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Unread 06-13-2013, 10:19 PM   #1
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At renaissance festival, do SCA-ers feel insulted by original design costume design?

Do SCA-ers feel insulted seeing original costume designs at renaissance festivals? I mean things that play with bits of clothing/armour all over history, or even like you'd find in an rpg. Just curious.
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Unread 06-14-2013, 01:05 PM   #2
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It's a Ren Fair, those are all over the place anyway--people wear Starfleet uniforms for crying out loud. Go nuts.
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Unread 06-14-2013, 08:07 PM   #3
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I'm gonna go nuts as cuss, but I was just curious.
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Unread 06-14-2013, 09:33 PM   #4
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People wear anything from historically accurate outfits to LARP/RPG/fantasy garb to tossing on a corset and long skirt or a sundress and cheap fairy wings. Wear what you want. I always make original designs for the one I go to in the summer. Seven layers of clothes is too hot, too expensive, too easy to get filthy outdoors, and the festival is fantasy oriented, not history oriented. So, my mind is made up easily.
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There's a vibe here that says "We're in this together!Through thick and thin fabric! Through cold water washes and burning hot irons! Though we might super glue ourselves to our projects, cut holes/gashes/oh-god-mom's-gonna-kill-me into the dining room table, we will stand strong together. Unless there is a 75% off sale at the Fabric store. Then you're on your own. And get the hell out of my way."<3
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Unread 06-14-2013, 11:50 PM   #5
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Ren faires are a different beast to SCAdian events so... who cares what SCAdians think XD And I am a costume laurel in the SCA so historical accuracy does mean something to me as well as the SCA

But just to clarify, our ancestors lived in those same conditions in their gear That said there are references to complaints about women in particular going about half dressed when working in the fields (Germany 16thC- not entirely sure of the source but I should be able to find it again).
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Unread 06-16-2013, 04:11 AM   #6
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SCA tend to take a things over aboard I used to belong to SCA but when they started becoming way to Stitch Counting A-Holes I left. Who care what you want to wear at Ren Fair have fun enjoy a Turkey Leg a Grog of Meal and fun times with friends
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Unread 06-17-2013, 11:46 AM   #7
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I don't know what to tell you. Ren Faire doesn't seem like history to me. I've seen everything from fae to some really nice historical pieces to lets put on whatever and play. Ren Faire doesn't seem history to me. It seems more a show, at least my local one. Just don't try to fallen with the historical cliché and expect them to except you.

Note: This weekend I saw several people dressed in Steampunk at a Civil War event. The dresses where nice. I reconnized the patterns from Simplicity. The experience didn't up set me because they wore the dresses to the dance and they where not reenactors. I think my reaction would have been greatly different if they had been in camp (as part of the event).
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Unread 06-20-2013, 03:20 PM   #8
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I am a SCA laurel as well. I don't care about anyone's historical accuracy except my own and I certainly let my hair down this past week at a very hot week long event. There are plenty of people in SCA who mix times and places to put together their kit. My helmet is a little later than the rest of my armor. My husband and I are about hundred years apart in our typical garb. All that is required to attend an SCA event is and attempt at pre-17th century clothing.

However, I was a little sad to see that my local ren faire doesn't do more to get their _staff_ to dress a little more accurately especially since they advertise it as an educational experience. I'm certainly not insulted as I understand the time and expense to do this.
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Unread 06-21-2013, 12:21 AM   #9
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Where I live the ren faire is pretty much anything goes.
Sure it has its detractors, but there's not a whole lot of them. Fantasy video games, Lord of the Rings, Three Kingdoms, Fairies, Trolls, Knights, Templar, Puritan, Pirate, Steampunk, LOL, Star Wars, etc. are all there. If you look at these photo sets it's an example of what people wear.


SCA exists but they're really not a very large group at the ren faires. It's mostly just full of ordinary folks. Some of my friends went as Vocaloid which got us some wierd looks but even so it was fun to see the others play along or try to stay in character.
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Unread 06-25-2013, 02:54 AM   #10
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The Renaissance Festival is not a closed or particularly themed event - some fairs have themes, but some don't and you're not mandated or even usually officially encouraged to fit the theme - it's just there for the actors and set-building and such.

