Viking costume inspiration: Vikings TV show

Vikings tv show still/promo photo

Vikings tv show still/promo photo

Viking costume inspiration: Movies & TV

Movies and TV are interesting sources for costume inspiration – they can be really creative and eye-catching, but often they stretch the boundaries of authenticity to get a look that works on screen and helps portray the character.

I don’t think I’ll try to replicate any of the inspiration, but I thought it might be fun to take a look at some different movies and TV shows just to get inspired and maybe send me off on different directions when trying to plan a costume.

Vikings tv show

First, I’ll start with screenshots and promotional photos from the TV show Vikings. (I’m capturing the images to use here in case they expire on their original sources, so please click the photo to be taken to the original source.) Of course, with any media depiction of an era, there is controversy and conversation around how accurate some of the depictions are, (Read this article from the Guardian) but since I’d be combining my costume with more realistic information along with a nod to fantasy and ‘pretty’ (after all, I’m not weaving my own fabric here, and I don’t care how common brown was… I don’t look GOOD in it…) I’m not too worried about using this as an inspiration source.

Battle dress

Vikings tv show still/promo photo

Vikings tv show still/promo photo

This is the dress that the lead female (being that she’s the wife of the lead male.. ahem…) character Lagertha wears into battle. (Ah, at least they’re showing women going into battle.. )

It’s apparently a teal underdress, with a tan leather apron-style overdress (with princess seaming, which might not be accurate in this sense, but in my later reading I found that darts and shaping is accurate) and dark brown leather sleeves (which apparently from the photo aren’t attached at the underarm. This photo is from tvmegasite, but there’s also an in-action still at as well as a full-length shot at showing that the dress looks like a tan leather mini-dress with a dark leather corset over it, and then dark brown leggings. A close-up photo on tumblr makes it look like the teal is a lace or subtle print…

Not anything like what I’d like to do… (but I really do like her hair here.. LOL)

Family dress

So this costume seems a little more realistic, and a little closer to what I’d like to work on…

Vikings tv show still/promo photo

Vikings tv show still/promo photo

This shot is from Hank’s entertainment, and shows a roughly woven blue/grey underdress with a darker blue/grey apron-dresss with silver/grey and red trim. The apron appears to be belted with very thin belts, and there’s the broach-half-necklace- presuming that her hair on either side is covering the broaches, with a necklace of varied beads. A longer view on Paul Mullins’ blog shows a longer view – including more illustration that in this costume, the apron is sideless.


The next costume comes I think from the funeral scene (I won’t give away any spoilers… I know the show is playing in Canada and the USA, but hasn’t been picked up everywhere yet…) and illustrates a greater status in the community.

Vikings tv show still/promo photo

Vikings tv show still/promo photo

ok.. so long-sleeved knitted (? where is that texture coming from?) dress with a sort of zig-zag trim in gold and red on the cuffs and a higher neckline. A white scarf around the neck (it wouldn’t be a turtleneck under it….?) more visible broaches and a necklace of one bead for the necklace, and a fur-collar trimmed cloak (that doesn’t fasten) with arm-slits. This one is from the “Oh No They Didn’t” blog, but the article is very complimentary to the costume designer, despite the blog’s name!

Siggy’s Tunic

The next one seems to be a bit different as well – as the wife of Earl Haraldson the character Siggy has a very different style than the other women. Perhaps her character is supposed to be from another land, or perhaps it’s supposed to be a status thing, but it’s a bit strange. (I don’t remember from the plotline if she’s from somewhere else… I’m sure someone will comment below if that is the case!)

Vikings tv show still/promo photo

Vikings tv show still/promo photo

This photo is from Stage Door Dish, and looks like it’s a shapeless tunic with shoulder straps, sleeveless, with one little cape-like half-sleeve on one side, and a huge wool necklace-kind of thing. I’m not even sure what else to say about this…. The article has a little blurb about her costumes as well, and two more photos from the show.

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