Peasant Clothing Research

peasant clothes blog
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Sometime ago I set about creating what I was calling “a visual thesaurus for fantasy writers.” I was doing a lot of research on the middle ages to further my writing and though why not share this. In this post I’ll going to go over a few of the things I learnt.


Made from leather or linen, the doublet was a quintessential piece of peasant attire. Going to the fields? Don’t forget your doublet… Going to the… Peasant ball (that might have been a thing), get your finest doublet!

It is essentially a vest, made from leather, wool of linen with a cord to tie it shut.


Almost as important as your doublet was your trousers. There were several styles to choose from

Wool hose was quite common. Tight and warm, your wool hose, would keep the biting wind off your legs, as the biting lash of your Lord’s tongue drove you till on.

Breeches were a baggier attire, made from wool, linen or leather that provided a trendy look for the ‘ready-set-go’ peasant of the middle ages. Running from Vikings? Don’t forget your breeches.


They say a peasant is only as good as his head wear, so when the tax-man comes, be sure to greet him with your finest adornment.

The cap, made from animal skin, or wool was a well received fashion in the middle ages. Easy to make between jaunts to piggery, a simple band with a top affixed would keep the heat in, and the devil out!

Coifs were all the rage. They wrap around your head and keep your matted hair in, and the rain out!

Liripipe? Are you looking for something to set you apart from the masses? Be the first to get on this burgeoning trend. The liripipe, a derivative of the coif we all know and love, features a long dangly bit that hangs down your back.


You don’t want your hose falling down when the Lord’s daughter is watching you work, now do you? Keep your trousers up with the age-old invention: The belt. Fashioned from leather, linen, or cord, the belt can be looped across your hips to keep your trousers up, and your embarrassment down.


We all hate wind, you most of all. Have you ever been herding the cows or hoeing the field and thought, this wind is a jerk? Perhaps not, because that term hasn’t been invented yet. Well, either way, today’s your lucky day.

Made from animal skins, wool or linen, the cloak is your weapon against the unseen enemy. No, no, not the devil; the weather! Call it a mantle, call it a cape, it comes in both hooded and non-hodded styles.


Mud is as troublesome as the Lord’s son come plough day. It’s time to step up your game with a new pair of shoes!

Coming in many shapes and sizes, from a calf-high boot, to a simple slip on. Boots are made from leather, animal skin, with a wooden sole. Leather cord can be used to keep them on your feet, and out of the muck!

Wrap up

Thanks a lot for reading and hopefully you picked up a few neat little snippets of information. I will be doing this for various different aspects of medieval life.

5 thoughts on “Peasant Clothing Research”

  1. Pingback: Hmm What to wear?
  2. Yes, indeed, this is very useful. Whilst my fantasy isn’t set in a medieval-based time/world, there is a land where the people are living in a scenario where their circumstances are much-reduced from previous times, so rough-hewn utensils and workmanlike clothes are their lot. I also wrote a fiction short the other day where I needed to check what knights wore, just to make sure the terminology was correct. Who knew there were so many variations!

    1. I have a 3 of these pages that I am releasing when I don’t have anything better to say, one of them is a knight’s armour so stay tuned for that :P.

      Research is a pass-time of mine, I love reading new things. I’m hoping to put a bibliography onto my blog with links to help writers research fantasy topics like clothes and what not. It’s harder than it should be to find the proper names for things :).

      Thanks for stopping by, Freya.

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