Dwarves are one of the most popular creatures from fantasy and legends. In this post, we take a quick look at the origins of fantasy dwarves, their styles, and then dive into a sample dwarven ensemble. We hope to give you an idea of where to start if you wish to dress as a fantasy dwarf.
This fantasy race originated in Norse mythology. Their origin in Viking lore has lent itself to many of the popular depictions of dwarves. Dwarves often have clothing styles that look like that of a Viking or stereotypical barbarian. In Norse myth, dwarves had a wide variety of roles and traits. This included the role of craftsmen. For example, dwarves are said to have made Gungnir, Freyr’s ship, and Mjolnir among other items.
In fiction, dwarves tend to have roles focusing on metalsmithing, crafting, and mining. These roles also tend to contribute to the weapons most commonly carried by dwarves. Pop culture tends to picture them wielding hammers and axes in battle. These weapons make sense for warriors familiar with such activities. A few of the most popular depictions of dwarves come from the Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit, Dungeons and Dragons, and even the Chronicles of Narnia. In Dungeons and Dragons, there are two types of dwarves: dwarves and duergar, the dark dwarves.
Everyday Style of Fantasy Dwarves
To dress as a fantasy dwarf, you need to start somewhere and the best place to begin is with the clothes. Since dwarves originated with the Vikings and Norse mythology, we are going to take a lot of inspiration from this historical style for the clothes. You can wear a shirt like the Ansgar Shirt with something like the Ketill Canvas Pants to form the basic outfit. The Mens Medieval Low Boots is a good choice for footwear. In addition, if you were wanting a more adventuring dwarf style, then an outer garment would be a nice idea. The Aaron Canvas Cloak has a style reminiscent of the dwarves from the Lord of the Rings. Together, these pieces create a basic look for a fantasy dwarf.
Building off of the basic look we just created, there are many accessories that would fit in with a dwarf’s everyday style. Dwarves would look comfortable in the Wool Hamond Arm Wraps and Leg Wraps. You could add on a belt like the Peasants Medieval Ring Belt along with a bag like the Large Suede Pouch. In addition to a bag, you could also have a tankard hanging from your belt. With the Medium Horn Tankard, the Celtic Mug Tankard Strap and some cutlery, you can look ready for any feast ahead, maybe even an impromptu dwarf and hobbit feast. With the accessories and clothes, you would have a good everyday outfit for a dwarf. Now if your dwarven character likes to fight on the battlefield, there will be other items to consider in addition to the clothing.
Warrior Style of Fantasy Dwarves
For any warrior, a battle ensemble begins with the armor. Armour for a dwarf can vary. This is due in part to the Viking influence as well as the popular imagery of dwarves. A lot of dwarves in pop culture tend towards leather armour. Meanwhile, the Vikings were known to have worn chainmail and could have theoretically worn leather armour as well. You can check out our article for more info on Viking armour. Together, leather armour and chainmail create a striking appearance for any dwarf. For example, the Odomar Viking Leather Cuirass along with the Odomar Viking Leather Belt contrast nicely against the Richard Steel Chainmail Hauberk. Gloves like the Suede Swordsman Gloves as well as some arming wear would be good additions to a dwarven warrior outfit. Also, a helmet like the Blacwin Steel Norman Helmet or the Norse Steel Spangenhelm would be a great finishing touch.
Weapons of Fantasy Dwarves
Of course, no dwarf ready for battle should be without a weapon in hand. As mentioned previously, dwarves are most popularly depicted wielding polearms such as hammers and axes due to the items’ involvement in crafting and mining. Thus, any dwarf would look perfectly fine wielding a functional battle axe like the Long Hafted Double Bit Axe or a LARP axe like the Thorgrim LARP Double-Headed Axe. For hammers, the Heavy War Hammer or the Long Dorgen LARP Dwarf Hammer would make great options, each one depending on whether steel or foam weapons are desired.
Swords are also a possibility, just not as commonly portrayed as polearms. Dungeons and Dragons is one of the more common settings for a dwarf to be wielding a sword. With swords, the size can vary. Some may prefer a large, almost-oversized sword to emphasize a dwarf’s strength. Others may desire a short sword that is more maneuverable. A dagger would also fall in with this line of thinking. The style of a dagger or sword may vary depending on your preference for more Viking-influenced or more fantasy-themed. Seaxes would work well for more Viking-inspired dwarves, but any medieval-styled dagger could work, depending on the individual aesthetic. The Sleek Medieval Dagger is one such example.
Note on Dwarven Shields
The weapon a fantasy dwarf chooses to wield will affect their fighting style. If a dwarf, like any warrior, wields a two-handed weapon, then they will most likely not carry a shield. On the other hand, a dwarf may wish to carry a shield if they wield a one-handed weapon. This depends on personal preference in addition to fighting style. If a dwarf wishes for a more Viking aesthetic, wooden shields would be appropriate or ones that look like wood in the case of LARP shields. Otherwise, the range of options is larger for a fantasy-themed dwarf, especially one from a Dungeons and Dragons setting.
In this post, we looked at the general style of a fantasy dwarf as well as a possible ensemble for one. From the daily dress of a dwarf to their battle-ready look, there are many pieces to consider for an outfit. We hope that we have given you an idea of where to begin when it comes to dwarven styles.