What to Wear at Renaissance Faire – A Beginner’s Guide

Renaissance Faire, LARP, SCA, Royal Faires, Medieval Festival, Celtic Festivals, Pirate Day, and other themed Fairs are more fun to attend in costume.  Here is my Beginner’s Guide on What to Wear at the Renaissance Faire on a peasant’s wage.Beginner's Guide -What to Wear at Renaissance Faire

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DIY Halloween Costume

It is Halloween time!  I received an invitation to a themed Halloween party this year, so my already planned costume will be worn another night.  Now I need a costume that is theme appropriate.

    • $10 Lilac Ballgown after gentle, cold wash

      $10 Lilac Ballgown after gentle wash

      Check out the closet – I immediately did an inventory of what I currently own.  This included makeup, clothes, shoes, accessories, etc.  I thought I could reuse an old dress, and if the party was tonight, I would have made it work.  But I had time to find something better.

    • Shop the Charity/Thrift stores (Goodwill, Savers, and other charity shops) for inspiration and outfits.  Most dresses and donated items for costumes are $10 or less.  I dropped off 3 bags of clothes from my recent closet purge and received a 20% off coupon for Savers, but ultimately paid $10 at Goodwill, while my friend scored her dress for only $8!  For an extra $2, I found a perfect matching purse for my costume.
      Perfect for Wendy from Peter Pan

      Perfect for Wendy from Peter Pan

      • I found this amazing blue ruffled dress for $10 that is the perfect Wendy costume from Peter Pan.  Just add a teddy bear, or get a group together.
      • There were several big yellow ball gowns for Beauty and the Beast Belle costume.  Get creative and make it steampunk, zombie, vampire, Gothic, or whatever you can imagine for a unique look.
      • There were a ton of black dresses in every shape and size.  The right outfit will be waiting to inspire you!

        Charity shops are HALLOWEEN GOLD!

    • Add some embellishments.  I bought matching ribbon for $3 to make my dress more gaudy and outrageous.  Easily distress your outfit with hanging ribbons, sheer fabric, torn lace, and ripped hems.
    • Finish the outfit with wigs, wings, tiaras, shoes, makeup, and other accessories for the over-the-top unique look.

Cleaning Tips:  My $10 treasure had a slight musty smell from the charity shop.  I checked the label for materials (100% polyester, dry clean only) and decided on a gentle, cold wash, and light “refresh” from my dryer.

Double check materials to determine exactly how to clean the garment.  Just be extra careful not to shrink the item.  Gentle, cold wash will work for almost any Halloween costume.

Can I Wash This link

Grab Your Garb for Ren Faire

Dressing up is a guilty pleasure for me.  A fabulous outfit can transform you.  It can lift your mood.  You can become someone else, anywhere and at anytime.

This weekend marks the opening of the Arizona Renaissance Festival, and I did not miss this opportunity for dress-up!

RF_Us full lengthFor the first-timers, or just beginners like me, I suggest having a professional dress you.  I am lucky enough to be friends with a former cast member with a huge heart and closet!  She gave me tips on what to wear for a consistent look and reminded me that zippers are not allowed, but strategically placed elastic can be overlooked.

A basic outfit can consist of peasant blouse, bodice or tunic, skirt or pants, and a hat.  The hat is an absolute must for my outfit so I could leave my sun glasses in the car. The most useful part of my outfit was the pouch on my belt for car keys, phone, and money.  This weekend was quite chilly, so we also added cloaks and knit gloves for warmth.  I finished my look with hair charm, necklace, earrings, a carved wooden mug, and mug hook hanging from my belt.

RF_Rent Costumes

Costume Rental Shop

Other options, is to let the pros dress you at the Costume Rental shop, or pick up a quick costume online.  You can transform into a peasant, a pirate, or many variety of lords and ladies. The costume rental runs between $18-65 depending on your choice and includes hat, belt, and pouch for your complete look.


A variety of hats at the Faire

Some of the most impressive costumes are found on the royals.



However, not even the Queen can complete with this Jousting Knight, he wears full armor, and accessorizes with a saucy wench and Horse!

Some Ren Faire Fun on You Tube

Four years later, here is my Beginner’s Guide to What to Wear at Renaissance Faire on Peasant’s Wages.


Knight preparing for the Jousting Tournament