Full Entry, Male

1100 CE Grayfriar (Cistercian) Habit 1

Title: 1100 CE Grayfriar (Cistercian) Habit 1
Entry #: GGB2021.032
Alternate Names: Friar Robes, monks robes 
Year: 1100 CE
Time range: 1100 – end of period
Era: High medieval
Gender: Male
region: Europe
Countries/cultures: Europe
Maker: Vincent De Vere
Difficulty: 1
Confidence: Extant Examples


Long belted tunic with a belt of leather, cloth or rope.  A scapula, the tabard like rectangle of cloth with a cowl or hood attached. 


Generally unadorned, color of the fabric denotes particular religious order the wearer belongs to. The belt could be leather but some references say rope was more common. 

Over time the colors of the different orders became nearly standardized.  The Benedictine Monks would dye the wool they used to make their habits leading to names such as Black Monks or Blackfriar.  The Cistercian Monks who arose in the 1100’s opted for undyed wool to show their adherence to poverty.  This led to names like White monks or Grayfriars.  There ae still many places across England with location names of Blackfriars and Grayfriars. 

This attempt at a Cistercian habit used linen instead of wool for the long tunic and brown wool for the scapula.

Any portrayal of religious personages at events should be done with respect to the beliefs of others.   

Inspiration Images

Common Materials

  • Fabrics:
    • wool
  • Ornamentation:

Effective Substitutions

  • Fabrics:
    • linen
    • cotton
    • linen blends
    • wool blends
  • Ornamentation:

Ensemble Components

  • tunic
  • scapula hood

  • belt


  • pouch
  • rosary


Version: 2
date: 3/5/2021
Source of Period Pic: Life of St. Bernard of Clairvaux by Jörg Breu the Elder 1500
Model: Vincent De Vere
Photographer: Vincent De Vere

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