Renaissance & Medieval Tips

Read these 25 Renaissance & Medieval Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Costume tips and hundreds of other topics.

Renaissance & Medieval Tips has been rated 3.0 out of 5 based on 1628 ratings and 2 user reviews.
What did the adult commoner wear in the Renaissance period?

Adult Renaissance Costumes For The Commoner

Planning to dress up in adult Renaissance costumes as a commoner? In the time of the Renaissance period, clothing materials we often take for granted today were not common. For instance, cotton was a luxury fabric, as it required a lengthy process to make it. More common materials consisted of wool and flax turned into linen.

For the typical common man, attire consists of a long sleeved, full shirt, a vest known as a jerkin, pants known as breeches, and biggins worn on the head.

A typical woman would wear a full, simple over and underskirt, a billowing shirt, a bodice with leather ties, and a snood over braided hair.

Adult renaissance costumes for the commoner are great costumes for Halloween or during a Renaissance fair.

For some easy additions to your adult Renaissance costumes, get accessories at an online retailer. Your adult Renaissance costumes can take on a realistic flair when you add items like boot covers for your shoes or Renaissance style wigs.

   
What will I wear for a medieval princess costume?

Go As Royalty In A Medieval Princess Costume

If you're feeling regal, get dressed up in a medieval princess costume for the next renaissance fair event or Halloween. For a fair maiden who is obviously of noble descent, you'll need the following attire:

  • A medieval princess costume will have a dress with draping skirt, fitted at the waist and bordered with rich designs at the neck and sleeves.
  • As royalty, your sleeves will be long and flowing rather than short and utilitarian.
  • Your hair will be long and plaited, with a part in the center.
  • Worn by nobility in the 15th century, the conical hat was a lightweight cone with an attached veil that fell over the shoulders. The conical hat was worn tiled backwards. Today, the conical hat is a fixture of the medieval princess costume.

   
Can you tell me what I need for a jester costume?

Entertain The Court As A Jester

During the Middle Ages, a jester was employed by the royal court to entertain via music, juggling, joke telling, and comical behavior. They wore a patchwork-patterned outfit in bright colors. The jester hat had three points with bells at the end. A jester from the Middle Ages often carried a scepter as well.

In today's jester Halloween costume, the jester hat may have one, two, or three points. The modern day jester costume follows the same type of patchwork pattern on a tunic. For the remainder of the costume, a modern day jester will likely wear tights and pointed toe shoes.

   
Can you describe the Merlin costume to me?

A Wizard's Costume

If sorcery and magic are more your style, dress up in a wizard's costume as the great wizard Merlin popularized from the stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table . In one version of the legendary character told through Robert de Boron's poem Merlin , the great wizard was the son of a virgin and a devil from hell. As a half demon, Merlin was gifted with knowledge of the past and present.

As the all-knowing wizard, you'll dress in rich robes with ornate sleeve and collar detailing. Wear a coordinating conical hat to compliment your wizard's costume. Of course, no Merlin ensemble would be complete without a wig of white hair and matching beard.

   
What will I be wearing if I dress up in a knight costume?

Conquer The Medieval Times In A Knight Costume

Feeling chivalrous? Consider getting dressed in a knight costume this year for Halloween. During the Middle Ages, a knight was part of the gentile class, responsible for fighting in heavy armor on horseback. In a medieval knight costume, you'll be yielding your sword while wearing a uniform of chain mail armor. Top off your protective gear with a rich colored tunic and cape. Accessorize your knight costume with a crested shield and knight's helmet. At retail stores, you can spend as little as $20 for a toddler knight costume or over $250 for a deluxe crusader version straight out of the Middle Ages.

   
Do you have a suggestion for a medieval couples costume?

