Historical Costume of the Early Medieval Era 

Buying your first kit

When buying your first kit it can can be very confusing to choose what to get and where to get it. There are many sites offering bargain prices for generic "Viking Tunics" etc but many of these are not cut correctly or made from period correct materials or fabrics. All of the patterns I use are based on archaeological finds and other period evidence using pure wools and linens (I can offer a linen / cotton mix where authenticity is not an issue, such as in larp) Below is a basic guide to what you will need as a dark age reenactor.

Kit Guide 

A basic mans outfit consists of a few basic elements, A linen under kyrtle (Or tunic) a woolen over kyrtle and trousers made from either wool or linen. The under kyrtle is normally a bit longer and will show below your over kyrtle. There are a few different styles of collar from straight cut, to slit and round. The cuffs and collar are sometimes done in a different colour or if higher status with added braid. The trousers are a simple design with no pockets or fly, with a draw string waist and belt loops. These 3 items constitute your basic soft kit however you can also add a hood and cloak for bad weather.  

A basic ladies outfit is very similar it consists of two items a longer under kyrtle of linen and then an over dress of wool or a heavier duty linen. A cloak is always a handy addition for bad weather. Usually a belt is worn to bring the material in around the waist either tablet braid belt or leather and often  broaches, and beads are added to show wealth and status. Much higher status can be made from silks or with embroidery on cuffs and collar  or tablet braid on the edges. There is also another style of dress called a hangerock but this is more higher status and limited in time scale to a specific period so if its your first outfit just get an over dress. 

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