
Mantle/Cloak Both A loose outer garment made of wool.
Belt Both Worn around the waist to cinch the tunic and provide a decorative touch.

By researching the medieval dress code and the types of garments worn, you can begin to piece together a historically accurate and stylish outfit.

Next in the article, we’ll discuss how to choose the right fabrics for your medieval ensemble in the section “Choosing the Right Fabrics.”

Choosing the Right Fabrics

If you want to achieve an authentic medieval look, choosing the right fabrics is key. During the medieval era, fabrics were often made from natural materials like wool, linen, and silk. These materials not only looked great but also provided warmth during colder months.

Fabric Properties
Wool Durable and warm. Available in various weights and textures.
Linen Absorbent and lightweight. Ideal for summer garments.
Silk Luxurious and soft. Often used for upper-class garments.

When selecting your fabrics, consider the purpose of your garment and the time of year. For example, a linen tunic would be ideal for a summer outfit, while a wool cloak would provide warmth during the colder months.

You can also add depth and texture to your costume by including trims on your garments. Trims such as lace, fur, or embroidery were commonly used during the medieval era and can add an extra touch of authenticity to your outfit.

Keep in mind that while authenticity is important, modern materials can also be used to create comfortable and durable costumes. Don’t be afraid to mix and match traditional and modern materials to achieve the perfect look.

Basic Medieval Clothing Essentials

When it comes to dressing in medieval style, there are several essential garments and accessories that you’ll need to create an authentic look. Whether you’re going for a knightly or maidenly vibe, these basic clothing items are your go-to:

Garment Description
Tunic A loose-fitting garment that falls to the mid-thigh for men and ankle-length for women. It can be made from linen, wool, or cotton.
Dress A basic garment for women, typically made from linen or wool and styled with long sleeves and a simple neckline.
Belt A wide leather belt with a buckle to cinch the tunic or dress at the waist.
Boots or Shoes Leather boots or shoes that lace up to the ankle, with a flat sole and rounded toe.
Headwear A coif or snood for women, and a hood or cap for men.

In addition to these basic garments and accessories, you may also want to consider adding a few extras to take your medieval outfit to the next level. Some ideas may include:

  • A cloak or cape for warmth and added drama
  • Gloves made from leather or wool for a touch of elegance
  • A pouch or bag to carry your essentials
  • A brooch or pin to fasten your cloak or tunic

When selecting your clothing items, it’s important to keep in mind the materials and colors that were commonly used during the medieval era. Opt for natural fabrics like linen, wool, and cotton in muted earthy tones such as brown, green, and rust. Avoid bright colors and synthetic materials, as they were not commonly used during this time period. With the right garments and accessories, you’ll be well on your way to creating an authentic medieval look!

Layering and Trims

Layering your medieval clothing can add depth and texture to your outfit. Consider layering a tunic over a shirt or blouse or adding a cloak or vest for warmth and style. Layers can also help you achieve the desired look, depending on the time period you are emulating.

Incorporating trims such as braid, lace, or embroidery can also elevate the authenticity of your costume. Trims can be added to hems, sleeves, or necklines and can be used to create intricate patterns or designs.

When layering and adding trims, it’s essential to pay attention to the scale and placement of each element. A small trim on a large garment may not have the desired effect, while excess trims can overwhelm a simpler garment.

Layering Example:

Layer 1: A linen shirt
Layer 2: A wool tunic with a belt
Layer 3: A hooded cloak made of wool or velvet

Trim Example:

Garment: A tunic made of linen or wool
Trim: Embroidered braid on the collar, hem, and cuffs

By layering and adding trims to your medieval clothing, you can create a unique and authentic look that showcases your personal style. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations to find the perfect balance between style and functionality.

