The Renaissance Era

  • August 17, 2007
  • Jenna Maxwell

Step back 400 years to a time of romance.  Shakespeare is in the prime of his career and Sir Francis Drake has spanned the Globe. The New World is a vast frontier. The Dark Ages are done.  You’re taken back in time when you put on a Renaissance Era costume.  You’ll enter a magical world of medieval knights, dragons and jesters. 

Clothing during the Renaissance Era always reflected the social status of the person wearing it.  There would be no doubt as to who was of nobility.  Clothing was a direct indication of wealth and the cost of the clothing was related to the color and type of fabric.  Sounds a lot like today’s world, huh?  That’s why I love the simplicity of school uniforms!   Anyway, back to the Renaissance - velvet, corduroy and satin were considered fine weaves and were very costly.  Even cotton was expensive up until the 1800’s.  More of your common fibers were flax and wool.  A typical man's outfit would include boots, breeches (pants), a shirt, a jerkin (vest), and a hat. A typical woman's outfit would include shoes, an over and under skirt, a shirt, a bodice, and a hat - long hair was generally braided. Until about age three, children wore a tight-fitting cap and a shift. Children older than three dressed identical to the adults.

If you get a chance, you really should go to a Renaissance Faire.  They are held all over the country.  Click on this link to find a Faire near you: Renaissance Faire 

Last year I accompanied my son on his school field trip to the Renaissance Faire in our area.  It was amazing to see the different costumes and customs they had.  You really do step back in time!  There were all kinds of stages set up for scheduled shows. Some of their performances included dancers, musicians, jugglers, and singers. Between the stages the streets are lined with little shops where independent vendors sell their goods (of course my son and his friends had to have the three pronged jester hats with the bells on the ends).  There were food booths, as well as game and ride areas.  We got to see two knights jousting and some really funny jesters walking about. All the actors wear period costumes and speak using the vocabulary and accents of the time.  It’s really neat to listen to.

We have some great Renaissance Era costumes on our website for men and women.  You can wear one of the costumes if you’re going to a Halloween party solo or it’s also a perfect idea for a “couple” costume.  We also have some wonderful Medievel Knights and Queen costumes for children.  That way the whole family can make Halloween a Renaissance night!