How to dress at Faire
A Renaissance Faire is where you can really let your creativity run wild and shine. It is a chance to express your love of history and passion for reenactment while amongst friends and family.
The best way to enhance your Faire experience is to put together a show-stopping outfit. You can assemble the appropriate attire with items you have in your closet mixed with thrift store finds. Or perhaps this will be the year you sew and create your own costume from scratch!
The first step to prepare for a Renaissance Faire is to plan ahead. You want to have plenty of time to get everything ready so you look your best. Note the date of the Faire and begin planning at least two weeks in advance. I would recommend starting even sooner if you plan to sew your costume yourself. Take time to enjoy compiling pieces of your outfit without having to scramble at the last minute.
The next step is to get inspired! The Internet the best place to get started in order to get some ideas. Flipping through costume books is also incredibly helpful when you are searching for some inspiration. No matter what style you want to dress as, you are sure to find plenty ideas just through some simple research. Search under keywords such as Medieval costume, Renaissance costume, Elizabethan costume and costume patterns to get started.
Now that you have an idea of the look you want to recreate, it is time to search for what you will wear. Start with your closet to search for pieces that might work in your ensemble. For ladies, peasant blouses, lace-up vests, poet shirts, and long peasant skirts are great items you probably already own. For men, poet shirts, pirate shirts, and vests may be hiding in your very own closet as well. Search for some trousers that you might have laying around too.
Next, scavenge thrift stores for items that will work for your costume. Keep an eye out for items made from natural fiber fabrics over synthetic fabrics. Linen is the perfect fabric if you are striving for authenticity. Not only does linen suite historical costumes perfectly, it helps keep you cooler on a warm day at the Renaissance Faire.
If you are a wizard at the sewing machine, then creating your own costume is great idea. Even if you are hesitant about your sewing abilities, test your skills by making a small portion of your outfit. Many Renaissance clothing patterns are fairly simple and easy to make. Try something uncomplicated to start with, like a tunic, or just altering some clothes you already own. Once you realize how easy it is, nothing will be able to limit your creativity.
Thrift stores and discount stores are great places to find shoes for your costume. Boots are usually more affordable and look worn in when purchased second-hand. For men, try to search for boots that are high enough to allow you to tuck in your pants.
A lot of online sites, and most fabric stores, offer really simple costume patterns. Select deep, rich linen colors to create you pants and skirts. For your tops, use white or off-white linen. For outerwear, such as vests, us heavier weight linens (ex. IL090 or 4C22)
Using clothes you already have or making your own costumes from scratch are great ways to avoid spending a lot of cash for a costume. Retailers online are usually quite expensive and made from cheap synthetic materials. Decent quality costumes are usually priced around $150, whereas linen for making your own costume is affordable (go to Fabrics-Store.com). You will most likely have to purchase accessories such as hats, boots and shoes, at higher costs so save some money where you can!
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