Early - Women

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Early - Women

English Women's Fashion AD 900-979

900-979 Women.jpg

The traditional long scarf veil is worn by Christian women, both in England and across Europe. It is worn loosely draped over the head and wrapped around the shoulders whilst leaving the neck showing. Equally popular in England is the more hood like wimple.

The dresses are ankle length and with either tight sleeves to the wrist or else, with sleeves that are loose and cut slightly shorter to expose the cuff of the shift underneath. Neck-holes are either round or oval, and can have a keyhole opening. Decoration, in the form of facings, embroidery or tablet weave, can be applied to the cuffs. Tied belts of simple braid or cloth can be worn, but never belts of leather.

For warmth a cloak can be worn, clasped at the chest by a large disc brooch of silver or copper alloy. Poorer women would close their cloak with ties or a pin of bone, iron or copper alloy.

Shoes are of the simple, two-part turn shoe construction and are usually low, coming to below the ankle.

Jewellery is often of copper-alloy although silver and gilt brooches are worn by those that can afford them. The Winchester style is common with the Viking introduced Borre and Jelling styles used in some parts of the country.

Viking Women's Fashion AD 900-979

900-979 VWomen.jpg

Most Vikings are now third or more generation settlers and are Christian. They still retain their strong ties to Denmark and Norway and could best be described as being 'Anglo-Danes' or ‘Hiberno-Norse’. These Anglicised Viking women generally dress just like English women, but with their jewellery reflecting Viking art styles.

Following Christian doctrine they cover their hair just like the English. They seem to have a fashion of wearing a small head scarf or simple small cap instead of the larger veil or wimple worn by English women.

The dresses are simple, ankle length and with tight sleeves to the wrist. Neck-holes are either round or oval, and can have a keyhole opening. Decoration, in the form of facings, embroidery or tablet weave, can be applied to the cuffs and neck-hole. Tied belts of simple braid, can be worn. Leather belts are not worn by Viking women except by some Hiberno-Norse who wore a very specific style of belt fittings. For warmth a cloak can be worn, clasped at the chest by a large disc brooch of silver or copper alloy as the trefoil brooch is falling out of fashion. The Irish influenced ringed pins are worn in the north of England and Scotland. Poorer women would close their cloak with ties or a pin of bone, iron or copper alloy.

Shoes are of the simple, two-part turn shoe construction and are usually low, coming to below the ankle. Some rich Viking women may have worn low leather boots following the Carolingian fashion.

Pagan first generation settlers and pagan Viking visitors can still be seen wearing traditional female Viking costume like that of the 9th century, although this becomes less common as the period progresses, as even in Denmark and Norway there is a growing number of Christian converts.

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