Get out those corsets ladies because it’s time for the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. This is the time where all judgments are left behind. I know this can be hard at times. But the whole point is to have fun!
Wait a Second, Do I Have to Dress Up?
No. It is completely optional. If you want to blend in and not get picked on by the performers, I would. If you like that, pick you your favorite sports team and wear their shirt.
Realistically about half the people there will be in costume. About 30 percent of people that walk in the door dressed up. I’ve done both before and find both ways to be a lot of fun.
How Much Should I Spend?
It’s completely up to you. Depending on what you have in your wardrobe, you may be able to make something work at home. Women think corset, present top, ferry wings, skirts, and boots. For men, it’s all about the boots, flat front pants, a loose shirt. I find making costumes much cheaper and more fun.
We spent about $50 a piece on my husband and I and about $10 on my daughters and maybe $3 on my son’s costume. Both my husband and my costume is doubling as a Halloween costume. All the individual pieces will are being recycled for other costumes later on. If you buy off the rack or have someone custom make an outfit for you, expect to pay a lot more. Expect to pay close to $100 for each garment. You’ll need the boots, skirts, and top at the least.
Do I Have To Wear Something From Tutor England?
Trust me when I say no. You will see it all here. From the famous time-traveling Dr. Who to a group of Trekkies. If you want to dress as a woodland fairy or even as a faun, go for it. The way I look at it, both the Dr. and The Trekkies time traveled. Mythical creatures were hiding in the forest already. As long as you can find a tie to the period, you are ok. Steampunk is making a huge impact at the fair this year and they are going all out. You’ll also see lots of kids dressed in their favorite Disney princess outfit. No judgments.
Whatever you choose, make sure to get into character. Are you going to be a noble with richer fabrics? Are you going to be a wench? Do you just want to be a villager? Do you like to look a little riskier? Have you ever wanted to wear leather chaps out in public but never had the courage? This is the place to do it.
I recommended is that you create a look that can be adjusted for the weather. The fair is open rain or shine. I have experienced temps as low as 50 and as high as 95 degrees. In Tudor England, the nobler you were, the more layers you wore. Try to find something breathable. If you are thinking furs, they are hot. If you are uncomfortable in what you choose, chances are you will not want to spend much time there.
Where to find clothing?
This can be a little trickier. I prefer to make my own but I know not everyone is capable of that. The most authentic pieces will are at the fair. If you don’t want to commit to purchasing anything this year, take a few business cards. You can contact them next spring to see if they can make something special for you. There are also find a lot of distributors online.
For ladies, I highly recommended you buy a corset over making one. It is challenging to make on your own. Boots make the outfit. If you can get a good pair of boots, it will transform the rest of your outfit. They are also the trickiest to buy on a budget. My recommendation, check out what Amazon has to offer. My husband found some boots and a Medieval Ring Belt Black that worked out great for him.
However you decide to dress, remember to have some fun. Engage with the performers. Remember that not everyone dressed up there is a performer. And bring a lot of single dollar bills because a lot of them work for tips.
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