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Shirts & Tunics

A tunic is really the starting point of what we now wear as a shirt. It came in several types of materials and styles, and was usually simple. Since covering the body was important against the elements they were long, reaching from the shoulders to somewhere between the hips and ankles. The name derives from the Latin word “tunica” which was the base garment worn by men and women during the Roman times. We offer a selection of medieval tunics, medieval shirts, frontier shirts and historical based cuts for you to choose from. We’ve even added in some contemporary shirts from Windlass when you’re not reenacting, yet still want to be comfortable and stylish.

Medieval tunics and shirts were worn by citizens and non-citizens alike and are the chosen go-to garments for reenactors from Greek to the US Civil War. The tunic was to be the basic garment of the Romans and worn by both sexes throughout the medieval period. Medieval tunics and medieval shirts were the staple in which the upper classes and all others relied. Knightly tunics for the military while on campaign by foot or horse utilized riding-dress that always included a tunic. Tunics were often dyed or richly embroidered with heraldry and coat’s-of-arms.

The tunic continued to be worn with varying sleeve and hem lengths throughout Europe during the Middle Ages well into US expansion and colonizing of the West. Often reaching the knees or ankles, it was usually worn over underclothes where a shirt was a good layering garment. Wool and linen were common fabrics used, though the wealthy sometimes wore silk. Ours are rugged cotton or a poly blend and have a similar look and feel.

During some wartime efforts in the 1850s, British soldiers found that the waist length jackets issued to them and worn since Napoleonic times were unsuitable for fighting in winter conditions. A new longer jacket was adopted which reached down to the mid thigh and this was named after the tunic. Many armies and nations have adopted this style since. Enjoy the array of medieval shirts, medieval tunics and frontier shirts and make your next outfit memorable.