Dressing up for the Renaissance Festival is a great way to elevate your fun level, but it can be quite intimidating if you're new to it. That's why we've assembled a list of great renaissance festival costumes (or as you'll soon find out, what festival fans call "garb") for each of our themed weekends that can be cobbled together by veteran faire-goers and novices alike.
You don't have to buy a pair of lederhosen to fit in during Oktoberfest. Start with a pair of shorts, an open-neck shirt (even a t-shirt will do in a pinch), and a pair of suspenders. Add in some brown or black shoes with dark knee-high socks.
Finally, throw on a hat with a feather in the band to really bring it all together. Don't forget your beer stein!
Join the faerie folk with some simple costume pieces. Hit the thrift stores for some loose, flowing pieces like shirts, tops, skirts, or dresses. Fantasy costumes are limited only by your imagination, so the colors are up to you! Pastels, earth tones, and bright colors are all common choices.
For accessories, try adding some pointed ears, a crown, or of course, faerie wings! These can be found online, made at home DIY-style, or purchased at the festival.
It's time to sail beneath the black! For an easy but effective pirate crew outfit, get yourself a cheap t-shirt. Jaggedly cut away the ends of the sleeves, the neck, and the hem at the bottom. If you like, you can add horizontal stripes with some fabric paint. (Don't worry about getting it perfect.)
Add some dark pants, comfortable old boots, and maybe a dark-colored vest that you can wear unbuttoned. For accessories, tie a bandana around your head and consider rocking an eyepatch.
All Hallows Eve
All costumes are welcome for our All Hallows Eve celebrations, but how about something timeless if you'd like to keep with the Renaissance theme? Well, it doesn't get more timeless than the immortal Vampyre!
This costume is about as simple as they come. Start with some black pants and boots, a white or red button-up shirt, and a black vest. Dracula's signature tie can be copied with just a bit of black ribbon tied around the collar.
Add some fangs and perhaps a bit of stage blood to the corner of your mouth, and you've got an undead outfit sure to keep the peasants scared.
Heroes and Villains
Time to choose a side!
For a simple heroic White Knight costume, you'll need a piece of white felt a few inches wider than your shoulders. Simply cut a hole in the middle for your head and make sure it comes down about two feet past your waist, front, and back. Cinch it at your waist with a black belt, and you've got an instant tunic.
Black pants, boots, and a white shirt are enough to complete this easy Knight costume.
You can decorate your tunic with a red felt cross, either sewn or glued to the chest. Switch out the white felt for black, and you've got a villain that would give King Arthur pause.
If you want to fit in with the Barbarian Horde, you'll need some leather and faux fur. Check the remnant bin of your local fabric store!
First, cut the sleeves off of a brown shirt. Glue or sew faux fur around the sleeves and neck to line them.
Black pants and brown boots (the tops also lined with faux fur) complete the basic look. Accessorize with war paint, draw on some tattoos, and stop by the Halloween stores on November 1st for an inexpensive battle axe.
For a proper Scottish costume, you're going to need a kilt. If you don't feel like buying or renting one, a plaid skirt will do in a pinch. Just make sure to wear a wide belt over it. Complete the look with a cotton shirt, knee-high socks, and leather shoes.
For an accessory, try tying a small leather pouch around your waist so it hangs in the center. If you like, add in some blue war paint for a non-traditional but cinematic flair. If you'd prefer more of a gentlemanly approach, wear a beret. They're not just for the French!
The final weekend of the festival celebrates all things Christmas. To keep things simple while still looking the part, start with a simple white shirt and dark pants and boots. Add a deep red or green cloak, and you're ready to go! Cloaks can be rented or purchased, or you can go the DIY route if you're feeling a bit crafty.
For the finishing touches, try some Celtic knotwork jewelry. You can also pin a sprig of holly to your cloak or hat to bring the yuletide cheer wherever you go.
Do RenFest Your Way
Whether you decide to rent or buy, make your own costume, or just come to the festival in your normal clothes, always keep fun at the forefront. The only rules that really matter for your renaissance festival costumes are these:
Dress for the weather
Wear comfortable shoes
You can thank us later!