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Men’s Fashion Through the Middle Ages

From the flowing robes of the nobles to the armor and swords of knights, medieval men’s attire reflected the ideals and beliefs of their society. 

This post will delve into the intriguing world of medieval men’s fashion, learning about the various designs, textiles, and accessories that marked the era.

Medieval Men Fashion History

Medieval Men Fashion
Medieval Men Fashion”, by vikingalba, comes under the Free to-Use License

Clothing was mostly practical throughout the early medieval period (5th to 10th century) and was meant to keep men warm and dry. Most men wore wool or linen tunics or long-sleeved shirts, as well as wool or linen pants or leggings.
Clothing, however, began to take on a larger symbolic function as society evolved and became more diverse.
It had become an integral aspect of social hierarchy during the high medieval period (11th to 13th century), and men of different social groups wore distinctive outfits to show their position.

Medieval Men Fashion Material

Throughout the Medieval Ages, wool was the most used material for clothing. It was comfortable, long-lasting, and easily accessible. Everything from tunics and cloaks to caps and socks was made of wool. 
The finest wool, known as “merino,” came from Spain and was frequently used to dress aristocracy and kings.
Linen was another prominent garment material throughout the medieval period. It was light and breathable, making it great for hot weather. Shirts, undergarments, and hoods were all made from linen. Silk was also frequently used to create luxury robes and other clothes with exquisite needlework and artistic designs. Shoes, boots, belts, and gloves were all made of leather and utilized in manufacturing armor and other protective clothing. Colors were also essential in medieval men’s fashion, with certain shades connected with distinct meanings.
Purple, for example, was a color designated for royalty and was frequently created using expensive dyes imported from the East. Blue was connected with purity and loyalty, whereas red was associated with power and authority.

Medieval Peasant Men Fashion

Medieval Peasant Men Fashion
Medieval Peasant Men Fashion”, by Hans Splinter, is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Throughout the medieval period, peasant men’s fashion was distinguished by its simplicity, practicality, and usefulness. Peasant men wore long tunics and loose-fitting shirts that reached the knees or ankles. These tunics were often constructed of coarse wool or linen and colored in subdued hues like brown, grey, or natural white.

Medieval Nobility Men Fashion

Costly fabrics, elaborate patterns, and lavish accessories distinguished medieval nobility men’s fashion. Hats, gloves, belts, and jewellery were common accessories worn by noblemen. 
Hats were frequently fashioned of rich materials like silk or fur and embellished with feathers or gems. Gloves were often made of soft leather or silk and adorned with embroidery or beading. Belts and jewellery were constructed of ornately designed leather or metal and featured rings, necklaces, and brooches.

Fashionable Medieval Men’s Clothing

Various factors, including social rank, location, and cultural trends, impacted fashionable Medieval Men’s Clothing.
Fashion styles got richer and more decorative as the medieval period continued, with fine fabrics, delicate needlework, and ornamental decorations becoming more prominent. Geography greatly affected fashion trends, with many areas establishing their styles and materials. The colder environment favoured fur and leather in Northern Europe, while silk and velvet were chosen in Italy for their sumptuous feel and brilliant colors.
Fashion also influenced medieval men’s clothing choices, shaping their views of masculinity, social standing, and identity.

Medieval Men’s Fashion Accessories

Here are some of the most common medieval men’s fashion accessories:

  • Hats – Hats were a significant adornment for medieval men, who wore them both inside and outside. Hats were typically made of wool or fur and were sometimes adorned with feathers or gems to reflect the wearer’s social rank.
  • Belts – Belts were a utilitarian accessory to keep pants and tunics in place. They were frequently crafted of leather and adorned with metalwork, gems, or embroidery.
  • Shoes – Sandals, ankle boots, and knee-high boots were the most popular shoe styles. Shoes were frequently adorned with metalwork or embroidery and might serve as a social status indication.
  • Jewellery – Jewelry was an essential accessory for medieval males, with the most frequent varieties being rings, necklaces, and brooches. Jewelry was frequently fashioned of precious metals and jewels and symbolized wealth and social standing.

Medieval Men’s Clothing Religion

Creating special dress codes for religious people was one of the most significant influences on medieval men’s clothes. 
Monks and priests, for example, were compelled to wear distinctive clothing that signified their clerical standing. These clothing were usually basic and modest, reflecting the Catholic virtues of humility and simplicity.
Various colors were connected with religious importance and were used to signify certain religious orders or specific religious notions. 
For example, black color was frequently connected with grief and penance, whereas white was associated with purity and innocence. Red was frequently connected with Christ’s blood and was utilized in religious rites. Religion also influenced the general appearance of medieval men’s clothes. 
Several theological ideas, such as the image of the body as a temple, were represented in clothing design, with clothes created to highlight the body’s natural contour without being unduly exposed or flashy.


Wool was the most widely used material for clothing throughout the medieval periods, and different colors were connected with diverse meanings. 
Peasant men wore plain and functional clothing, but nobles wore expensive textiles and elaborate accouterments.
Religious orders had strict clothing requirements, and colors were utilized to represent religious concepts. 
Fashion styles developed with location, and accessories like hats, belts, shoes, and jewellery represented the wearer’s social rank. 
Overall, medieval men’s dress was an important part of society, representing the ideas and beliefs of the time.

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