Austrian Jews distinguished themselves from their Christian neighbors in their dress. There were differences in the cut of the clothes and the color of the cloth. Rabbi Isserlein answered the question whether it was allowed to get dressed like non-Jews to look similar to them and therefore to protect themselves better: “... even dresses with two or three colors and clothes with tassels, braids and trimmings, as the non-Jews use to wear and going around without a head covering are as strongly forbidden as kilayim.” (THD, Nr. 196. - Responsa to questions related to Jewish customs. Kilayim refers to a mixture of wool and linen, forbidden according to Dtn 22, 11].
The rabbis and scholars wore distinctive cloaks which were closed at the neck, full sleeved and wide at the ankles. Under the robe they sported trousers and a shirt and at holidays a "Sargenes" (that is an article of clothing known today as a “Kittel”) and the “Tallit Katan”, (the small prayer cloth with Tzitzit). The head was covered by a cap and a hat, which they wore during prayer. In summer they wore straw hats. As long hair was considered non-Jewish, Jewish men cut the hair of their head short. The shaping of beards was common among rabbis; Rabbi Isserlein's beard was squared and shaped by scissors. However, many yeshiva students and rabbis of this period were clean-shaven.
There is hardly any information about the dress of Jewish women in Austria. For special occasions belts were used as jewelry. Fathers presented to their daughters precious stones and pearls and clothes with gold and silver threads for their weddings.
The Fourth Council of Latran (1215) and several local Church synods declared that Jews should wear a special sign, mostly applied as a yellow ring attached to the garment. A treaty of the 15th century claims that the special garments of the Jews are a prerequisite for granting the rights of dwelling within a Christian majority. A law issued in 1511 declared that Jews outside of Vienna do not have to dress according to the regulations valid in Vienna.