Five Things To Improve Your Ren Faire Outfit

So you’ve been coming to Faire for a while, and you’ve decided that you’d like to wear something more historical than what you have. You spent a lot of money on your outfit. You can’t just throw it all out and buy new stuff! Is there anything you can do?

Yup! Here’s five little things you can do to improve your outfit today.

1) Wear a cap
Most women didn’t go around with their hair uncovered. Even upper class women had their hair specially dressed and coiffed. Common women typically wore white linen caps to keep their hair clean and tidy. Find a white linen cap or coif at one of the merchants and tuck all your hair up into it. If you can’t find a white linen cap, a white piece of linen wrapped around your head “do-rag” style is acceptable too.

2) Cover your shoulders
This one is really two. Number one: pull your chemise sleeves up so they cover your shoulders. The “off-shouder” look wasn’t done in the 16th century.
Number two: wear a partlet or shoulder cape to cover your chest and shoulders. A simple rectangle of white linen pinned at the throat will not only make your outfit more historically accurate, it will also protect your skin from sunburn. No more red triangles!

3) Untuck your skirts
Wearing a skirt tucked up into your belt isn’t period-appropriate. Women in the 16th century wore theirs hanging normally.

4) Change your boots for shoes
Boots were worn more for function that fashion in the 16th century. If you’re not riding a horse, you probably shouldn’t be wearing boots. Luckily the shoes from this time period looked very much like “China flats” or canvas slippers. Pick up a pair for a few dollars at your local thrift store.

5) Unhook your tankard
People didn’t go to 16th century taverns with their own personal tankard on their belts. The tavern provided drinking vessels. If you really feel the need to carry your own tankard with you, tuck it into a pouch and suspend that from your belt or put it in a basket and carry it.

Ready for the next step? Buy Tudor and Elizabethan patterns here.