There's more to medieval clothing than tunics and boots. For example, do you know what kind of undergarments were worn back in the day? Can you pick out real medieval jewelry from the fake junk jewelry popularized by books and movies? If you're looking to create the most authentic medieval costume that you can, here are just five accessories to bring your ancient ensemble to life.
Belts served multiple purposes back in medieval times. Not only did they keep the wearer from embarrassing themselves whenever they bent over, but they also provided transport and storage space for blades, swords, pouches and everyday necessities. Your medieval outfit won't be complete without a belt, so start looking today. Pay attention to length and material type.
Ladies, you probably don't want to hear this, but corsets are essential for certain kinds of medieval fashion. The good news is that modern corsets have come a long way in breathability and functionality. Many of them look rustic but have all of the conveniences of 21st century design, including room to inhale and exhale.
Medieval armor comes in many shapes and sizes, so you'll need to do some research to make sure that you're getting the details right. For example, later centuries may have had different chain mail designs than earlier ones, or a particular country might have had a special way of tempering their breastplates. It's the little things that will make your armor authentic.
Women wore necklaces, earrings and head scarves. Men wore chains, pendants and amulets. Royalty of both genders wore circlets and gemstones. Jewelry can elevate an average medieval outfit into something truly extraordinary, so don't be afraid to experiment with colors, cuts, clasps and chains.
If you want to be authentic down to the skin, consider medieval underwear. This is another area where you'll need to do your homework to get the details right, but depending on the time period, you might need everything from a petticoat to a bum roll. Only by embracing everything about the past will you create a genuine piece of medieval fashion.
These are just a few essentials for the authentic medieval costume. Whether you're roleplaying at a renaissance festival or dressing up your children for a school performance, use these accessories to give their outfits that extra "oomph."