Author Topic: New to Renfests would love to go to one in costume where to begin?  (Read 4287 times)

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Offline Lady Renee Buchanan

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Re: New to Renfests would love to go to one in costume where to begin?
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2015, 05:58:01 AM »
I just thought of something else.  When my husband wants to go lower class, he wears black or brown scrub pants.  They have a tie waist, and I use a seam ripper and undo the pockets.  They are pretty cheap, and no one has ever noticed they aren't $50 pairs of pants.  Or, there is a mechant at the Kansas City faire that sells men's pants that are 1 size fits all.  They go up to a 52 or 54 inch waist.  They were around $30 - $35.  My husband is a 2XL, and they are loose on him.  Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the vendor.  Maybe someone on the forum will remember it.  Butch is from Kansas City, maybe you could private message him.  Or contact the faire directly, which you could go online for the contact info.
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Offline isabelladangelo

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Re: New to Renfests would love to go to one in costume where to begin?
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2015, 10:00:40 AM »
I didn't read through all the posts so sorry if this is some repeated information!

First, ebay and etsy.  Seriously.   You'll find a lot of used garb on either one of these.   It really is your best bet.

Some general rules - stay away from patterns and stick to solid colors.  Nothing says "not right" as a bad print or too wide stripes.  As far colors go, really, almost anything goes.  There are medieval illuminations that show safety cone orange and rather bright spring greens as well a wide variety of blues and reds.   Lavender, pink, and several other colors are also quite correct.

Go with natural fibers.  If the vendor doesn't say what the fibers are, ask.   Cotton gauze, muslin, linen, linen/cotton blends, and poplin are all wonderful for chemises/undertunics.   Linen is the most common one in period but cotton (muslin) was also used in Italy and a few other places.   Always go with white or natural colors (the dyes would bleed in those days, think red sock in the whites in the washing machine but on your skin).  Saffron is okay too if you are going for an Irish look.   

The doublet/gown/ect should also be out of natural fabrics.   Remember, you can always layer.  Capes and cloaks out of wool are wonderful in the cold and rain.   Many outfits had detachable sleeves - making the same outfit good for several different temperatures.   

I might have missed it, but was there a specific time and place you were interested in?

Offline LadyStitch

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Re: New to Renfests would love to go to one in costume where to begin?
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2015, 10:50:17 AM »
Just like went starting in cosplay you start with what you can afford and do, and you build from there.  We recommend going with basic natural fiber (linen, and cotton)  for your clothing.  Start simple and build upon it.  With kids I would say thrift store is easiest as kids grow quickly you can change out their clothing quickly.   Just like in cosplay the 'cheapest' way to make your clothing is to make it yourself, that is not always possible, but there are options available. :)

It is kind of strange watching your personal history become costume.

Offline Lady Kathleen of Olmsted

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Re: New to Renfests would love to go to one in costume where to begin?
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2015, 01:20:14 PM »
 Not many vendors I am aware of make garb for Plus sized people. XL is as high as some go, unless Custom designed and  ordered to fit a larger body.

All of the suggestions are wonderful for starting out with simpler garb, then designing a character one wants to go with, saving up for better garb. I have male clients who are in the 3X to 5X range. They want to look good in their garb just as everyone else does.
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Offline Diaval

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Re: New to Renfests would love to go to one in costume where to begin?
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2015, 08:54:10 PM »
Some of the larger faires also rent out garb for the day. I am not familiar with the area you are going to, but you could check their websites and see if they have rentals? Try before you buy.

I have heard of that before at some of the really large renfests, particularly the ones out west, but I am not sure about the ones that are closer to me (NY).   The NYRF is fairly large though and if anyone would do it out of the places I been looking into, it probably would be that one.   Hmmm, let me see....

Yep, they do.  In fact they source the rentals out:

http://www.thebelrose.com/renaissance-faires.html

The prices on the lower end of the scale looks good, but the upper end $65?  That is up there.  But one problem is that the site says they only go up to XL.  So I probably would style have to buy my garb.  One thing though the upper price range is $25 for kids.   Unlike myself and my wife of whom could build on our costumes and use them in the future, the kids may not be too into dressing up in period clothing.   So renting something for them might be a good idea.

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A basic ensemble for guys would be a loose cotton or linen shirt and pants. I have seen loose pants (similar to sweatpants) but in cotton and then you can add to it as you find other pieces, maybe a leather belt. A basic for women would be a chemise, skirt and you could purchase a bodice (as they need to be fitted correctly).  After you look around and narrow down what you like, then spend money on that. I know some people who buy just one pair of well made shoes/boots one year and then other pieces the next year, for example. Because, it is an investment.