Robin Hood and Maid Marian Costumes For Couples

Looking for costumes for couples from the medieval period? Steal from the rich and give to the poor as Robin Hood along with his ladylove, Maid Marian. According to the modern day version, Robin Hood was an outlaw of the medieval period who fought against the tyranny of the wealthy to bring justice and money back to the poor. Maid Marian was actually a character created for the May Games festivals and one theory suggests she later took on the role of Robin Hood's love interest as he became an important figure during May Day. Here's our version of these medieval costumes for couples.

As Robin Hood, you'll wear a leather tunic over a lace up gauze shirt. For pants, a pair of tan pants tucked into dark boots will do. Add Robin Hood's recognizable feathered hat to top off the costume. As an accessory, get your bow and arrows at a costume shop.

For Maid Marian, you'll need a Renaissance dress. Choose a sleek form fitting Renaissance dress with voluminous sleeves and a flowing hemline. Complete your Maid Marian costume by adding a headdress with attached veil.

   
What type of medieval costumes would adults and children to wear to a gathering?

Medieval costumes for families

Adult Medieval costumes for Dad could include classics like knights, kings and even an executioner while Moms could be queens, ladies in waiting, maidens or perhaps even a medieval costume of a village wench. There are several kids medieval costumes. Warriors, knights, like dad) and jesters for the boys. Little girls medieval dress could be princess's, renaissance bride or even a gothic countess.

   
What did Italian’s wear in the renaissance period?

Italian renaissance costumes

Italian adult renaissance costumes have a natural appearance. Renaissance clothing could included a robe, which was actually a dress with attached bodice and skirt. The renaissance clothes were patterned fabrics (usually velvets and brocades). Men's renaissance clothing garments had lower necklines. Men wore hose and short padded breeches for added fullness. Broad toed shoes are part of a man's renaissance costume as well.

   
How do I give my renaissance costume a “slashing” effect?

“Slashing” of renaissance costumes

Adult renaissance costumes often include “slashing”. Open the outer surfaces of the chosen renaissance clothes (doublets, sleeves, hose) to expose the contrasting color of the linings beneath. These linings would then be pulled through the "slashing" and puffed out to give the renaissance costume its period look.

   
What characters can I dress up as in an adult medieval costume?

Characters You Can Play With Adult Medieval Costumes

The middle ages spanned a wide time period, from the 5th century to the 16th century. It was a time of the Crusades, scientific advancements, and the Renaissance. You can choose from a number of adult medieval costumes from this time period. Looking for ideas? We've put together a list of adult medieval costumes for you.

For couples, dress up as Romeo and Juliet. As Juliet, you'll be positively romantic in a Renaissance gown of crushed velvet and a cap with a veil. For Romeo, show off your charm in knickers, a panne shirt, and a feathered cap.

If you're a natural entertainer, dress up as a jester in a bi-colored tunic, a pointed jester's hat, and curled toed jester shoes.

For a group, get together and dress up as the Three Musketeers. As one of the Three Musketeers, you'll have a wide brimmed black hat, tunic with crest, black pants, and black boots.

Adult medieval costumes call for the right accessories. As Juliet, you'll be ravishing in a wig of braided long hair. Other adult medieval costumes like the Three Musketeers call for a sword for each courageous character.

   
Are princesses all as perfect as Barbie or "real women"?

Plus Size Princesses

Princesses. They usually have Disney/Barbie perfect figures, and pink is the big color. You think you'll look like a Pepto-Bismol bottle in pink. Not so!

Plus size Renaissance ball gown costumes can be flattering in purple and pink. In the Renaissance era, women painted by Botticelli and Rubens lived large and glorious. Your plus size Renaissance costume is usually tailored to show off your curves, just like a painting by the masters.

   
What are some plus size queen costumes I can wear?

Plus Size Queens

Queens. Like Elizabeth I, they're not afraid of anything. Whether you play Cate Blanchett or Dame Judi Dench, you don't have to be afraid of plus sizes any more.

