What Did Knights Wear During the Middle Ages?

Oli Scarff / Staff/Getty Images News/Getty Images

In the Middle Ages, or Medieval Times, knights wore suits of armor with under clothing designed to protect the knight from the weight and chafing of the armor. When not engaging in battle, knights wore woolen tights with a linen shirt, linen underpants, a codpiece, a belted tunic, a cape and closed-toe shoes.

The armor that knights wore was made out of metal. Chain mail armor was made out of thousands of small metal links attached to each other that covered the vulnerable points of a knight’s body. Chain mail was very flexible but provided inadequate protection against arrows and sword points.

During the later part of the Middle Ages, armor was designed with layers of plated metal placed on top of each other to protect against a variety of weapons. Plate armor was more effective than chain mail but weighed more and was less flexible.

Knights who wore plate armor also wore linen pants, a linen shirt, a codpiece made from cured leather to protect sex organs, wool tights and a quilted coat filled with linen or grass that was designed to protect the knight’s upper body from damage from the weight of the metal plates. It is believed that a full suit of plate metal armor weighed approximately 60 pounds.