Fashionable Vikings Loved Colours, Fur, and Silk


The Vikings were skilled warriors, traders, and explorers, but a more fashionable side might also have existed.

The year is 873 and Frida is deciding what to wear. Her new red dress is finally ready, as are her freshly polished shell-shaped brooches designed to hold it in place at her shoulders. The dress is the newest cut in Viking fashion.

Of course, we don’t know exactly how such a scenario played out. Nevertheless, to a Viking woman, Frida’s dress in vibrant red with matching brooches could have been hugely popular. In fact, red and blue were among the most popular colours in the Viking Age.

But did the Vikings really have fashion on the mind?

“Yes,” says Ulla Mannering from the Centre for Textile Research at the National Museum in Copenhagen.

Fashion in Viking times was different from how we perceive it today, where the wardrobe changes from year to year, she explains, but we can see a form of ‘fashion’ from the archaeological finds from that time.

“The Vikings had trends and tendencies that we today might call fashion. Viking fashion changes slowly through time. It does not mean that they threw out all their old clothes, but we do see new colours, decorations, or costume shapes materialise over time, “said Mannering.

Read more here.


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