Summer Looks for Couples
A Renaissance Faire is mainly a United States phenomenon (which can also be enjoyed in some places in Europe, Canada, and Australia). It is held outdoors as a public gathering with entertainment, vendors, and contests. There's usually a storyline at each faire with scenes played throughout an entire day of events. Renaissance Faires in general try to reimagine the best parts of 16th century England (loosely based on the reign of Queen Elizabeth I). People dress up in costumes of what they imagined people might wear at the time. Historical accuracy though isn't terribly important. What is important is being comfortable and having fun!
When I'm at the Renaissance Faire, I love to see the vendors, listen to the actors re-enact scenes from the land, and attend the various musical and comedy acts performed throughout the day. Pahl likes to dress up as a Knight or some kind of swordsman, eat a turkey leg once a year, see live animals, and interact with the on-site actors. I don't have a specific go to costume or persona for these events, but I pretty much like to dress up as some kind of lady, so you'll always see me in a dress or a skirt/shirt combination.
The first two times we went to the Renaissance Faire this year was the Midsummer Fantasy Renaissance Festival in Ansonia, CT. This is one of the smaller faires you could attend by far, but it has plenty of heart and is conveniently located near a major highway. I love this faire, but the beginning of July is basically sweltering. What do you wear to stay cool and look cool in the heat?
The answer for me was lightweight layers and sandals with accessories and a few trusty parasols. [Pahl didn't care during our first visit about feeling cool, he was more interested in looking cool].
The look on the left, I am going for more of a courtesan persona to accompany my Knight. I'm wearing the shirt I bought last year for the Lavender Farm meeting, paired with a black boho one size fits all skirt I got back when I was in high school. Yes, you read that correctly. They are a great investment those boho skirts...very lightweight with a bit of interior lining where it counts! The coin skirt was actually a gift from my cousin way back in my early 20's when I told my extended family at some holiday gathering that I wanted to learn belly dancing. The skirt looked pretty frumpy and was dragging on the ground, so I pulled it up and put a girdle around my waist (one that came with an elegant gothic lolita OP actually). I wore a subtle silver head necklace, large dangly brass hoop earrings, a large pendant necklace, and a waist pouch that matched my sandals. I had been walking around with a very cool looking stick both of those weekends---to be honest, for me it was more functional than just fun--I had actually broken one of my toes and it was only the way to achieve balance on the uneven hill of that particular faire. I also grabbed my gothic umbrella out of my vehicle in desperation to try to deflect the incredibly hot sun.
Another hot weekend followed, so I wore even less than the first week. This time I went for a persona of fairy queen. The dress was actually given to me by a friend, and I already had a matching waist belt long before the dress and I were united. I wore a necklace that I acquired when I worked back in my retail days (you know those chunky statement necklaces were all the rage back in 2011), earrings I acquired at a different faire, and yes, my smoky quartz crown I also wore on my birthday. I managed to do my makeup too this time.
Pahl had decided that it was actually too hot for armor, and chose a much lighter weight costume to accompany me this weekend. It seems roughly based on Robin Hood, especially with the hat he chose. However, my niece said that we looked like Zelda and Link from Breath of the Wild and you know what, she's not wrong.
Autumn Look for Couples
Our last visit this year brought us to the Connecticut Renaissance Faire, which is toted as Connecticut's largest Renaissance Faire. [It's still way smaller than other states by far]. This one seems to be located in a large field with dedicated structures in an agricultural town over an hour's drive (backroads ONLY mind you) from my house. But here you can see the Knights of Gore, bigger musical acts that don't go to the Midsummer Faire, and actual jousting. Pahl wanted to make it count, so he updated his Knight costume with real chain mail and new black leather arm gauntlets, and a cape, for an added flair.
That particular weekend was the last weekend of September, and in alignment with Oktoberfest celebrations, so I pulled my Miss Point Bavarian long velvet JSK out for the first time. I guess my persona this time is "beer maiden". This is a fantastic set. I saw the JSK and matching cape available to purchase from 42 lolita much earlier in the year, but I wanted the whole outfit. I used their "Buy for Me" option to ask them to list the matching cotton blouse along with other accessories.
(Basically with Buy for Me you can email customer service some screen shots of what you're looking for and try to provide as much information as possible like the name of the brand, name of the design, and what size/color you want and they can check and see if it is available in the first place and then list it on their website so it is easy for you along with anyone else who might want it to buy it off their website).
I paired it with a daily A-line petticoat, the matching blouse, and the matching velvet cape. I didn't wear the other accessories I purchased because of the weather. The Renaissance Festivals basically happen rain or shine (unless weather is particularly inclement) and I knew this day would probably be kinda muddy and it might rain again. (I was correct in both instances), so high leather boots and a leaf shaped leather waist belt completed my look. I received many compliments on my "skirt"--many people did not know this was actually a jumper skirt and a separate shirt because of the cape. I did take the cape off later, but it did come in handy when it rained a bit to keep me warm and dry.
There's another Renaissance Festival that happens in the spring that I haven't been to yet. I also acquired some new accessories and main pieces at each of the weekends I attended this year that I have yet to include in my alternative fashion pursuits. So stay tuned! Maybe I will get a chance to wear some of them in late autumn/winter/spring!