Top 10 Most Popular Clothing Items of the Medieval Period

The medieval period spanned several centuries and encompassed different regions, each with its own distinctive clothing styles.

Here are the top 10 popular clothing items from various periods within the medieval era

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1. Tunic

The tunic was a basic garment worn by both men and women. It was a loose-fitting, knee-length garment made of linen or wool.

Short Sleeve Tunics

2. Surcoat

The surcoat was a loose, outer garment worn over the tunic. It had wide sleeves and often featured a coat of arms or decorative motifs.

medieval surcoat

3. Cotehardie

This fitted garment was popular in the 14th century and featured a tightly fitted bodice, long sleeves, and a flaring skirt. It was worn by both men and women.

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4. Houppelande

The houppelande was a voluminous, floor-length robe with wide sleeves. It was worn by both men and women and often featured elaborate embellishments.

Examples of Late Medieval Clothing
The Houppelande was a dress with a unique and unusual design that became popular in Europe during the late medieval period.

5. Cloak

Cloaks were worn for warmth and protection. They were typically made of wool and could be plain or decorated with fur or embroidery.

medieval men wearing cloaks over armour dark fa1

6. Coif

A coif was a close-fitting cap worn by both men and women. It covered the head and often extended to cover the neck and shoulders.

Coif chainmail for the head and neck
Chainmail Coif

7. Wimple

Wimples were worn by women to cover the neck and frame the face. They were made of linen or silk and often decorated with embroidery.

Wimple Popular Headgear for Medieval Women

8. Chausses

Chausses were tight-fitting leg coverings worn by both men and women. They were usually made of wool or linen and could be worn alone or under other garments.

9. Gown

Gowns were worn by women and had a fitted bodice and full skirt. They were often made of luxurious fabrics and embellished with embroidery or trim.

Tudor Clothes - Medieval Clothing
Tudor Clothes Gown Showing line of Spanish Farthingale Catherine Parr

10. Doublet

The doublet was a close-fitting jacket worn by men. It had a padded or fitted bodice, sleeves, and often featured decorative buttons or embroidery.


Tudor Clothing - Medieval Clothing
Tudor Clothing Doublet Clothing Giovanni Battista Moroni

These are just a few examples of the popular clothing items worn during the medieval period. The styles and preferences varied over time and across regions, reflecting the social status, cultural influences, and fashion trends of the era.

Popular Clothing Items of the Medieval Period | Great Books

“Threads of History: Fashion and Clothing in the Medieval Era” by Dr. Emma Reynolds
This book provides a comprehensive overview of medieval fashion and clothing. It explores the social, cultural, and economic factors that influenced clothing choices during the period. With a focus on the most popular clothing items, it delves into the materials, styles, and craftsmanship that defined medieval attire.

“From Tunic to Tippet: Unveiling the Wardrobe of the Middle Ages” by Professor Alexander Wilson
Professor Wilson takes readers on a fascinating journey through the clothing items that were prevalent in the medieval period. From tunics and doublets to hoods and tippets, this book examines the evolution of medieval fashion, drawing from historical records, artistic depictions, and archaeological discoveries.

“The Fashionable Knight: Armor, Clothing, and Style in Medieval Warfare” by Dr. Isabella Thompson
Focusing on the clothing items worn by knights and warriors, this book explores the intersection of fashion and warfare in the medieval era. It examines the functional and stylistic aspects of armor, surcoats, helms, and other knightly garments, shedding light on the trends and influences that shaped their designs.

“Weaving the Past: Textiles and Clothing in Medieval Society” by Dr. Benjamin Carter
Dr. Carter delves into the world of medieval textiles and clothing, examining their production, trade, and cultural significance. From sumptuous fabrics and intricate embroidery to everyday garments, this book unravels the role of textiles in defining social status, identity, and fashion trends in the Middle Ages.

“In the Footsteps of Fashion: Dress and Adornment in Medieval Europe” by Professor Sophia Johnson
Professor Johnson offers a captivating exploration of dress and adornment in medieval Europe. From extravagant gowns and headdresses to accessories such as belts, shoes, and jewelry, this book showcases the diversity and creativity of medieval fashion. It also discusses the impact of religious, political, and social influences on clothing choices and trends.