Monday, August 22, 2005

Renaissance Festival Fashion Tips

Yes, you can get a fine jerkin or a one-size-fits-most barwench costume at the Ren Fest, but don't rule it out for your everyday fashion needs, either.

  • Purses
    Yes, there are the cheesy leather drawstring bags and clunky renditions of "mundane" flap bags. But there are also well crafted leather bags in soft, drapey leather with a modern shape. And for prices ranging from $60-150, it's darn good for a day bag in leather.

  • Jewelry
    Pass on the stamped out pewter dragons you can get at a head shop, kitschy porcelain cameos your grandma would give to Goodwill, and the standard bead 'n' wire danglies that anyone with a pair of pliers and some ambition cranks out by the gross. Keep searching. If you see a fair costumed maiden with a necklace you love, ask her where she got it. Chances are it's right there at the fair. That's where I found a fantastic fused-glass jewelry line, Imbroglio. The jewelry seems kind of gaudy on the website, but trust me it's not. It's bold, but it has a lot of subtlety and variation in the colors. Anyhoo, what I'm trying to say, is that I would have never stumbled on this place (it's located in the back of a stained-glass booth, which I generally avoid) if I hadn't asked about it.

  • Belts
    Mostly chunky rocker belts here, but you can pick out the leather, the buckle, and where the holes go. If you keep it oiled, it will outlive you. Bonus: It will hold your sword nicely if you are bedeviled by marauders.

  • Tailors
    Yes, from the days of old. Who do that sewing thing. With the needle? Those places the fashion magazines tell you to go get your pants hemmed at? Well, you might not want to waste their time with hems, but if you can't find the dress you want, or you need to revamp a vintage garment for RIGHT NOW, these are good folks to chat with. Just be polite, and stick to local tailors.

Not that we are dismissing Renaissance fashion. Far from it - the laced bodice is a girl's best friend, regardless of body type, and who can resist a man in a breeches and a pirate shirt?
1492 is now, man!


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