Common Medieval Clothing Colors
This is meant as an information resource for creative folk, not a complete guide. Be sure to supplement this with additional research. Find the rest of the series, including the previous posts on clergy, nobility, common medieval jobs, divination, spirit animals, mythical creatures, structuring an army, medieval punishments, armor, pre-gunpowder weapons, siege warfare, castle anatomy, and common terms of medieval life.
Black: First associated with the Vikings, black was worn by all and eventually became the color worn by mourners, the elderly, and scholars.
Blue: Light blue was worn by all, but dark blue was worn by higher-ranking nobles and royalty until it became associated with scholars and apprentices.
Crimson: A bright red worn by the wealthy.
Flame: A bright red-orange reserved for the wealthy.
Gold Cloth: Reserved for royalty.
Green: All shades; worn by all.
Murrey: Deep purple-red. Worn by the rich.
Parti-colored: Clothes that were often made up of several different colors like a Harlequin doll.
Purple: Reserved for royalty and very high-ranking nobility.
Red: Worn by all.
Red-browns: Extremely popular and worn by all.
Scarlet: A vibrant shade first reserved for royalty and then worn only be nobility.
Silver Cloth: Reserved for royalty.
Siskin: Light greenish-yellow worn by the wealthy.
Slate: A gray blue. Worn by all.
Tan: A light brown worn by the nobility.
Tartan: A plaid pattern of Scottish origin, the unique colors and pattern of which denote the wearer’s clan or family.
Tawny: A brownish-yellow color that was popular. Worn by all.
Watchet: A light greenish-blue worn by all.
White: Worn by all, but preferred by the nobility and royalty.
Yellow: Worn by all.