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Basic Information

A tabard is a short, sleeveless jacket, typically used to deploy an employer's (or, less commonly, a wearer's) coat of arms or other livery.
The actual design can vary from an over the head, side fastening, apron design or a front fastening design like a giant waistcoat - they are differentiated from the surcoat by their short length, the surcoat being generally a full length garment.

Detail and decoration can vary from simple colour coding, through a heraldic badge to very detailed embroidering. The highly detailed version is particularly associated with heralds.

Although traditionally associated with medieval dress, the tabard is still very popular in the modern era - and in many cases still serves to display livery. Livery tabards are commonly used in retail or other customer facing roles to display company branding and identify staff, whilst the other common use involves high-visibility examples worn as emergency clothing, either to protect the wearer or to identify first responders.


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