Front Page Come in the costumes

Come in the costumes

All the visitors to the Tartu Hanseatic Days are expected at the festival in a costume that corresponds to the historical period.

The easiest way to have a Hansa style costume is to make a long straight cut shirt that was characteristic to the Early Middle Ages. The kind of shirt that extends to the ankles was worn then and can be worn now by both men and women. All you need is enough linen fabric and a bit of thicker rope, made of natural material, for a belt.All the visitors to the festival who wear costumes characteristic to Prehistoric and Medieval times or the era of National Awakening will be photographed and the pictures will be put on our webpage www.hansapaevad.ee for everyone to admire.

A.Le Coq will reward the most authentic costume wearers with little mementos or snacks. In order to be noticed and photographed, please stop by at the information tent in the Children’s and Future Town and get rewarded for your choice of costume.


Hanseatic costumes

The Hanseatic Time lasted for centuries. Besides the vogues the clothes showed the position, wealth, occupation and the background of the wearer. It was often destined by the prescripts what kind of fabrics and style was allowed for the different classes. One of the severe crimes was to wear the fabrics and styles that were not allowed for that class.

The middle aged foot wears were made of leather and were semi-enclosed, with a soft sole and mostly with a sharp nose. Upper classes had longer shoe noses. To make their walk easier they attached the shoe nose to their knees with a chain and the vain ones added tinkles. There were rules for wearing clothes and there were also rules for wearing foot wears. The law which was established in the 1363 prescribed that the commoners were allowed to wear shoe noses as long  as 15 cm, the non-aristocratic gentlemen 37,5 cm and the aristocrats as long as 70 cm. For walking through the mud the leather shoes were protected with a sandal shaped foot wears, wooden soles and leather belts.

Straight cut shirt

The straight cut shirt is the most common to the Hanseatic Time and it is also the easiest way to make you a hanseatic clothing. The shirt which reaches to your ankles was worn and could be worn by the both: woman and men. You need only suitable quantity of linen fabric and a rope which is made out of a natural material and can be used as a belt.


In the beginning of the 13 century the style of the clothes changed. Dresses with the cross-sectioned waist showed the wearer’s thin waist. The mans shirts shortened and the sleeves tightened. The legs were covered with the leggings – two pieces of clothe were sewed together, they reached to the hips and were attached to the wearers belt.

In the 14 century the woman’s dresses expanded from the skirts. Mans clothes were tighter and shorter and they started to wear coats with short flaps and tight trousers.

In the end of the 14 century it was popular to wear robes with very big sleeves, the man’s coats shortened again and they started to wear panty hoses. In the Middle Aged it was usual that the wealthier ladies wore several dresses at once. The under ones were with long sleeves and the top there were dresses with short sleeves or no sleeves at all and they were decorated with the broderie anglaise or with fur.

In the colder times it was usual to wear cloak which was like a poncho or attached at the front with the ribbons, the pins or the buckles. The pelerine with a hood was popular in the common people for centuries.

The ceremonial clothes

The upper class and the city people fancied colorful clothes and showed that way their financial capabilities. Every color had a meaning: red for love and readiness for a fight, blue for loyalty, yellow for a lucky love, green for independence, white for purity, black for sadness and gentleness.

The common people were allowed to wear the neutral tones and materials that were colored with herbs for centuries. Colorful material showed that the wearer was getting wealthier.

The clothes were mostly made out of linen or cotton. The upper classes had their clothes made out of materials with a high quality. The lower quality showed the lower social class. The silk and cotton were affordable for only very wealthy citizens. The wealthier class decorated their clothes with different kinds of furs.

The fixing devices for the clothes (brooches, ribbons, belts, buckles, toggles, buttons, and tinkles) also showed the social status of the wearer.

The decorating belts were worth for fortunes and they were made out of gold or silver links and decorated with the gems. The ladies of the Middle Age had a special decoration for clothes – an aromatic box or a budget with the aromatic herbs. The aristocrats called it “An aromatic apple”, the common people called it “a smell bomb”. The matrons and householders had a budget or the keys hanging on their belt.

The most common jewelleries in the Middle Age were rings, bracelets and necklaces. The earrings were popular in the Renaissance. The jewels were mostly made out of gold, silver and gems, sometimes cupric. The pilgrims wore jewels out of stannic and the poor people out of iron. The jewels had to be in the correlation with the tax list. People who wore jewellery against their social class and the tax prescripts were imposed a fine. Woman whose man had an “unworthy” occupation was not allowed to wear the same jewellery as the honorable ladies of the city.


The head wears were more influenced by the fashion and social belonging than the other clothes. The grownups had their head covered even at home. Bare head and loose hair were allowed only to young girls who decorated themselves according to their social class with ribbons, chaplets, pearls and golden yarns. Woman’s hairs were braided according to the fashion because the braid was under lied to the headwear. Children and common people wore a headwear which was similar to the newborn’s hat coif. The hood with a reverted edge for woman and the hat with a reverted edge for man were common also.