View Full Version : Pirate costuming

01-12-2004, 10:55 PM
Greetings all,

I can't find any good links on pirate costuming and am wanting to make a pirate costume. I'm looking for stuff like: what a pirate costume entails (clothing style and jewelary wise), weapons and accessories and general do's and do nots.

Can anyone help?

Thanks a lot and good health to everyone.


01-13-2004, 05:07 PM
If you're thinking about authentic pirates (say from the 1700s), you might try looking in some history books online/in the library first. Then check out some of the commercial patterns available...I think either Simplicity or McCalls just put out a pretty nice pirate jacket costume pattern. It all depends on how authentic you'd like to be.

Of course you could always do what we do at the camp I work at: ruffly shirts, bandanas, swords, and lots of ARRs! But we looked like pretty sorry pirates, LOL!

Hope this gives you a good place to start!

01-13-2004, 05:36 PM
There are some pretty good historical-reproduction (think RenFaire) clothing sites that do pirate costumes and are pretty accurate as far as the time period goes, you might want to look at a few of those for inspiration, too.

01-13-2004, 09:15 PM
I want it to be authentic to the 1700's... I can't find any patterns on McCalls or Simplicity's site that are pirate costumes. Anyone have a pattern number? I think I'll just get over to JoAnn's this weekend and look in their books.

I looked up pirate costumes and other key words on google and only came up with people that sell costumes and weapon sellers. Anyone know of any sites that are about historic pirate clothing.


01-14-2004, 01:11 AM
Here's a link to a book that has all things pirates; no patterns, but pictures of clothes: http://www.worldhistoryhub.com/Eyewitness_Pirate_0789460246.html (I think you'd have to buy it or find it at a library).

THis page has general pirate information, but if you follow the images of pirates links, it gives actual renderings of pirates, and maybe you can piece together what style you want, and find similar patterns to alter. Patterns might be found on ebay as well (lots of hits coming up from there).

Another avenue you might want to search is the SCA webpages. They're the ones who usually have the Rennfaires, but maybe they have a forum somewhere. I believe they usually get their patterns by basing them off of historical documents.

Good luck!

01-14-2004, 04:42 AM
Some SCA people do Renfaires, but a good deal of them don't. I know some Scadians who have a very bad opinion of Renfaires and are very vocal about it. They are the same ones who go to every Renfaire that comes around, however... :toothy:

The SCA has it's own events, most of which aren't for the public although some do show up at the major events, the Wars. I've been to Estrella War several times, and it's a camp out event and not prettied up for the tourists. I'm gonna miss this year's, sniff! I do SCA fencing. One nice thing about SCA events is that I can wear my very real (but rabbit-tipped) saber without having to worry about convention security and peace bonding!

Here's some sites...if you need more with costuming, let me know and I'll dig some more!


01-17-2004, 07:05 PM
What kind of pirate? Captain? Think: fancy fashions of the 1700s of his nation of origin.


01-17-2004, 07:15 PM
Costumer's Manifesto is a good resource for all sorts of costuming deals. Also I suggest getting a pirate book. The History of Pirates by Angus Konstam is a great book, I bought my copy at Barnes and Nobles so it should be easy to find. It has credible information and good illustrations of all sorts of pirates.

cutekawaii also makes a good point of bringing up national origin. Also is your pirate a true pirate or a privateer? These are just some things that can help build your pirate character's persona ^ ^

01-19-2004, 12:10 PM
http://www.noquartergiven.net/merchant.htm garb listing and whatnot

http://www.scaboots.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=1 cheaper cavalier or pirate boots (90 bucks US :dance: )

01-19-2004, 01:34 PM
This is what I'm using for my friends Jack Sparrow costume. It's pratically Identical to the design from the movie. http://www.simplicity.com/assets/5958/5958.jpg

You could look at what they have here http://www.sofisstitches.com/


01-19-2004, 09:08 PM
I can vouch for the vest/doublet in the top left; if you want it too look sharp, make the outside a darker color, and the inside a contrasting color (in my case, blue outside with a red inside); mine's blue on the outside and red on the inside (it was made to be reversible and durable {last thing you want in a fencing tournament is for a doublet to rip}...by a friend of mine; how sweet it is to know a seamstress)

01-20-2004, 01:34 PM
McCall's 2258 is the pattern I used to make my Jack Sparrow costume. It contained patterns for two colonial American costumes, one was a solider and one was just a basic outfit. So I would go with what cutekawaii has said. I believe pirates often wore what was fashionable in their day.

01-26-2004, 10:41 PM
i have a porate costume featured in my gallery of Captin jack sparrow. but if you need referance chack up on historical costumes on the net. or look in illistrations by howard plyes book of pirates!!! thats a huge help !

the rob
01-28-2004, 10:49 PM
HI JOE!! Mr. Joe I owe you big b/c just 2 dayz ago searching for LOTR armor idea's I found your link in google, which brought me to this wonderful world! So Thanks and I'd love to offer up any help I can, I am a rounder shape guy 5'10 280ish and have been a Rennie for about 7 years as a pirate.

My thoughts have always been just get into your groove, what kind of pirate would u want to be. Travellers of the sea and port, u can hang whatever u like from that belt. My normal garb consists of,

white/black/red opened collar shirt to the belly with leather cord, I tore the sleeves off b/c damnit it just gets to hot on the stern :P

a 5" broad leather belt across the budda belly, with a bright silver clasp
1 large leather sachel bag off it < perfect for nummies and cameras>

regular clasp belt, with 8 14 g rings of it, a small cat of nine tails, 2 small pouches and 1 med

cut comfy breaches, faded and baggy to get an idea buy a bigger then needed size of sweat pants cut them off low and then throw them in the pool for a season or 2 :)

I wear folded boots , but anything is that is comfy, sometimes I wear 2 different boots...

about 4 bandanas tied where ever and a jolly roger headwrap, seashellz and jingly things~ stay away from armor tho u would sink if u hit the water. And even if u have to remove them for faires, empty flinklock spots always look nice!
I will try to find a decent pic, but remeber that I have never seen the most perfect potrayal of pirate tude' since POTC, it's all in the walk my friend. Once u find your inner pirate, the dress code is ez.

As for SCA and Faire, it's all opinion I have many friends from Sca/Larp that also swear hate Faire 9 months outta the year. and many Rennies don't like Sca ppl, just life. I think it just old vs new and eventually everyone will come together in good health.


01-30-2004, 11:32 PM
The thing about costuming pirates (European ones anyway) at a Renaissance Faire... the age of piracy is post-Renaissance by like 100-200 years XD Some people object to that type of anachronistic costuming at a Ren Faire although I personally think costuming shouldn't have to be regulated unless you actually work at the faire ^ ^

01-31-2004, 02:18 AM
actually it began in the 16th century, possibly earlier with the conquistadores ;) but anyway, you can't go wrong with a black bandana (I wear it like a headband) that's long enough so that at least one of the tied off ends goes down to your belt level (I like them long :bigtu: )

01-31-2004, 06:12 PM
Well, JoeBoeing said "I want it to be authentic to the 1700's..." which is the golden age of piracy, ie. Anne Bonny, Edward Teach, etc. XD Spanish pirates and particularly Chinese pirates pre-date the age of piracy (making them fit into the Renaissance era) but they er... didn't wear clothes like the age of piracy pirates @D@