Peasant Clothing – Stylish Simplicity

As the lowest people on the totem pole, medieval peasants lived simple lives and their basic clothing was largely reflective of this fact.  Like everything else in the Middle Ages, peasant dress was mandated by the feudal system.  As was the case in many historical periods, clothing was indicative of status and only the wealthy were allowed to be seen as truly fashionable.  Thus, peasants had few options in terms of dress.

Men’s Peasant Clothing can be found here:

Pleated Peasant Blouse:

Pleated Peasant Blouse

Men’s attire for peasants was always short and tight, incorporating leather breeches or drawers, tight doublets or tunics, and rough brown woolen capes or cloaks.  Wrapped around the waist was a belt, holding a knife or working tools in place, for easy access.  For medieval serfs, another type of peasant class, clothing consisted of a blouse of cloth or skin fastened by a leather belt, with a woolen overcoat or mantle that fell from the shoulders to half-way down the legs.  Serfs also wore shoes or boots, woolen trousers, and caps and gloves in cold weather.  Aside from this apparel, peasants didn’t have a whole lot of variety.

Peasant women also wore tunics, which were longer than those of the men, often extending to the mid-calf.  Basically, these tunics resembled dresses.  This apparel was also accompanied by long trailing trains, which proved useful for a variety of purposes.  The train could be folded or tucked into a pouch or could serve as head protection from the rain, just to name a few examples.  The primary color of women’s tunics was blue with varying shades.  Other colors were rare, but occasionally surfaced and could be pale yellow, green, or light red or orange.  As part of their chores, peasant women spent much of their time spinning wool into thread and constructed garments for themselves and for the men.

Women’s Peasant Clothing can be found here:

As far as undergarments go, there is no evidence of peasants wearing them until the 14th century.  The most common undergarment was the undertunic, which featured longer sleeves and lower hemlines than outer tunics.  These garments were commonly constructed from hemp without color dye.  After a fair amount of wears and washes, the material softened, thus becoming more comfortable, and lightened in color.  Men also wore loincloths as underpants while it is not known what women used for this purpose.

Pleasant Peasant Dress:

Pleasant Peasant Dress

While the tunic and trousers were the primary garments of peasants, other clothing options were worn, depending on one’s occupation or what was affordable to them.  To check out our stylish selection of peasant clothing, go to:

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