The Ultimate Ren Fest Attire Guide, Celtic Style
Whether it’s your first Renaissance Faire or your fifteenth, dressing the part makes the experience more fun. To help you with that mission, we’ve put together the ultimate ren fest attire guide — Celtic style.
Want to try out a few outfits before investing in one look? Try renting your Ren Fest fashion!
Ren Fest Attire For The Ladies
There are a few items that most women wear to Ren Faires: a chemise, a petticoat or skirt, a pouch, and a hat. Of course, you can add accessories and embellishments, and you can go as fancy or as plain as you like!
One thing to keep in mind: there were different classes of people, and they wore different types of clothes. If you’re going for upper-class attire, you’ll look very different than if you want to embrace the middle- or lower-class fashion.
There are many different options, so choose what works for your personal style. (Well, maybe consider your comfort level too — you’re there to enjoy yourself, after all!)
Chemise (or Smock or Shirt)
Ladies can wear a shirt or a long dress. If you choose a long dress, you don’t have to wear a skirt or petticoat.
Shirts can be simple but are usually long-sleeved. An off-white peasant-style blouse is a common choice.
You can also choose a lace-edged jabot blouse for a dressier look.
A bodice is another option you’ve probably seen at lots of Ren Faires. Make sure you get the right size; a custom fit bodice is the best choice for ultimate comfort and fit.
Petticoat (or Skirt or Earasaid)
Ladies, take note: the skirt length must be long. And for real authenticity, you’ll want to choose natural fabrics like cotton, wool, or linen.
You can wear a long, gathered skirt in a simple color, or choose one made from a tartan that’s meaningful to you.
If you want to elevate your look even more, consider wearing an earasaid (also known as an arisaid or erasaid).
An earasaid is the female version of a great kilt in Scottish fashion. You wear it over an underdress.
Almost everyone at the Ren Fest will be wearing a hat!
The hat you choose should match the rest of your clothes in terms of class-level. In other words, the hat you’ll choose for an upper-class costume is different from the one you’ll choose for a peasant costume.
Flat caps or muffin caps are good choices for a Ren Fest. A simple bonnet will work, too.
You can always add a straw hat if you’re wearing a peasant costume. They often wore these to work in the fields.
Other head coverings for women include a snood or a coif.
The pouch is not only a fashionable choice for the Ren Faire — it’s practical, too. You’ll need somewhere to stash all your stuff.
A simple fabric or leather drawstring bag works perfectly for this. You can also choose a decorated option for a more formal look.
At the Ren Fest, women can wear simple black flats (think: Mary Janes, for example) or basic leather boots. The leather boots can be knee-high or ankle-high, and they are usually simply decorated. (They come in kids’ sizes, too!)
Ren Fest Attire For The Lads
Ren Fest fashion for men might have fewer components than women’s fashion, but it’s no less fun for men to get decked out in costume!
Unless you’re portraying an upper-class man, your look will probably be pretty basic. But choosing your accessories can let your personality shine!
Just like for the ladies, natural materials are key if you’re going for authenticity. Wool, cotton, and linen are your friends. However, if you’re working with a budget, there are many blended options, too.
You’ll also want to consider the weather at the Ren Faire. While wool is a traditional and regal choice, it might not be the best choice for a festival in Florida in summer.
Shirt (or Smock)
The easiest choice for a Ren Fest-bound man? A Jacobite shirt. The ultimate in comfort and versatility, you can pair it with a variety of bottoms to change your look. (They come in kids’ sizes, too!)
Off-white is the most common color choice, but for pirate attire you can choose black instead.
For a man rocking an upper-class Ren Faire look, a jabot style shirt is a good choice.
Trousers (or Long Hose)
During the Renaissance, men typically wore simple trousers in natural fabrics or long hose paired with a smock or doublet.
Of course, if you’re going for a Celtic look, a kilt is always a good option! (And don’t forget all the accessories that come with it: flashes, hose, etc.)
Flat caps and muffin caps work for men, too. A basic tam is also a good choice.
You can also wear a biggins, a tall hat, or a straw hat (to look like you’re putting in a hard day’s work).
Pouch or Sporran
You need somewhere to stash your stuff, and that’s where the pouch comes in. You can find pouches in a variety of materials.
You can get one that slides on your belt or a simple leather drawstring pouch.
For a Celtic twist on your pouch, choose a sporran instead! Sporrans are basically a pocket for a kilt, and your look is not complete without one.
Men mostly wear boots at the Ren Faire. Simple suede leather in a knee-high length is a popular option. (If you want to stand out from the crowd, on the other hand, consider pirate boots!)
Beyond The Basics: Accessories For The Ren Fest
If you’re just getting started, you’ll find the basics above: hat, shoes, shirt, and bottoms are all you really need. However, if you want to get into full Ren Faire spirit, you’ll need to add some fun accessories to your getup.
- Jewelry: Gold and silver both work. Pearls were very common, as were jewels. Of course, this only applies to the upper-class!
- Gloves: An upper-class lady might have long white ones, while a male worker or swordsman might have a more functional pair. You could also wear wristlets.
- Cowls, scarves, shawls, capes, stoles: If you need to stay warm, you have several different options.
From everyone at The Celtic Croft, we sincerely hope you enjoy your time at The Renaissance Festival. Please let us know how we can help you prepare your outfit!
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