The Viking nation were seafaring people who spent much time traveling to different lands. They gained a notorious reputation for being barbarians because they weren’t friendly when they visited a new land.
Vikings belonged to a strong Norse culture that placed high importance on individual worth and position. As a result, the Vikings took their presentation very seriously. The numerous personal care items and combs discovered at Norse archaeological sites stand in opposition to the popular image of filthy barbarians. Vikings used clothing to express their rank and distinguish themselves from other cultures.
You can find some of the best Viking warrior costumes on Etsy, Amazon, and other online stores. There are several different categories of Viking outfits, including Viking costumes for women, men, and kids. If you want to dress like a Viking for Halloween or Instagram photos, here is everything you need to know about Viking outfits.
Physical Appearance and Accessories
Before you put on your barbarian Viking costume, you first need to match the Vikings’ physical appearance. In the Viking age, short hair was not in fashion, and it wasn’t uncommon for males to grow their hair. This is why Viking men were often depicted with long hair and long beards.
Viking women were often depicted as women of beauty who often braided their hair. You may be wondering whether Vikings wore jewelry. The truth is that they did.
Men and women wore arm bracelets, necklaces, and brooches from all socioeconomic levels in the Viking age. Some of these accessories were purely decorative, but they also served as a sign of riches. Other things, such as brooches, served a functional use as well: they were used to fasten clothing.
Colors to Choose for your Viking Costume
If you are wondering whether the barbarian Vikings preferred vibrant colors or neutral tones, then you may be happy to know that they preferred well-dyed clothing. Vikings adored color, and well-dyed clothing indicated affluence and sophistication.
We know this thanks to various Norse-related written texts. This is something that most historical Viking reenactors agree on. Dyes were costly, and medieval dying procedures yielded various effects.
The Viking Warrior
Because Vikings were often notorious as barbarian warriors, instilling fear in the nations that they invaded. Therefore, when people today think of Vikings, they usually envision Viking warriors. These warriors wore thick tunics or cloaks into warfare, possibly made of the skin of animals such as sheep. The reason for this was to keep warriors warm during their long voyages.
Additionally, a tight leather belt worn around the waist secured their weapons and kept them within arm’s reach in battle. They also adorned protective equipment to keep them from getting injured in battle.
Typically, Vikings used axes and swords during battle.
The Viking Ax
A Viking ax was a hand-held weapon with various functions, including warfare and chopping timber for their Viking ship, dwellings, and carts.
The truth is that swords were extremely expensive at the time, and only the wealthiest warriors could afford them. Everyone owned an ax because it was more of a standard tool than a weapon.
The mark of a true Viking warrior was his sword, and no warrior Viking costume would be complete without one. Swords were designed to be used with one hand so that the warrior could grasp his shield in the other hand. Typically, swords were often passed down from generation to generation and adorned with intricate patterns. These weapons were also a symbol of wealth and rank.
Viking warriors also used protective equipment such as shields and helmets during combat.
Wooden round shields were commonly used in battle. Sizes often ranged from 37 inches to 28 inches. Shields were frequently custom-built to the exact specifications of the warrior who would wield them. These shields were said to be made of two layers of linden wood, although literary evidence claims they were made of planks of wood that were joined together.
The Viking helmet had a simple construction and was typically a metal bowl with a conspicuous nose guard. During the Viking era, helmets were often fashioned from many sheets of iron welded together to form a kind of helm known as a spangenhelm.
If you are deciding which warrior Viking costumes to choose, be sure to choose a costume that incorporates a metal helmet. You can find several options on Amazon and Etsy.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Did Vikings Wear Armor?
If you are hunting for the perfect Viking costume, you may be wondering if Vikings wore armor to battle. Armor was costly in the Viking era, so it was not customary for Vikings to wear armor during combat.
Contempt for Pain
Their culture also encouraged bravery in battle and contempt for pain, which earned them a reputation as barbarians. As a result, they were generally unconcerned with the use of protection. On the other hand, Vikings who were resourceful or cautious may have worn a variety of armor.
Hefty fur coats and animal skins were often the most comfortable Viking armor. After all, the cold of the north demanded the use of such garments, and Vikings were in the business of travel. You can find a fur coat costume on several Etsy and online stores.
Leather for Protection
Hardened leather was often worn to block arrows and prevent even dagger cuts, and thick animal skin could diminish the impact of some hits. Viking warriors commonly wore this form of armor since the material was inexpensive and widely accessible.
2. What Are Ideal Female Viking Costumes?
The Viking woman typically wore a dress that included an undergarment or a smock underneath. This dress was often made from coarse fabrics and the sides were either open or stitched together. The woman also wore a belt around her hips, with simple leather pouches and sported leather shoes.
Gussets may have also been stitched into the garment to give it more form. The strap dress had a strap on each shoulder that kept it up, and women often included shell-shaped brooches to fasten the front strap and add an element of beauty.
This indicates that Vikings paid closer attention to beauty and fashion than people gave them credit for and were not filthy barbarians as they were often portrayed. A cloak was also worn over the shoulders at the time, which was typically secured with a round or trilobite pin. Weaved borders and fur bands could have been added to the cloak and the strap dress.
3. How Should My Male Viking Costume Look?
A tunic, pants, and cloak were everyday Viking male attire. A man would also don a cloak with a brooch that he wore over his shoulder, and the cloak was gathered around his arm, which he used to draw his weapon.
Finding the right Viking costume can be difficult if you do not know what to look for. There are often several different categories on Etsy stores, and many historical reenactments have distorted the true picture of the Viking warrior, woman, and man. Follow this handy guide to find the perfect Viking costume.