Richard Rogue at 365 Days of Pirates tweeted a link to this article at EzineMark that gives a brief rundown on how to pick a pirate costume. The advice is timely given that the round of Renaissance and other Faires – which since at least the ‘90s have happily included piratical types – is letting out all sail right about now. Figuring that some of the Brethren may be looking for fairly permanent attire rather than a one party outfit, I thought I’d throw in my piece of eight, so to say.
The article hits the high points of standard pirate garb; shirt or blouse, vest or corset, pants or skirt, footwear, headwear and accessories. Authenticity, in my opinion, is key to making your look right as well as making you feel truly piratical. Unfortunately, that usually comes at a price.
If you’re good with a sewing machine, there are more and more period patterns being produced all the time. My personal favorite online retailer for such things is Folkwear. They have the most comprehensive list of historical based patterns I have found. Their patterns are also very user friendly for the modern seamstress or seamster; the website will let you know what level of skill you need to complete any given pattern, helping you avoid a lot of after-purchase frustration. Think outside the bilge here; an Edwardian blouse can be modified into a charming vest while an Incan shepherd’s shirt can easily transform into a sailor’s.
If you’re no sailmaker and never will be, the very best period clothing, again in my opinion, can be found at Sofi’s Stitches. The picture at the header is from their website and this tar in Highland shirt, sailor’s breeches, Elizabethan boots and pirate accessories would fit right in from the 17th to the 18th century on any dock from here to Venezuela. Ladies’ costuming is equally period accurate and detailed. I’m wearing a Sofi’s corset vest and shirt in my profile picture. These are well made pieces with lining, secured grommets and generous hems that will last year after year. Again, they are an investment, but if you’re ready to make a long term commitment to your pirate look, Sofi’s is absolutely worth the price.
These suggestions obviously lean toward the traditional Golden Age pirate look, but don’t be discouraged if you’re thinking of another era. Much of Sofi’s inventory has an Elizabethan feel, and would be perfect for a Drake-esque sea dog. Likewise, a privateer of old New Orleans could wear those sailor pants and that Highland shirt without batting an eye. Be creative and don’t forget to add some bling. You’re by land after all, and the impression of a little coin in your pocket is sure to draw the ladies if nothing else…
Happy Friday, Brethren! Let’s rendezvous here for Sailor Mouth Saturday.
Header: Piratical flare from the remarkable artists at Sofi’s Stitches