Information on Medieval Gypsy Clothing

Written by cyndi bass
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Information on Medieval Gypsy Clothing
Medieval gypsy men and women wrapped a colourful scarf around their head. (Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Gypsies are nomadic people who spread into clans throughout the world. Their clothing remained similar despite the geographic distance. Some modern clans still dress in the traditional, medieval gypsy clothing. A lot of the clothing featured embroidery around the neck. An interesting fact about gypsies is that they believed the lower part of the body was polluted and therefore would wash clothing worn above the waist separately.


Gypsy women did not wear trousers. They wore full, ankle-length skirts as their culture directed them to cover their legs. Tops were loose fitting with low-cut necklines and big puffy sleeves. Short vests or an apron that tied on the hip often was worn over the skirt and tops. Some blouses would have a keyhole neckline, which made it handy to breastfeed their babies. Collars were often pleated or ruffled. Gypsy women are known for wearing brightly coloured clothes. They sometimes would wear several skirts of contrasting colours.


Gypsy men wore lightly coloured tunics made from wool or linen, with scooped necklines that tied around the neck. The sleeves were long and hung loosely around the wrist. Men wore loosefitting trousers with straight loose legs and cinched at the waist under the tunic. Vests were worn over the tunic, and men often wore hats. They also wore a scarf around their neck, called a kiklo, fastened with big gold rings.


Gypsy children often wore passed down, older clothing and went barefoot. Girls often wore peasant-type dresses. Very young children often roamed naked while in camp. As children grew older they dressed in fashion with their mother or father. In some gypsy customs, the mother would only put clothes on her children in the presence of important people or if it was too cold.


Both male and female gypsies wore a lot of gold and silver. Men liked fancy belt buckles and rings. Women wore long hoop earrings and dangling bracelets around their wrists and ankles. Men and women both wore a turban or a brightly coloured scarf around their heads. The turban had to conceal the hair of women. They wore long decorative cloaks draped over one shoulder that functioned to carry babies and store items.

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