Would anyone be able to name the articles of clothing that would usually be worn by men of noble status in Europe around the 11/12th century CE? A general answer would suffice, as I realize that "Europe" is rather vague.

  • Shirt and pants? What is your question here? Mar 24, 2015 at 19:55
  • Do you have any terminology to refer more specifically to the style of clothing used at the time? Anything I could say and it would be clear I'm referring specifically to clothing of this status and time, and not just "shirt and pants" of any era/class. Mar 24, 2015 at 19:57
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    Terminology would be language dependent. Mar 24, 2015 at 20:39
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    At least give us a language to work with, and date range not to exceed 200 years, or this will have to be closed as too broad. Mar 24, 2015 at 21:46
  • Did you gooogle 11th century European fashions? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1100%E2%80%931200_in_European_fashion Mar 25, 2015 at 1:48

1 Answer 1


A nobleman may wear silk with opportunities for sable and ermine, not just vair. Fur is always a lining, not the outer fabric, until the 1800s. Underwear (sherte or chainse and loincloth or drawers/braies) are always pure white linen. It would be rare, and foppish, to have a silk sherte, though some queens had white silk chemises.

Still, the most common fabric is wool, so much so that "cloth" really means a woolen fabric. The change in usage to "any fabric" is 20th C.

So his tunic and hose are probably woolen. Which when not treated with modern chemicals (or recycled as shoddy) is not harsh or scratchy: I've been a handweaver, and while usually allergic to commercial wools, have no trouble working with woolen and worsted threads, nor in wearing the product. The peasants get the cheap rough stuff: he's wearing the best part of the fleece, spun finely, and woven to something like a soft challis.

So he isn't wearing a shirt and pants, but tunic and hose, likely with a simple cape/mantle pinned over it. If late 1100s, in the French fashion sphere, you get to bring in the distinctive bliaut.

Despite Wikipedia, I would advise against using doublets (the term is more Renaissance), or cyclas (13th C).

Just as a fun side note, unless wet or needing airing, clothing was not hung up. There were no coat hangers, only hooks or pegs. Clothing was cut flat rather than body-shaped (like Japanese kimono), so it was folded to store.


Hill & Bucknell, The Evolution of Fashion. Ought to be called British Fashion & Modern Versions of Its Cut, 1066-1930

Boucher, 20,000 Years of Fashion. Has a glossary of fashion terms. Find it at your library.

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