Yes, I did kind of figure that you would start off with something basic first and then keep adding on to it and eventually changing parts up in subsequent years.

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I made all of our garb, but purchased anything metal or leather. There's a lot more available now, than when we first went, more than 40  years ago.

40 years ago, huh?  So you been doing renfests for quite a while now.

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Here's an idea, too...There are many videos on Youtube from faires all over and from different years. You might see some garb you like on there, to see what others wear.

Yup!  I been doing that already.  Mainly watching videos from the NY fair.

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Also, we have found many pottery pieces, swords and other merchandise that had been originally sold at MNRF, at  thrift/used stores in our area. You never know what you can find there.

That is a bonus, but I don't live that close to any renfests.  I live in NY on Long Island and from what I heard the last renfest that was running at Sands Point, shut down after last year.  So this year the only thing on Long Island is the Pirate Fest at the maritime museum.  But it is possible something might show up in the costume section, but for the most part that section is cheap Halloween costumes.

Thank you.

I just thought of something else.  When my husband wants to go lower class, he wears black or brown scrub pants.  They have a tie waist, and I use a seam ripper and undo the pockets.  They are pretty cheap, and no one has ever noticed they aren't $50 pairs of pants.  Or, there is a mechant at the Kansas City faire that sells men's pants that are 1 size fits all.  They go up to a 52 or 54 inch waist.  They were around $30 - $35.  My husband is a 2XL, and they are loose on him.  Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the vendor.  Maybe someone on the forum will remember it.  Butch is from Kansas City, maybe you could private message him.  Or contact the faire directly, which you could go online for the contact info.

Yes, I know Dinobabe mentioned 'repurposing' women's capris from a thrift store.  Hmmm still that merchant that sells the 'one size fits all' pants for $35 is worth checking out, if you could recall the vendor.   Trillium recommended renshirts.com and they have a few things in my size.

Thank you.

I didn't read through all the posts so sorry if this is some repeated information!

First, ebay and etsy.  Seriously.   You'll find a lot of used garb on either one of these.   It really is your best bet.

I have not looked at etsy yet, but I do remember checking them out for a Halloween costume a while back and the prices are all over the place.  But Ebay might be a good bet as that was where I got most my wife's Maleficent costume.

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Some general rules - stay away from patterns and stick to solid colors.  Nothing says "not right" as a bad print or too wide stripes.  As far colors go, really, almost anything goes.  There are medieval illuminations that show safety cone orange and rather bright spring greens as well a wide variety of blues and reds.   Lavender, pink, and several other colors are also quite correct.

Well, my own educated guesses figured that prints and patterns (unless physically sewn in) would be a no no.   I did gather that the earth tone colors were more for the peasants and the reds, blues and purples were more of the noble folk or royal colors.   I remember reading something about certain ways they dyed cloth and that the reds, blues, and purples were very hard colors to do.  Where as the 'earth' colors were easy and as such were the colors wore by the working class and peasants.

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Go with natural fibers.  If the vendor doesn't say what the fibers are, ask.   Cotton gauze, muslin, linen, linen/cotton blends, and poplin are all wonderful for chemises/undertunics.

Would you happen to know which of these 'breathe' well?  Given my size, I do have a tendency to sweat and I certainly want something that is very 'airy'.  I am hoping to see if I could shed some pounds this summer.  I have to get used to walking around a long time anyway because if I go to that fair in NY, well, that one is huge.

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  Linen is the most common one in period but cotton (muslin) was also used in Italy and a few other places.   Always go with white or natural colors (the dyes would bleed in those days, think red sock in the whites in the washing machine but on your skin).  Saffron is okay too if you are going for an Irish look.

While I am not Irish, I easily pass for one.  I could pass for Scottish too...would give me a lousy excuse to run around in a kilt! 

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The doublet/gown/ect should also be out of natural fabrics.   Remember, you can always layer.

Yes, I am just started to grasp the layering at how the doublets go over the shirts.  The thing is my size + heat + layers = massive sweating.  I am hoping that I can attend a renfest towards the end of September, early October when things cool down, then I would be ok with something layered.

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  Capes and cloaks out of wool are wonderful in the cold and rain.   Many outfits had detachable sleeves - making the same outfit good for several different temperatures.

Detachable sleeves?  That is interesting.  First time I heard of that.

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I might have missed it, but was there a specific time and place you were interested in?

