Note: Our medieval shirt is meant to fit loosely in the chest and flare from there down to the hem. The chest measurements given are that of the shirt itself so you should choose a size that is somewhat bigger than your actual chest measurement. Typically, we recommend the shirt be 2-4″ bigger than your chest measurement for an authentic and comfortable fit.
Max. Chest Measurement
Length (from shoulder)
40″ / 102 cm
33″ / 84 cm
46″ / 117cm
36″ / 91 cm
52″ / 132 cm
38″ / 97 cm
56″ / 152 cm
42″ / 104 cm
Only available in White.
Throughout the Middle Ages clothes were worn in layers, with a light linen tunic forming the foundation over which additional linen or wool garments were worn. The exact nature of these earliest garments is unknown, but by the 13th century, they had evolved into a simple, relatively short, white linen shirt. When worn under the tunic and supertunic of the period, this shirt would have all but disappeared from view, except perhaps at the collar. Fortunately, not only is the shirt of this time well represented in surviving artwork, but a single piece, believed to be that of Saint Louis (King Louis IX of France), survives in a remarkably preserved condition. Much like this extant garment our shirt is quite substantial and generously sized. Made of heavyweight, 7.5 oz linen, this version of our shirt has a ‘keyhole’ neckline. For a more fitted, lighter weight version of the medieval shirt see our 14th Century Lightweight Shirt.
The shirt went through subtle, but important changes in the century that followed, as it evolved to conform to the new, closer-fitting outer garments of mens fashion. Beginning with the St. Louis shirt as a reference, we have based our shirt on contemporary artwork, to produce a garment that maintains all of the key elements of the period. Made of a heavy-weight, white linen, the body of the shirt is cut like that of the cotte and is specifically designed to be worn with it. The shirt has a keyhole neckline which can show from under the cotte and can be worn open or closed with a broach. Worn with chausses and braies, this ubiquitous shirt forms the foundational dress of medieval man, from duke to cotter.
Drawing after an early 14th century manuscript Bibliotheque National, Paris, France
Drawing after the painted ceiling of the Hall of Justice in the Alhambra circa 1354 Grenada, Spain
Drawing after Martyrology of Usard circa 1270 Bibliotheque National, Paris, France
Drawing after a detail from the Maciejowski Bible circa 1250 Pierpont Morgan Library New York City, USA
Drawing after details from Grande Heures de Rohan circa 1415 Bibliotheque National, Paris, France