Plus size Renaissance ball gown costumes include red velvet, blue velvet, brocade, Juliet-style hats, wimples and crowns...you need scepter and crown accessories of course. And if you're going as Elizabeth I, your best friend can dress in a Renaissance gypsy plus size halloween costume or pirate costume to become the Irish pirate queen Grace O'Malley, who defied the Virgin Queen with a seagoing reign of terror. Elizabeth needs the Cate Balchett hairdo with snood and white teatrical makeup when she's visiting jailed nobility wearing Renaissance plus size costumes in the Tower of London. Anyone up for a Mary, Queen of Scots royal costume?

It's good to be the Queen, especially when your advisors are too scared to tell you that you can't look glamorous or majestic ruling a nation in a size 20.

   
How can I create a child knight costume?

Making a child knight costume

A knight costume can include pants, a shirt and hood with collar. Also included in a knight costume would be a cape with tunic front, a belt for the waist, boot tops and gauntlets. Knight armor for the costume would be any type of shield or sword. Change the weapon to a malice and you also have a perfect medieval knight costume.

   
What kind of accessories should I wear with renaissance clothing?

Accessories for renaissance costumes

Renaissance clothing accessories included hair ornately trimmed with thin veils, ribbons, and jewels. Accent a renaissance costume using lace. Women wearing long skirts wore plain boots in black or brown of any height. Men's renaissance costumes include broad hats trimmed with gems. Wealthy men's hats were richly decorated to match their splendid costumes. Men wore boots that were high enough to allow for tucked-in pants. Natural-colored sandals, adequate for both men and women, were also included as an accessory to adult renaissance costumes.

   
Can Robin Hood and Maid Marian be plus size?

Plus Size Robin Hood

Friar Tuck and Little John were the larger members of Robin Hood's crew, but there's no reason why Robin and Maid Marian can't wear Renaissance plus size costumes.

Velvet plus size Renaissance ball gown costumes sould make any Maid Marian proud. We love Marian as played more modern-style by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. Don't forget lots of Renaissance jewelry.

A man's Renaissance gypsy plus size Halloween costume will suit that master of disguise, Robin Hood. Yes, you can wear the tights a la Errol Flynn. But if you act like Kevin Costner with no English accent, we'll shoot an arrow at you. Don't forget bags of fake florins and sovereigns for Robin Hood to conceal in his plus size Renaissance costume.

The Robin Hood legend is larger than life. Now, you can have costumes to match.

   
What plus size costumes can I wear as a witch or wizard?

Renaissance Witches and Wizards

Owls. Bone anklets and bracelets. Mysterious bags of powder--okay, forget that. Even your wizard or witch plus size Renaissance costume can't perform a miracle if Homeland Security or the police smell illegal substances. Just for the record, though, it's a sachet from Bed Bath and Beyond, or if you're a witch, Victoria's Secret.

Witch and wizard Renaissance plus size costumes may seem easy. Robe. Pointed hat. Wand. Got it. Robes are robes, right? Not so. Witch plus size dresses can be form-fitting, and wizard robes should be majestic. Forget plain black--opt for gold trim or the traditional stars and moons.

You've chosen to masquerade as an enchanter or enchantress. Pull out all the stops. Opt for a flattering, fancy, enchanting plus size Renaissance costume. It's as easy as abracadabra and alakazam.

   
What are ideas for men for renaissance and medieval costumes?

Ideas for Adult Medieval Costumes for Men

For renaissance and medieval costumes ideas, men can dress up as a warrior knight, Robin Hood, an oversized wizard, a renaissance peasant man, a wizard or sorcerer, a medieval knight, a medieval king a tavern man, a jester or a musketeer. Some of these costumes are more elaborate than others - but they all make an impression at a costume party and they make great partner costumes to your lady fair! You can also use the costumes at Renaissance Faires.

   
What renaissance clothing can I wear to a medieval wedding?

Renaissance costumes for a medieval or renaissance wedding

Choosing adult renaissance costumes for a medieval or renaissance wedding is important in creating a period atmosphere. Select heavy brocades and velvets in rich, jewel-toned colors for wedding renaissance clothes. Medieval couples wore their best clothing for their weddings. White wasn't a traditional color for bridal gowns. Renaissance clothing attire could include headwear instead of a veil.

