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What Medieval Times Clothing to Wear to the Renaissance Festival

Hark, what light through yonder landscape breaks, it is the Faire, and Lady Visa is stunned..

Okay, enough of that. Fashion police! Who told you that wearing a long sleeve button up shirt and a pair of black slacks was medieval garb? I don't care HOW old the sword is at your side, if you've got buttons and zippers, YOU'RE WRONG.

Look, and learn:

A medieval style dress

A medieval style dress

A medieval style peasant

A medieval style peasant

Ladies

Ladies, stow your pants. Women in the medieval times wore stockings, but not as outerwear. No matter what your station, you wore a skirt. The width and length of the skirt and sleeves varied dependant on your station in life during those times, as it would never do to be cooking with belled sleeves. Likewise, a noble lady's sleeves were larger, either between the shoulder and elbow, or between the elbow and wrist. It is difficult to add lace and trimmings, pearls and embellishments if the sleeve is very close to the skin.

High waistlines are dominant in medieval design, so to recreate this you want to look for a seam right about in the middle of your rib cage. From there, the full length of the skirt should descend and slope out. The neckline of your dress can be very low, very high, or nonexistant in the case of some Tudor era designs.

Stick to natural colors, muted pastels and rich gemtones. Consider your hair, which can be arranged in a nearly infinite number of ways so long as you don't use things like scrunchies to hold the style together.

Menfolk

You have a vast advantage over women in your choices of medieval garb. Remember, no zippers and no buttons. Hook and eye enclosures are the simplest way to ensure your garments close effectively without resorting to elastic waistbands.

You can go without headwear, or not. No baseball caps, though. Common folk wore common garments, so a skullcap of linen fabric or a light leather are acceptable there. Noblemen wore feathered velvet, or if a station of power was held, a metal circlet.

You have the option of wearing a robe or long tunic, or wearing a waist-tunic and stockings. You can wear trousers, leather pants, even a skirt if you had the proper vest and shirt to go with it. Men's clothing, outside of nobility, tended toward utilitarian purposes. Keep in mind simple lines, complementary colors, and the purpose of the event you are wearing this garb to.

Medieval Crafters

Comments

Joey on October 21, 2010:

OMG i love that dress but it needs some BAZZZAAAMMMM

AJHargrove from USA on May 28, 2009:

Adorable dress at the top. Way better than the one I made myself.

hottie girl1 on May 26, 2009:

i am dressing up for medieval day tomorrow, this dress would look perfect!

Kiz Robinson (author) from New Orleans, Louisiana on February 24, 2008:

There are many places you can get a skirt, if you want to wear one. There is a link currently displayed for a store called the Tudor Shoppe, I actually like that store, they've got neat clothing and good ideas for renaissance gear!

me on February 24, 2008:

hope i will get answers on wherehto get a skirt.....but see you in huntersville this fall!

me on February 24, 2008:

ok.. so you say a guy can wear a skirt... what kind and where do i get one???? i have a kilt already. do ihave any other options???

dkomenda from Mond Engel on February 19, 2008:

AHHhh nice idea ;)))

I always have a hard time when I look for someting to wear...Its harder when you can only use whats in your house lol

Olive S. on February 19, 2008:

i went to one , it wa so much fun! Got all dressed up for it.

goodluck.

In The Doghouse from California on February 19, 2008:

Well, the last time I went to the faire, if you were not authentic, the people were pretty brutal. Yes, your advice of no buttons or zippers is well given. If you have never been to one, it is amazing the way the people dress. They have seen to every detail in their costumes, at least that is how it was a few years back. It is a real experience.

ChristineRitter from Ohio on February 19, 2008:

GREAT HUB !!! I love that time frame, have never been to a festival, though. I really want to !!!!!!!!!

Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 19, 2008:

Thanks for this Hub. It's been a while since I've been to a faire.