Vikings were renowned seafaring warriors from Scandinavia who raided and colonized parts of Europe between the 8th and 11th centuries. Their clothing and warrior outfits reflected their harsh Scandinavian origins and warrior-focused culture. Today, many people enjoy dressing up in authentic Viking costumes, whether for Halloween, Renaissance fairs, LARPing (live-action role-playing) events, or reenactments. Here is a comprehensive guide to finding and assembling an accurate Viking outfit.

Viking Clothing

Undergarments formed the base layer of typical Viking clothing. Men wore wool tunics or shirts that fell to the knees along with wool trousers, while women donned linen or wool dresses. Footwear for both sexes included sturdy leather boots that laced up the calf. Upper-class Vikings may have worn finer fabrics like supple leather or fur linings. Accessories like belts, brooches, and necklaces completed many outfits.

Quality Viking clothing replicas can be found from retailers specializing in historical costuming. Etsy sellers offer handmade Viking dresses, tunics, and trousers made from period-appropriate fabrics like wool and linen. Amazon carries ready-made costume pieces and patterns for sewing your own garments. Sites like Armstreet.com have Viking-inspired tunics, leggings, and dresses created with an eye for authenticity.

Viking Hats and Helmets

As cold and wet weather was constant in Viking lands, distinctive headgear served both protective and identifying functions. Hats for everyday wear incorporated wool fabrics and often sported decorative horns. Viking helmets reserved for battle differed significantly depending on era and location but universally projected an imposing visage.

Replica Viking hats abound for costumes, from simple horned caps to lavishly crafted helmets. Etsy offers crocheted and felted hats plus fully-horned Norse helmets. Armstreet sells gray felt hats with braided accents. For maximum shield-Splitter effect, consider an open-faced spangenhelm-style helmet faithfully recreated in stamped metal by specialty makers. Beginner LARPers may prefer comfortable faux leather helmets.

Viking Armor and Shields

Armored warriors held the highest status in Viking society. Male combatants donned mail shirts, reinforced leather shirts, or occasionally plate armor according to their means. Shields defended every Viking raider, forged in wood or leather and usually sporting heraldic designs.

Authentic full suits of Viking armor require expert blacksmithing but affordable replica options exist. Etsy sells leather and faux leather pauldrons and belts great for building Norse warrior persona. Wooden or metal-faced shields hand-painted with dragons depict the roles of shieldmaiden or berserker. Budget-friendly faux leather and polyurethane armor sets let you play the part without the price tag of a hand-forged kit.

Viking Weapons

Whether raiding or protecting home shores, Vikings carried a fearsome arsenal into battle. Swords, axes, spears, and bows all featured in Viking war bands, their handles and blades frequently embellished with Celtic knotwork or runic inscriptions for spiritual protection. Knives also served important daily uses beyond fighting.

High-quality historical weapons demand intensive handcrafting but replica versions appropriately equip costumed Vikings. Etsy artisans offer battle-ready foam weapons ideal for LARP play-fighting. Nylon bows and quivers of suction-cup arrows won’t harm opponents. Sites like Armstreet stock well-balanced steel axes and swords finished to appear used yet safe. Beginner reenactors can start with a prestige but blunted throwing axe for displays. Quality always matters with sharp or metal-tipped blades.

Viking Jewelry and Accessories

Adornment showed wealth, cultural ties, and sometimes rank among historic Scandinavians. Men flaunted arm rings and neck torques while women favored brooches, beads, and pendants. Tattoos portrayed devotion to gods or represented milestones in the warrior’s path. Facial hair further defined a Viking’s appearance and status.

Modern costuming draws from these sartorial traditions. Temporary stick-on tattoos portray iconic Norse designs while clip-in beard styles authentically masculinize looks. Handcrafted pendants, beads, and coins from places like Etsy elevate any ensemble. Braided leather and metal necklaces, earrings, and arm bands can be found ready-made or with DIY kits. Historical accuracy lends authenticity whether assembling a showpiece outfit or everyday Scandinavian streetwear.

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Mix and Match for a Memorable Viking Costume

Putting together an impressive yet comfortable Viking attire combines pieces from the categories above. LARPers may opt for maille with accurate helmets and weighty weapons suitable for battle enactments. Halloween costumers can highlight hats festooned with raven feathers and toting a high-quality foam battle-axe. Reenactors demand full realism from woolen dresses down to turnshoes mimicking 9th century styles.

Eclectic ensembles pull from diverse eras, locales, and social classes within early medieval Scandinavia. Customizers can mix and match various materials from different sites mentioned. The key lies in coordinating hues, textures, and tribal motifs to achieve coherent Nordic raider vibes. Attention to historical verisimilitude elevates any Viking guise from average store-bought costumes to something truly fearsome yet flattering. Outfit yourself as a shieldmaiden, sea-king, or village elder to plunder admiring gazes this season.

FAQs

Like today’s men and women, the Vikings dressed according to sex, age and economic status. The men preferred trousers and tunics, whilst the women dressed in strap dresses worn over undergarments. Ordinary Viking clothes were made of local materials, like wool and flax, woven by the women.

Imagine yourself wearing a helmet with horns, a big, furry cape, and maybe even a shield and sword. These costumes are perfect for school history projects, themed parties, or just having fun playing at home.

Zombies, Vikings, or fairies aren’t going to hurt anybody’s feelings, and you aren’t going to run into a pirate wench that feels disenfranchised. “By and large, those in power in majority cultures and extinct cultures are fair game,” Scafidi says. So put on your tennis whites and have a good time.

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