Calling all wenches and witches!
When planning your Renaissance Faire look, there are a number of approaches you can take, depending on your budget, concept, and personal style. Whether you’re a seasoned regular or just breaking into the world of Ren Faires, we’ve got you covered with every staple and accessory you need to create an outfit as stand-out as you are.
From corsets and chemises to long skirts and turkey leg-worthy accessories, we’ve got everything you need to create a praiseworthy Renaissance Faire costume. Regardless if you’re looking to fully immerse yourself in the renaissance era, or just want to add a touch of historical flair to your LARP or cosplay outfit, our high-end, hand-crafted pieces will elevate your look and make you the belle of the Ren Fest.
But where to start?
If this is your first Renaissance Faire, you may be wondering what exactly constitutes a “Renaissance outfit”. The beauty of Ren Faires is that there is no one “right” way to dress. From peasant costumes to joust-worthy knightly garb, the options are endless.
To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of Ren Faire essentials that will help you create a look that’s both authentic to the Renaissance period and uniquely you. So no matter if you’re looking for costume ideas for your next Ren fest, or simply want to accessorize your everyday wardrobe with a touch of Renaissance flair, we’ve got you covered.
Pro Tip: Imagine the Character You’re Creating
Our favorite approach to putting together a Renaissance Faire look is to think about the character you’re creating. Are you a woodland maiden? A sea witch? A tavern wench, an Elven princess, or a member of high royalty? Ren Faires offer a unique opportunity for you to let your creativity shine, and there are options for every budget.
If you’re new to the world of Ren Faires, building your wardrobe with a few basics is a perfect place to start! You can add and embellish with new pieces and accessories year after year, building upon your character and creating your ultimate Renaissance Faire persona. So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of your staple pieces, shall we?
Corsets remain a beloved wardrobe piece for costumes and modern wear alike. Classic Rennaisance festival costumes begin with a corset, chemise, and a skirt, though you can also wear just a corset and a chemise with a slip underneath.
Our most popular style, and what many people call to mind when they think of a corset, is the front lacing bodice. This is the most common type of bodice you’ll see at Ren Faires, since it’s historically true to the time period.
Of course, Ren Faires offer us the opportunity to expand our creativity and dress from other time periods as well. If you’d like to shake up your look, or perhaps plan a corset look that can work for other themed balls and galas, there are a few time periods you can choose from.
Lean into your appreciation of Shakespearean, Elizabethan, and Tudor aesthetics with daring, regal Tudor stays or bold black botanical stays. With patterns and fabrics befitting a queen, Elizabethan and Tudor styles lend an air of intrigue and grandeur to your Ren Faire fit.
Lovers of Marie Antoinette and Versailles fashion can opt for an 18th century Rococo-inspired look. Exuberance and opulence knows no bounds in this style; intricate swirling details and delicate ribbons make these corsets automatic head-turners.
Perhaps your era of choice is Regency, a la the worlds of Jane Austen novels and the Bridgerton stories. Whether you’re twirling through a ballroom or entertaining suitors for tea, Regency stays are the perfect companion for a silk chemise and make for a lovely, delicate Ren Faire look.
Now that you have your corset (or corsets) picked out, it’s time to layer them over a chemise. Linen chemises are one of the most popular routes to take, as the fabric is durable, yet breathable in hot temperatures, and very easy to care for. An outfit can easily start with just a corset and a linen chemise, with accessories layered to add detail and personality.
The chemise is a versatile piece that can be used to help create a variety of different looks, and by accessorizing and layering, you can create the ideal ensemble for any role you want to step into at a Renaissance Faire.
For those interested in a more traditional and authentic look, a linen chemise with a simple belt with a drawstring pouch can help create the appearance of a peasant or commoner.
If you plan to participate in activities such as archery, you may want to consider wearing tights underneath the chemise to ensure your comfort and mobility.
For those who want to channel a more free-spirited and bohemian vibe, a cotton chemise paired with a lightweight, flowy skirt can create the appearance of a Gypsy or wandering performer. Adding a pair of boots, plenty of jewelry, and a headband can also add to this look.
Interested in an elevated royal or formal look? Silk chiffon chemises automatically imbue an outfit with an extra dash of elegance, perfect for a ballgown look or to pair with a gold-embroidered corset.
For the budget-conscious, 100% cotton ready-to-wear chemises are an excellent option and can be worn year-round as a cottage core staple.
If you happen to be one of the many plus-size women who feel that finding a top-notch Renaissance Faire outfit will be a challenge, fret not! Our plus size chemises are designed to flatter and fit comfortably and are available in a range of styles, including classic linen and silky chiffon.