Accessories and Footwear

When it comes to medieval fashion, accessories, and footwear are the finishing touches that can make or break an outfit. Here are some tips to help you choose the right accessories and footwear for your medieval costume:

Belts and Jewelry

Belts were an essential accessory in medieval times, not only for holding up your garments but also for showcasing your status. For a simple and understated look, opt for a leather belt with a plain buckle. If you want to add some bling to your ensemble, consider incorporating some medieval-inspired jewelry, such as a pendant featuring a coat of arms or a ring adorned with a gemstone.

Shoes and Boots

Comfortable and sturdy footwear is a must for any medieval outfit. For a basic peasant or serf costume, opt for a pair of simple leather boots or shoes. For a more refined look, consider wearing pointed-toe shoes or leather sandals. If you’re dressing up as a knight or noble, knee-high boots are a great option.


Headwear was another important aspect of medieval fashion. For women, a simple veil or wimple can add a touch of elegance to a medieval dress. Men can accompany their outfits with a coif to add a touch of authenticity to their look. Alternatively, a crown or tiara can add a regal touch to any noble costume.

The Perfect Ensemble

When accessorizing your medieval outfit, it’s important to strike a balance between simplicity and luxury. Too many trinkets and baubles can make your look cluttered, while too little can make it bland. Take inspiration from historical costumes, and choose accessories and footwear that complement your outfit without overpowering it.

Hairstyles and Headwear

Hairstyles and headwear play a crucial role in completing your medieval look and can showcase your character’s backstory or social status.

For men, a short, trimmed haircut was the norm during the medieval era. However, longer hair was acceptable for knights and nobles. A common hairstyle for men was a bowl cut, where the hair was cut to the same length all around and sat straight on top of the head. A simple and effective way to add authenticity to your medieval costume is to style your hair with a center parting and grow a beard or mustache.

Women in medieval times often had long hair, and braids were a popular way to style it. A side braid or a braided crown can help elevate your look, and loose waves can add a touch of romance to your medieval outfit.


Headwear was an integral part of medieval fashion, and the type of headwear you choose will depend on your character’s gender and social status.

Type of Headwear Gender Social Status
Crown or Diadem Both Royalty or Nobility
Coif or Hood Both Peasants or Laborers
Veil or Wimple Women Married and Unmarried Women
Cap or Hat Men Nobility or Peasants

For men, a simple cap or hat can be paired with a tunic or cloak, while a nobleman may wear a jeweled crown or diadem to signify their status. Women could choose to wear a veil or wimple, which was a cloth that covered the head and neck, or a jeweled headband or diadem to signify wealth and status.

Remember, your hairstyle and headwear should complement your overall ensemble, so choose your accessories wisely.

Colors and Patterns: A Guide to Medieval Fashion

Colors and patterns were essential elements of medieval fashion, often used to convey social status, identity, and symbolism. When creating your medieval costume, it’s essential to select appropriate hues and designs that align with the historical period. In this section, we’ll delve into the significance of colors and patterns during the medieval era, helping you make informed decisions when selecting your attire.


During the medieval period, colors played a significant role in fashion, often associated with specific meanings and symbolism.

Color Meaning
Red Power, passion, and love
Blue Divinity, loyalty, and faith
Purple Royalty, nobility, and wealth
Green Nature, youth, and fertility
Yellow Wisdom, joy, and friendship
Black Mourning, piety, and humility
White Purity, innocence, and light

When selecting colors for your costume, consider the character you’re portraying and their role in society. For example, a noblewoman would likely wear rich, saturated hues like purple or red, while a farmer might opt for more earthy tones like green or brown.


Patterns were also prevalent in medieval fashion, adding texture and interest to garments. Popular patterns included stripes, checks, and plaids, while embroidery and embellishments like beading and lace were also common.

  • Stripes: Striped fabrics were popular for both men and women, with horizontal stripes often associated with prisoners and criminals.
  • Checks and plaids: These patterns were typically reserved for lower-class individuals and peasants.
  • Embroidery: Intricate embroidery was a hallmark of medieval fashion, with designs often featuring floral or animal motifs.

