For many festival-goers, dressing up is at least half the fun. A Renaissance faire, especially, encourages creative participation before you even step through the gates. Looking and playing a certain part enables you to not only attend a festival or faire but also interact with performers and other visitors in a uniquely lighthearted way. However, before you can choose what to wear, you must first decide your motivations and preferences.
The list of possible personas is endless, but below are a few of the most common costumes and characters for your faire experience.
1. The royal.
This person goes all out to look as kingly or queenly possible. No matter the level of discomfort, he or she values the historical accuracy of multiple layers. What’s a few petticoats in summer heat for looking timelessly regal? The intricate lacing and jewels might cost a small fortune, but this person considers it a small price to pay for belonging to the court. After all, common costumes are for peasants, and this attire guarantees a class distinction. One who chooses this luxurious lifestyle and costume can at least briefly trade real-word problems for fashions fit for a palace.
2. The fantasy.
This type takes a step beyond merely medieval into the mystical realm of magic and myth. According to the person who chooses this kind of costume and character, why just go back in time when you can transcend other worlds and rules? Brightly colorful fairies and elves are probably the most common personas at these events, but everything from dragons to orcs also make a few polite appearances. To properly identify one of these creatures during a sighting, just look at the physical characteristics, especially pointed ears, wings and tails. Costumes are usually as elaborate as the ideas and designers themselves.
3. The dancer.
Likely the most seductive of the entire faire, with the exception of the tightly-clad warrior, this person links sensuality with her costume. The easiest way to locate this type is to simply listen for bells almost anywhere on the dancer, from anklet to headdress. Her jingles give her away every time, even before the ringing of her finger cymbals. Bold is the best word to describe this outfit as it embellishes every shape. Even if this person is not actually performing on stage with the professional belly dancers, her costume makes her feel capable to shimmy with the best of them!
4. The pirate.
With a sword at the hip and feather in the hat, this one is the self-proclaimed badass of the entire group. The girls are probably sashaying in their striped skirts while the guys brandish their weaponry through the crowd. They might all look like rebels and rogues, but this merry group knows how to have fun. The person who chooses the pirate life will probably spend half the time teasing the pious knights and the rest of the day with a tankard. Whether pirate wench or swashbuckler, this attire and attitude add a level of excitement to guarantee a dashing time.
5. The steampunk.
This type is the infamous wildcard as it combines historical costume with sci-fi influences. The clothing can also incorporate garments from the previous types, but the unique accessories are really key. While some of the others might prefer jewels, the person who chooses the steampunk ensemble and lifestyle has an eye and preference for gears on everything from gloves to top hats. The distinct combination of ruffles, metal and lace also generates an outfit with both romantic and industrial flair. Garbed in goggles and timepieces, this festival-goer takes a new approach to traditional festival fashions for a timeless creation.