   
What are ideas for women for renaissance and medieval costumes?

Ideas for Adult Renaissance Costumes for Women

For renaissance and medieval costumes ideas, women can dress up as a renaissance medieval sorceress, a queen of the night, a renaissance caterina, a jester, renaissance Guenevere, renaissance Lady Catherine, Lady Gwenenhyfar, a renaissance princess or a renaissance queen, a renaissance bar maiden, a renaissance peasant lady, Queen Elizabeth, a high priestess, a tavern lady, a tavern wench or Juliet (from Romeo and Juliet).

   
Where do I find renaissance costume patterns to wear at a Renaissance Faire?

Adult renaissance costumes

Enhance your Renaissance Faire experience by dressing in adult renaissance costumes. Browse in costume books. Many internet sites focus on the Renaissance Faire and usually have pictures of people dressed in renaissance costumes. Look for keywords such as "renaissance costume," "medieval costume," and "costume patterns" for Renaissance Faire clothing patterns.

   
Can I dress as Shakespeare or another bard?

Bards, Jesters and Gypsies

Falstaff had ribald fun poked at him, and Claudius was "the bloat king"--are you star-cross'd if you wear a Shakespeare plus size Renaissance costume?

While the Bard had plenty to say on sin, murder, gluttony, love, corruption and hypocrisy, he probably wouldn't spare a drop of ink if you dressed in a doublet, grabbed a Yorick skull and procured yourself a mustache/Shakespeare wig set.

If you're not comfortable being the Bard, get thee to a prop store and buy a fake viola or horn. Dress as a tavern man turned bard. You can be a Gypsy bard in a Renaissance gypsy plus size halloween costume. Or you can be a jester, like Feste in TWELFTH NIGHT, which coincidentally features the large Sir Toby Belch as well as his skinny friend Sir Andrew Aguecheek. "Ague" was a disease, so Renaissance people actually thought you could be too thin!

A Shakespeare plus size costume doesn't have to be expensive. As Polonius says in HAMLET, "Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy," which means no matter what your size, get thee a bargain in Renaissance plus size costumes.

As for the Bard, he would be flattered by your imitation. Just be sure to brush up on his plays.

   
What do children medieval costumes include?

Kids medieval costumes

Popular kids medieval costumes include the medieval knight and warrior costumes. Medieval costume for the warrior consist of hooded robe, sculpted belt, chest piece, and mask. The medieval costume for the knight usually has tunic top with hood, attached cape, pants, gloves and boot tops. A popular kids medieval costume for little girls is the queen. Medieval dress for that costume is a long gown with waist tie, shimmering neck cowl, crown with gem stones and sheer black veil.

   
What kind of medieval clothing did court ladies wear?

Medieval costumes for court ladies

Medieval costumes for court ladies were long tunics pulled on over the head. Medieval clothing sometimes also included a second tunic worn over it, hitched up by a girdle to show the tunic beneath. Top tunic was bordered at the neck, sleeves, and hem. Medieval dress also included cloaks fastened in front below the chin, worn, full length. Veils concealed the hair.

   
What weapons would I carry to offset a knight costume?

Accessorizing a knight costume with weapons

Knight armor to accessorize an armor costume begins with a choice assortment of shields. Add a knight's sheath and rope belt for a sword. Another standard weapon for a knight costume was the lance. Other medieval knight costume weapons are an axe, mace (metal club), and war hammer. All of these weapons are available in plastic for a child knight costume.

   
What do I need for a medieval knight costume?

Items for a medieval knight costume

A medieval knight costume can be made up of several pieces of knight armor. The main piece of an armor costume would be the breastplate. Gauntlets, leg armor and helmets are also part of the knights costume. A smaller version of this is good for a child knight costume.

   
Not finding the advice and tips you need on this Costume Tip Site? Request a Tip Now!


Guru Spotlight
Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.