Need a chemise in a pinch? Check out our current inventory of ready to ship chemises to get you Ren Faire ready in no time.
When it comes to skirts at a Renaissance Faire, there are a variety of different styles and fabrics to choose from that will help you create a historically accurate look.
Linen skirts are a Ren Faire classic, a historically accurate representation of clothing worn by a lower-class peasant or merchant. Skirts can be layered over a chemise dress or paired with a chemise blouse, and fit perfectly under any style of corset.
Like your corset, a skirt can help quickly indicate to other Faire goers your character’s social status, job, powers, and personality type.
Satin skirts are an ideal addition for a more magical or formal fit. They can be worn by a noblewoman or lady-in-waiting and can be paired with a corset and a blouse to create a regal look.
Cotton skirts are a great choice for a more casual and comfortable look, superb for a farmhand or a traveling bard. They can be paired with a simple blouse and a pair of boots to create a more rustic and authentic look.
When choosing a skirt for a Renaissance festival, consider the length and cut that would be appropriate for the time period. A full or gathered skirt can create a more traditional and authentic look, reminiscent of the attire worn during the Renaissance era. Additionally, you could opt for a skirt that falls to your ankles and has a slight flare, which was a common silhouette worn during the Renaissance period. Avoid modern cuts such as pencil or A-line skirts as they would not be historically accurate.
Accessorizing your skirt can also help to add personality and detail to your outfit. A simple belt or sash can help cinch in your waist and add definition, while a pair of boots or other footwear can add an extra level of edge and practicality.
Overall, a skirt is a versatile piece that can be used to help create a variety of different looks, and by accessorizing and layering, you can create a first-rate outfit for any role you want to step into at a Renaissance Faire.
While many Rennies (understandably) adorn themselves in period-specific attire, others choose to dress in costumes! It doesn’t matter if you’re interested in creating something fun-but-still-Renaissance or something more fantastical, there’s something for everyone at a Renaissance Faire. Costumery is a great way to add to the festive atmosphere and immerse yourself in the spirit of the event, express your creativity, and have fun!
When it comes to dressing up in Ren Faire-appropriate costumes, there are many different aesthetics to choose from:
CottageCore, for example, is a popular aesthetic that is inspired by the simple and idyllic life of the countryside. This look typically features flowy, natural-colored dresses and aprons, often with a bonnet or headscarf.
Pirates are another popular character type at Renaissance Faires and can be portrayed with a combination of rugged and elegant clothing. Think billowy white shirts, worn-in breeches, boots, and a bandana or tricorn hat.
For those who are interested in fantasy and Fairy tale characters, there are many options to choose from. Faerie, Elf, and Halfling costumes often feature earthy colors, natural fabrics, and intricate details such as pointed ears, and leafy or floral embellishments.
Princess costumes are also a popular choice for Renaissance Faires, featuring grand, flowing dresses and crowns or tiaras.
Witch costumes can be a great option for those who want to channel a more mysterious and magical vibe. These costumes often feature dark colors, pointy hats, and mystical accessories such as crystal balls and wands.
Ultimately, the choice of what to wear to a Renaissance Fair is yours and you can pick the aesthetic that best resonates with you, be it traditional or fantasy-inspired or something in between.
Renaissance Festival Accessories
Accessories are a versatile addition to an outfit, or even a baseline to layer over inexpensive clothing for those who are budget-conscious. Folks who are new to Ren Faires can always try a belt over a long modern dress or tunic for a fast, easy nod to the style.
Renaissance belts in black or brown are an excellent accessory base. You can add all manner of trinkets to the belt, depending on your character and aesthetic.
Added accessories can also help with your desired outfit functionality. Skirt hikes help pull the bottom of your skirt up out of the dust or mud and add some further authenticity to a merchant or peasant look.
A mug holder is essential for those who plan on indulging in a mug or two or three of ale or mead and can be repurposed as a general holder for other items that need to be carried on your person as a historically accurate alternative to pockets.
And finally, a fan holder is especially helpful for those in warmer climates who want to make sure to enjoy the Faire without feeling the heat fatigue and can double as a sheath for certain costume weapons.
Prepare Your Renaissance Faire Costume
And there you have it! You won’t be wondering what to wear to a Renaissance Fair for long! With these outfit and costume staples in mind, you can build your ideal Renaissance Faire look, adding or changing additional layers and accessories for years to come. We’ll see you on the fairgrounds!