Very Early - Women
English Women's Fashion AD 793-899
In the 9th century women wear the open palla. This is a large, light-weight rectangle of cloth worn draped over the head and shoulders. It was worn loose and open or else closed, clasped at the chest with a brooch. An alternative head-covering is the simple long scarf type veil, popular in both England and in Carolingian Europe, and worn loosely draped over the head and wrapped around the shoulders whilst leaving the neck showing.
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 or cloth, sometimes ending in twin delicate silver strap ends, 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, 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.
Silver is commonly used for jewellery. Art styles still follow the Germanic preference for intertwined stylistic beasts like the Trewhiddle style.
Viking Women's Fashion AD 793-899
Most Viking women who settled in Britain were pagan and wore distinctive pagan clothing. They tended to very quickly adopt or adapt to local fashions, incorporating them into their style of dress.
Hair is usually long and braided, left bare or else covered with a small cap or scarf. The dresses are simple, ankle length and with sleeves to the wrist. Neck-holes are either round or oval, and can have a keyhole opening. Decoration usually in the form of facings, narrow silk strips and tablet weave can be applied to the cuffs and around the neck-hole. Vikings don't seem to have favoured embroidery although embroidered panels were imported from other countries. Dresses are usually made from wool but can also be from linen.
Over the dress middle-class women can wear a Hangerock. This is a strapped sleeveless dress suspended from a pair of oval brooches. Between the brooches a single string of glass beads was sometimes suspended.
For warmth a cloak can be worn, clasped at the chest by a large disc, trefoil or equal-armed brooch. For middle-class women an alternative is the backtrain. This is a narrow pleated cloak suspended from the oval brooches. Finally some women may have worn a long open fronted coat, closed by a single brooch.
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.
Silver and copper-alloy are commonly used for jewellery. Art styles still follow the Germanic preference for intertwined stylistic beasts like the Oseberg and Borre styles.