When selecting patterns for your costume, consider the societal status of your character and the occasion for which they’re dressing. As a general rule, simpler patterns were more appropriate for everyday wear, while more ornate patterns were reserved for special events and celebrations.

With these guidelines in mind, you can select appropriate colors and patterns to create an authentic and stylish medieval look. Remember, medieval fashion was all about self-expression and creativity, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different hues and designs to make your outfit truly unique.

Tailoring and Fit

When it comes to medieval clothing, achieving the right fit and tailoring is crucial for an authentic and comfortable costume. Follow these tips to ensure that your medieval attire fits perfectly and showcases the desired aesthetic:

  1. Measurements: Take accurate measurements of your body before purchasing or making your medieval clothing. This will help ensure that the clothing fits well and is not too loose or tight.
  2. Tailoring: Tailor your clothing to highlight the desired medieval style and fit. Use patterns and tutorials to create garments that are true to the historical period.
  3. Layering: Layering is a great way to achieve the right fit and add depth to your medieval costume. Wear your undergarments, such as chemises or shirts, beneath your outer layers to create a well-fitted look.
  4. Accessories: Accessories such as belts or sashes can help cinch in loose medieval clothing for a better fit around your waist. Hats and headwear can also help to create a polished and cohesive look.
  5. Comfort: Comfort is key when it comes to medieval clothing. Ensure your clothing allows for easy movement and is not too constricting or heavy.

By following these tips, you can tailor your medieval clothing to fit perfectly while showcasing an authentic historical aesthetic.

Modernizing Medieval Fashion

While dressing in medieval style is a great way to explore history and showcase your unique style, you may be looking to add a modern twist to your ensemble. Whether you’re attending a cosplay event or simply want to incorporate contemporary elements into your medieval outfit, there are several ways to modernize your look without losing its historical essence.

1. Mix and Match

One way to add a modern touch to your medieval outfit is by mixing and matching different styles and eras. For example, you could pair a medieval tunic with a leather jacket or a medieval dress with combat boots. This can create an interesting contrast between medieval and modern elements and showcase your creativity.

2. Play with Color

Medieval fashion was often characterized by earthy tones and rich colors such as burgundy, forest green, and navy blue. However, to modernize your outfit, you could experiment with brighter colors or neon hues. This can create a playful and contemporary twist on traditional medieval attire.

3. Add Accessories

Accessories are a great way to modernize your medieval outfit and add your own personal touch. You could add a statement necklace or earrings or rock a modern hairstyle with your medieval headwear. A belt can be a good accessory to add a modern touch to your medieval outfit.

4. Incorporate Technology

Technology can be an interesting addition to your medieval costume. For example, you could use LED lights to add a futuristic element to your outfit or a 3D-printed accessory to make your medieval look more unique and cutting-edge.

5. Explore Different Materials

Medieval clothing was typically made from natural fibers like wool, linen, and silk. To modernize your outfit, you could experiment with different materials such as leather, denim, or even neoprene. This can create a contemporary twist on traditional medieval clothing.

With these tips, you can modernize your medieval fashion and create a unique and personalized look. Remember, while it’s important to embrace the historical essence of medieval fashion, there’s no harm in adding your own modern twist!


Now that you have gained insights into the fascinating world of medieval fashion, it’s time to put your newly acquired knowledge into practice. Remember, dressing in medieval style is all about embracing the past while adding your own unique twist to it.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different fabrics, colors, and patterns to create an outfit that speaks to your personal style and character. Use layering and trims to add depth to your costume, and accessorize with appropriate footwear and headwear to achieve an authentic look.

Fit and tailoring are crucial aspects of medieval fashion, so take the time to ensure your garments fit perfectly and look great. And if you’re looking to add a modern twist to your medieval outfit, go for it! There are no rules when it comes to fashion, after all.

Embrace the allure of the past through your clothing choices and have fun exploring the historical costumes of the medieval era. We hope these tips and techniques have been helpful in your quest to dress medieval, and we can’t wait to see the amazing outfits you create!