The basic garment of the Visigoths, like the Romans, was the tunica (tunic) with sleeves. There are several types described: the tnica pectoralis (a short tunic), the tunica escarlate and the tnica coccina (red tunics), and the armilausa vulgo. The armilausa was foreign to the Roman tradition, as it was open in front and behind some of these had an open skirt with sharp points and are seen in Visigothic reliefs in Asturias. There is also mention of a woman's tunic called an amiculum, which was worn by women of questionable repute in Rome, but was worn in Spain by honest women.

Gerona Beatus,
Gerona Cathedral 7, fol.242

Still in evidence in the Roman tunic, decorated with vertical strips called clavii. Tunics were frequently decorated with bold stripes, both horizontal and vertical, and were belted with a thick, buckled belt known as a cingulum, many of which have been found in burial excavations.
There is also an unusual style seen in the Codex Armilianensis, a Visigothic manuscript. Here we see, on both men and women, what appears to be a long tunic or gown with tiers of flounces. Boucher speculates that these were introduced into Spain by merchants from Syria, where this type of Cretan-inspired skirt was worn.


Codex Aemilianensis Ms.d.1.1. (A.D.976)

Capas and mantos, or mantles, were worn by both sexes and all classes. The Roman cape, in various shapes, was worn gathered over the left shoulder, and the chlamys, a short, semi-circular cloak was worn knotted over the shoulder. San Isidoro takes special note of the mantum hispani. This was a small cape that just reached the hands, and it became common in Spanish fashion during the following centuries. There is also evidence that the Roman pallium, a rectangular cloak, was worn. In Spain, however, this manto was held not with a single fibula (pin) on the shoulder, but fibulae were placed on both sides of the chest.



Beatus., London, British Library, Add. 11695, fol.164 A.D. 1109



Valladolid Beatus, Valladolid,
B. U., 433, fol. 148v

Gerona Beatus,
Gerona Cathedral 7, fol.70v.

Men (and possibly women) wore various kinds of leg coverings, similar to modern-day pants. Bracae were brief, and only covered the intimate parts, while femoralia were longer and also covered the thighs. Tubrucos, a name that today designates pants, were worn either tight or loose around the ankles. These are shown in Roman reliefs as barbaric dress, and Bernis notes that they bear a strong resemblance to pants worn by the Parthians in the Persian Empire.
Left: Valladolid Beatus, Valladolid,
B. U., 433, fol. 148v
Turning our attention from the bottom to the top, it is seen that the short hair worn in the classical Roman period was giving way to longer styles, and these new styles favored bangs to the ears. It was the custom for young women to wear their hair loose, signifying an unmarried state. San Isidoro also mentions a capitulare in relation to women's headwear, but we can only surmise what this could be.