Featured image of Medieval Tunics

Fashion Flashback: The Timeless Medieval Tunics

The Medieval Tunic has been popular for ages and is still fashionable now. The tunic, worn by medieval knights and peasants, symbolises a bygone past replete with chivalry, romance, and adventure. Join us as we travel back in time to explore the intriguing world of the Medieval Tunic.

History of Medieval Tunic

In the early Middle Ages, Medieval Tunic was an essential piece of clothing worn by both men and women. The tunic was a loose-fitting garment that reached from the shoulders to the knees or ankles. The tunic evolved into a more sophisticated garment throughout time, with several designs and variants occurring during the medieval period.

Throughout the 11th and 12th centuries, the tunic became a favoured clothing for medieval knights, who frequently wore a long, sleeveless tunic over their armour. Surcoats were typically ornamented with heraldic insignia and served as a method for knights to declare their identities and allegiances on the battlefield.

The tunic evolved into a more fitting garment with sleeves and a more tailored design by the 14th century. This type of medieval tunic was popular among the aristocratic classes, who frequently adorned it with intricate embroidery, fur trim, and other extravagant details.

Types of Medieval Tunic

People wore numerous types of tunics from various social levels and occupations throughout the medieval era. Some of the most common types of tunics are:

Doublets –

doublets tunic
Doublets , is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Doublet tunics first appeared in the late medieval period and were worn mainly by males. It had a high collar, a fitted bodice, and padded sleeves that were cut to show a contrasting fabric below.


medieval tunic
Surcoats , is licensed under CC0 1.0

Surcoats first appeared during the 11th and 12th centuries. Medieval knights initially wore them over the armour to shield them from the weather and minimise the metal’s heat and weight.


Jupons tunics first appeared in the 14th century as a sleeveless tunic used as an outer garment by males. Jupons tunics were worn mainly by men who did hard work or outdoor activities like hunting or riding.


Tabards were frequently adorned with complex designs like coats of arms, crests, and other status and identification insignia. This made them popular with the higher classes, who used them to show off their riches and social standing.

Styles of Medieval Tunics

Medieval tunics were worn in various styles and patterns during the medieval era, reflecting the fashion trends of the time and the wearer’s social rank. Some of the most popular tunic designs and patterns are:

  • Furred – During the winter, upper-class women preferred tunics with fur trim or lining.
  • Checkered – Checkered or plaid tunics were popular among the higher classes.
  • Heraldic – Knights and other members of the nobility wore tunics with coats of arms or other heraldic insignia.
  • Herringbone – Throughout the 14th century, upper-class women wore herringbone-patterned tunics.
  • Embroidered – Tunics with elaborate needlework were popular among the higher classes, who wore them to show off their riches and rank.

Material of Medieval Tunics

  • Wool was a reasonable choice for everyday apparel since it was sturdy, warm, and widely accessible. Woollen tunics might be fashioned from a range of wool grades, ranging from coarse wool for peasant tunics to finer wool for upper-class tunics.
  • Linen was lightweight, breathable, and easy to care for, making it an ideal summer fabric. Linen tunics were also popular with the aristocratic classes, who wore them to show off their riches and rank.
  • Silk was an expensive material utilised to make tunics for society’s wealthiest members. Silk tunics were silky, lightweight, and sheeny, making them suitable for special occasions and formal functions.
  • Velvet was a plush, opulent cloth used to make tunics for the upper classes. Velvet tunics were popular for special occasions and formal parties since they were smooth and had a unique pile.


The article delves into the history and evolution of medieval tunics, from their early Middle Ages roots as necessary clothing to their complex designs in the 14th century. It also explores the numerous types of tunics worn by various social levels and vocations and popular tunic styles and patterns during the time. The article discusses the many fabrics used to create medieval tunics, ranging from wool and linen to silk and velvet. Ultimately, the piece emphasises the continuing attractiveness of medieval tunics, which are still popular today.

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