Nothing is etched in stone yet, but I am leaning towards late September, early October.   But not many renfests go that late.  I found one in Connecticut that does.   But so far, in terms of the place, I am leaning most towards the NYRF at Tuxedo Park.  It is a fairly large one and they have many permanent structures on that site.  They also offer plenty for kids to do too.


Just like went starting in cosplay you start with what you can afford and do, and you build from there.  We recommend going with basic natural fiber (linen, and cotton)  for your clothing.  Start simple and build upon it.  With kids I would say thrift store is easiest as kids grow quickly you can change out their clothing quickly.   Just like in cosplay the 'cheapest' way to make your clothing is to make it yourself, that is not always possible, but there are options available. :)

Well, from what I been reading above, the 'building on' concept seems good.  But with the kids, you make a good point about them growing up and in a years time they could outgrow something I buy this year.   Furthermore, I am not 100% sure they will embrace the period clothing as the wife and I do.  You know kids, they probably want to go dressed up in their favorite Halloween costumes.   But with the NYRF offering rentals and I could go that route and find out if they like to dress up in period clothing.

As for making things myself, well, if I had a machine then that would be easy.   My mom had one many moons ago, but sold it, so that is out so I do have to look into one of those 'other' options.

Thank you.

Not many vendors I am aware of make garb for Plus sized people. XL is as high as some go, unless Custom designed and  ordered to fit a larger body.

All of the suggestions are wonderful for starting out with simpler garb, then designing a character one wants to go with, saving up for better garb. I have male clients who are in the 3X to 5X range. They want to look good in their garb just as everyone else does.

No, sadly I found that out when I was looking at some sites and was happy to find some were reasonably prices, but that happiness faded fast when I found out the largest size they had was XL.  I am 3XL and very tall too 6'3"...yeah I am a big boy and yes, I would like to look decent too.

So what are some examples of a simpler / less expensive look?  If you have pictures to reference that would be great?


To all.  Thank you for your assistance, I am sure your answers are going to raise more questions, but I guess that is part of the learning curve.

Again many thanx all for the help!

Diaval.
Exit Light, Enter Night, Take My Hand, We're Off To Never Never Land.

Offline isabelladangelo

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Re: New to Renfests would love to go to one in costume where to begin?
« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2015, 11:14:18 PM »
Linen. Linen. Linen.  All the way for breathability.  Linen wicks away the sweat from your skin.  My favorite chemises are made out of a linen/cotton blend - awesome stuff.   You can just wear a white linen tunic top with light colored linen trousers - there are plenty of illuminations and paintings showing men working out in the field with that and a straw hat on.  Seriously this was a thing.  It would keep you comfortable and look correct.   

As far as the detachable sleeves - oh yes.  Way yes.   


Joachim Beuckelaer Butcher Shop [Public domain], by Joachim Beuckelaer (circa 1533–1575) 


You can easily see how this gentleman has his sleeves tied to his jerkin.   Both women and men had detachable sleeves - great for those days that start off around 50f but end up being 80f! 

I know it may seem peculiar to our modern senses, but carry a hand fan.   A nice feather fan will also help you keep cool. 



« Last Edit: May 04, 2015, 11:18:21 PM by isabelladangelo »

Offline Lady L

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Re: New to Renfests would love to go to one in costume where to begin?
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2015, 02:04:56 AM »
"I might have missed it, but was there a specific time and place you were interested in?

Nothing is etched in stone yet, but I am leaning towards late September, early October.   But not many renfests go that late.  I found one in Connecticut that does.   But so far, in terms of the place, I am leaning most towards the NYRF at Tuxedo Park.  It is a fairly large one and they have many permanent structures on that site.  They also offer plenty for kids to do too."

No, she is referring to what time frame in history and what country (Europe or elsewhere) you would like to look like. Every country and region had different styles. Styles changed greatly from the 1400s to the 1550s.  :)
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Offline Lady L

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Re: New to Renfests would love to go to one in costume where to begin?
« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2015, 02:17:42 AM »
"Also, we have found many pottery pieces, swords and other merchandise that had been originally sold at MNRF, at  thrift/used stores in our area. You never know what you can find there."

"That is a bonus, but I don't live that close to any renfests.  I live in NY on Long Island and from what I heard the last renfest that was running at Sands Point, shut down after last year.  So this year the only thing on Long Island is the Pirate Fest at the maritime museum.  But it is possible something might show up in the costume section, but for the most part that section is cheap Halloween costumes."

