Nuns Clothes in the Middle Ages

Medieval Nuns Clothing - Colors of the Nuns clothes in the Middle Ages
What did medieval Nuns of the Middle Ages wear? How did the Medieval nuns dress?

What was the significance of the colors of the clothes? The color of the habits, the name for the clothes of the Medieval Nuns, varied according to their order. The earliest Benedictine Nuns wore wore clothing consisting of white or grey habits which were the colors of un-dyed wool. However as time went by black became the the prevailing color of their clothes. Other orders of Medieval Nuns adhered to even stricter rules than the Benedictines and wore totally un-dyed wool for their Nuns clothing to proclaim their poverty. The habits, or clothes, of these nuns were generally a greyish-white, and sometimes brown.

Medieval Nuns Clothing - Description of the Nuns clothes in the Middle Ages
What did Medieval Nuns wear? How did the Medieval nuns dress? Each Medieval nun had two habits, two wimples and veils, a scapular for work, shoes and stockings. The extra habit allowed for washing and night-time wear. The traditional habit, or clothes, of the Medieval Nuns consisted of the following garments:

  • A nun's habit, tied around the waist with a cloth or leather belt
  • Over the tunic was a scapula. A scapula was  a garment consisting of a long wide piece of woollen cloth worn over the shoulders with an opening for the head;
  • A wimple and veil was attached to the scapula
  • The front of the scapula was secured with a small piece of rectangular cloth that snapped the sides together
  • Hair shirts - some extreme nuns imposed suffering on themselves by wearing hair shirts under their habits
  • Some nuns would also wear a cross upon a chain around their necks

Medieval Nuns Hair in the Middle Ages
What was a Medieval Nuns hair like? A nuns hair was roughly shorn and her head, and any remnants of hair, was hidden from view as the nun's head was covered by her wimple or veil.

Nuns Clothes in the Middle Ages
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Nuns Clothes in the Middle Ages

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Nuns Clothes in the Middle Ages

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