The SCA doesn't have anything to do with it. Yes, someone in the SCA could go to a Renaissance Festival but they're downright delusional and need an intervention if they genuinely expect everything at a big, public fair where 50%+ of the people don't even dress up to be historically accurate.

If you were going to an event that was private or semi-private where historical clothing was part of requirement for entrance, that would be different.

I'm wearing my Game of Thrones costumes this year. It can be fun to "fit in" but you can't really 100% fit in with something that is pseudo-historical by nature. A Renaissance Festival is a lot like an Anime Convention - it's a big nerd party and people will deviate from the "theme". I really like seeing ancient Greek and Roman dress there even though it's totally not remotely "Renaissance". If you have or want to break out actual "Renaissance" dress, it's a great place to do it, but it's not required just like people aren't required to wear anime costumes at an anime convention.

If anything, a Ren Fest is even "looser" than an anime convention because there's no actual theme and it's way more "general audience" than a typical convention with local families and such showing up not just people who have a remote care for "history" or whatever.


An aside, wearing multiple layers of clothing outside in the heat is just something you get used to. Your preferences and comfort are shaped a lot by what you do and what you're used to. Personally, I almost never wear shorts even in "real life" and I've worn jackets and such on warm days - I get comments like "wow, just looking at you makes me hot" - but it's not a big deal to me because it's what I've always done and I feel perfectly comfortable. It think living with things like air conditioning has changed how people expect to feel.

When I worked at a Renaissance Festival I was a pirate and wore a shirt, doublet, sash, bags, slops, and boots (with bootstraps !). O, and a hat. And I wore them every day - if it was rainy I broke out a piece of ratty wool I had laying around from a dye experiment gone wrong that worked great as a rain-cloak. I was really proud of sticking to our "Elizabethan" period while still being recognisably "a pirate" (most people going for "pirate" who are just attendees tend to go for the "Golden Age" pirates, which are what everyone thinks of when they think "pirates").

Point is, in terms of layers that's really not much more than a "noble" person would be wearing. A "noble" person might have dedicated sleeves (my doublet had some at first, but I never wore them), a lady might have a corset or boned bodice (lots of factors), and a nicer doublet would have had more padding and shaping and stuff on it. But it wouldn't have been much different and hose would be even cooler than the baggy slops I had. In fact, the hoop skirts are much cooler to wear because you're getting air circulation in and around your legs ! And the fact that women in many eras can get away with an open neckline means that you're going to be even more comfortable than the men.

I'm just writing this because I think people imagine historical clothing to be a lot more uncomfortable than it really is. I was wearing no more layers than I would in modern clothing. A woman wearing a corset and "big fancy dress" only really has three layers on her midsection - it's not really a lot (think about it, most women still wear some form of breast support with modern clothing - so two layers for a bra and shirt) - and if you use historically accurate materials instead of something like polyester it's going to be able to breathe !
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Unread 07-07-2013, 06:34 AM   #11
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Wear what you like to RenFest and purchase a sword. That's really the only way to go.
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Unread 07-08-2013, 02:54 AM   #12
Gotta respect the gear.
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I actually took a course at my uni on the History of Dress and Style and did a paper on renaissance festivals- going to one and using pictures to compare with actual history. It's all over the place and often times takes from many different time periods other than simply the Renaissance. Like has been said before, it's more fantasy based anyway.

What's fun to do in my experience is just get a little each year and build up an outfit you want to wear.
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Unread 07-08-2013, 08:24 PM   #13
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Oh yeah. Guests at a Ren Faire can do what ever they want. Seeing a Doctor or two is awesome. Our friend was an elf from some video game. DH and I went as Bandit Snow and Charming from Once Upon a Time.
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Unread 07-19-2013, 02:45 PM   #14
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Yeah, going off what Ororo said, Ren fairs aren't really...historical. I'm part of both camps (loving historical accuracy, but also loving original designs), and I think it's okay to just do what you want in terms of clothing, as long as it's not an obvious no-no.
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