Vikings Wore Vain and Sexy Clothes

LONDON -- Vikings were much snappier dressers than previously thought, according to new evidence unearthed by a Swedish researcher in western Russia.

The men were especially vain while the women dressed provocatively, adorning themselves in vivid colors, silk ribbons and glittering bits of mirrors, said Annika Larsson, a textile researcher at Uppsala University in Sweden.

"They combined oriental features with Nordic styles," she said in a statement. "Their clothing was designed to be shown off indoors around the fire."

The findings are based on the Swedish Vikings, who traveled east into what is now Russia, rather than the Danish and Norwegian Vikings, who went west.

Until Larsson's discovery in the Pskov region -- an area used as a trade route to the East -- most people had believed Viking dress was conservative.

Her findings included a blue dress with a train fastened to the breasts with clasps to highlight the figure, she said.

These kinds of ornate features in clothing, however, disappeared with the onset of medieval Christian fashion during the time the Swedish Vikings pushed into Western Europe, she said.

"It's easy to imagine that the Christian Church had certain reservations about clothing that accentuated the breasts in this way," Larsson said.