We don't live that close to a faire, either! People purchase things at a faire, then decide they don't want them, don't have room for them or whatever and they end up in a second hand or thrift store. People travel to faires from other states and even other countries. I had customers from Europe, such as Germany and France, in my faire shop. Some people even fly in for the weekend. Merchandise is sold online or traded, all the time. How it ends up in my town, I have no idea, but it does.
I was referring more to accessories, such as steins, jewelry, swords, things like that. In second hand clothing stores, you could probably find a peasant type blouse for your wife, if you can't find a chemise, for example. Think clothing, more than *costume*.
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Offline arbcoind

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Re: New to Renfests would love to go to one in costume where to begin?
« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2015, 04:11:50 AM »
Nothing is etched in stone yet, but I am leaning towards late September, early October

The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire in Manheim PA runs August 1, through the end of October. 

Gina

Offline Trillium

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Re: New to Renfests would love to go to one in costume where to begin?
« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2015, 10:06:51 AM »
A simple outfit for you would be a basic peasant shirt with a belt and some baggy pants or a kilt.  The pics on renshirts are a good example.  You could add a vest for a little upgrade or a doublet for a higher class look.  You don't have to go for a specific time period, just having the right "feel" to the outfit works fine.
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Offline Gauwyn of Bracknell

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Re: New to Renfests would love to go to one in costume where to begin?
« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2015, 11:35:52 AM »
A simple outfit for you would be a basic peasant shirt with a belt and some baggy pants or a kilt.  The pics on renshirts are a good example.  You could add a vest for a little upgrade or a doublet for a higher class look.  You don't have to go for a specific time period, just having the right "feel" to the outfit works fine.

agree - start with the simple stuff and shop at faire.  (I was asked once how I became an Earl - I said "just bought nicer clothes  :D )
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Offline Dinobabe

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Re: New to Renfests would love to go to one in costume where to begin?
« Reply #26 on: May 05, 2015, 12:26:20 PM »
And look in the women's section for men's options!  Poofy sleeves and pants galore.  ;)
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Offline Rowan MacD

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Re: New to Renfests would love to go to one in costume where to begin?
« Reply #27 on: May 05, 2015, 02:22:37 PM »
   Greetings and well met! You're gonna have fun here!

   Forgive me if I'm repeating anything , but after scanning your posts (I'm at work) I get the impression that you have never been to a faire before?
   I would highly recommend you do that first, in mundane (street) clothes.   Enjoy yourself. Look around. Check out the other folks.   Decide what you want to be, and then decide how to do it.
   I don't recommend jumping in the deep end, when you aren't sure you know how to swim.; or even if you will want to learn.
 
  Dressing as a Noble and not ending up looking like a Halloween costume reject is not cheap.
  In fact it's too expensive for most folks, even those who are serious about going to faire in garb.     
 
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Offline Dinobabe

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Re: New to Renfests would love to go to one in costume where to begin?
« Reply #28 on: May 05, 2015, 02:38:27 PM »
   Dressing as a Noble and not ending up looking like a Halloween costume reject is not cheap.
  In fact it's too expensive for most folks, even those who are serious about going to faire in garb.   

Even my simple noble outfit, which is still a work in progress even though I can wear it as is, took years of finding everything on super sale or free.  Even then it probably cost me at least $175 in materials.  That is amazingly cheap! 
I haven't done any beading yet.  That is the next step. 
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Offline isabelladangelo

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Re: New to Renfests would love to go to one in costume where to begin?
« Reply #29 on: May 05, 2015, 02:55:29 PM »
   
 
  Dressing as a Noble and not ending up looking like a Halloween costume reject is not cheap.
  In fact it's too expensive for most folks, even those who are serious about going to faire in garb.   

Oh the stories I could tell of those poor unfortunate souls who did wear the cheap Halloween costume rejects...and very much regretted it.  Like the Lady who was told they didn't wear bras in period and the dresses were just tied tight enough to be self supporting...which doesn't work with poly panne velvet as she discovered after a long day in the sun and her neckline went from boat to navel (punny!!!).  By 3 pm, various individuals were offering all sorts of sunscreens (way too late, she was redder than the dress she was wearing) and veils to help cover and prevent further sunburns.   That dress was so stretched by the end of the day (and the trim was starting to fall off) that I'm sure it went straight into the garbage bag.   

If you don't sew, garb is very pricey.  Noble outfits are easily in the $1k arena if they are done well and with good quality materials at Faire.  Online, you can find good ones for $500 new, $300 used.   Stick with basics for now.   White linen t-tunic and light colored trousers are you best bet. 

 

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