How to Design the Best Coordinated Costume Looks for the Texas Renaissance Festival or a Fantasy Inspired Halloween.
The Texas Renaissance Festival is a stone cold blast, in costume or not.
Wearing a costume brings an entirely new level of immersion in the experience. I have been privileged to attend on a few occasions, but I have never had the opportunity to do so in anything other than jeans. That changes this year.
The Renaissance Festival goes by a few names, such as Ren Fair, Texas Ren Fest, Renaissance Fest, and so forth. This lens will explore the different themed costumes Mr. Vix and I are considering this year. They are our personal favorites, but by no means an inclusive list of good costume theme choices.
It should be noted that you can rent costumes upon arrival. They have a large selection available, but, they can get potentially pricey, and there can be sizing and color limitations. There are costumes for sale ranging from the affordable to more than my house payment.
The Texas Ren Fest was born in 1975. It is an annual event held in Todd's Mission, Texas, out by Plantersville. Color me so there this year.
One more time.
The first time I got to go was in the late 80's. My brand new husband, at the time, took me thinking I might enjoy it as I have a thing for fantasy. I was in awe. It was like stepping into the pages of some of my favorite fairy tale stories from childhood, without the chaperons.
The venue was in the sticks. The forest setting combined with the costume colors, accents, architecture, just everything to create a fantasy filled land of imaginary perfection, that's highly interactive.
I was lucky enough to get to go to the Ren Fair twice more. Both times I took groups of students. We had the best time. I have to say, going with students was fun, but exhausting. I'm going this year with my husband, again, some 20 plus years later. I can't wait. I feel like a kid at Christmas. This time, we are doing it right.
Let's explore some of my favorite themes for the best in Texas Renaissance Festival costume looks. To pull off any look, the secret is in the details. Let's check it out.
Image credit; Franco American Novelty Company
Medieval Guinevere Dress found at Amazon. Just click the pictures.
Hear ye, hear ye...
Lords and ladies, gather ye all round,
bards and fairies, town criers abound.
The Renaissance Festival is finally about to begin.
Lads, take hold of ye wenches, and drag them on in.
My medieval fashion forward looks for the Texas Renaissance Festival - Top three choices -
Theme costumes for couples:
- Medieval royalty, Lords and Ladies.
- Sorceress and Wizard.
- Fairy and Pan.
The medieval royalty look -
Kings and queens, lords and ladies.
This is the type of fairy tale dress look I dreamed of as a little girl, and to be totally honest, still do.
The look reminds me of the images invoked by such beloved series as "The Chronicles of Narnia" by C.S. Lewis, "The Chronicles of Valdamar" by Mercedes Lackey, and "The Wheel of Time" by Robert Jordan.
It makes me think of long sleeves flared at the bottom atop long, draping skirts, and pointy hats with trailing chiffon. The look runs the gambit from innocent gowns to regal tapestries of velvet, cording, and lace dancing together to create a fashion work of art.
Image credit; by Creative Education of Canada available at Amazon.
A few things about fashion in the day.
Royalty, queens, and ladies all fare,
gather ye round in the public square.
Dance maidens, drink and make merry.
Lads, when drunk, they're easier to carry!
Fun Fest Tip:
Clip it to you, if you want to keep it.
Make sure all of your accessories are attached to your person. It can get crowded in the mid ways and shows. Further, you will want to do lots of shopping. It's difficult to carry your mead, turkey leg, and anything else all at the same time.
The adult beverages flow, especially at night and on days not designated as school days. Be careful. They make the drinks very strong. Beer lovers will enjoy a monstrous selection. I don't do beer, but Mr. Vix says their selections are top notch.
Number one accessory pick for ladies of distinction is... - The most adorable bag I have seen that's not black in some time.
Exquisite. The color is outstanding, the beading spectacular, and the shape is very era appropriate. Lastly, you need a strap at such an event.Better than all of that, it's gorgeous and can be used in many outfits outside the costume.A good trick, if you don't want to deal with it hanging from your shoulder all day, like me, use a safety pin. Put the chain on the pin and attach it on the underside of the belt or sash, so the pin would not show. Let it hang just an inch or two below the belt for you to have easy access, yet not have to worry about keeping up with it.
The only way to pull it off is with the accessories. - Ladies,
Stick to a few colors. I like silver because it goes with everything, and it can be used with real world fashion. The first bag, while not silver, is a neutral color that will blend well with many other fashion ensembles.
Remember, when building your coordinated theme look, to go for accessory pieces that will live long and active lives in your wardrobe after your fun filled event. When this is simply not possible, try to think of other ways you can use the item.
For example, the dagger below is not something I'm going to be strolling about town carrying. Vix has no desire to go to jail. I could however, easily incorporate it into my office décor as a letter opener. I have dragon book ends in there already, so good match.
Love the work on the handle here. It would look fantastic sticking out of a sash or belt. Remember, this is for show, not use. We are designing coordinated theme costume looks here not collecting daggers.
Oh, sparkly. Free engraving. That works!
Every princess needs a tiara. Add some sparkle to your look. When else will you get the chance? Halloween, prom, wedding? There are only so many occasions in a gal's life where she can have fun with this. Go for it.
2014 Masquerade Ball-
2014 promises to be the best year yet and that is really saying something. Straight out of a fairy tale comes the idea for the masquerade ball. What girl doesn't dream of such? Here's a chance to live it out in grand style.
No accessory looks better on any queen's arm than her king. - King and lordly costumes
I really like this for a few reasons. First, it's ornate without being garish or tacky as some cheaper looking costumes are. Secondly, the layered effect gives it a more weight, more prescience, somehow adds to the authority. Lastly, it just screams back in the day hand me a turkey leg now, so to speak.Further, check out how well the color goes with the dress directly under. Talk about a perfect coordinated match.
Be a queen, if just for one day.
Image credit; Costumelicious found at Amazon.
A Parade of Texas Renaissance costumes. - Real people partying in real time.
Watch hundreds of real people in costume at the Ren Fair parade.
Have you ever been to a Renaissance Festival?
Have you ever been to a Renaissance Festival?
The medieval sorceress look -
This look is a lot of fun. It's powerful and sexy with an edge. It's definitely not a look for the shy or faint of heart. Further fun afforded through this particular choice is the excuse for the carrying of the magic dust.
Magic dust you say? There's no such thing as magic dust. The woman has gone mad.
Ha ha! Nay, fellow traveler. It is the most powerful of enchantments.
Magic dust is also just body glitter placed in a small vial, and hung about the neck from a cord. Sh.
Many faeries, sorceresses, wizards, and the like sprinkle it liberally on willing participants throughout the day... and blow it on the unwilling in the form of a curse!
Image credit; by California Costumes found at Amazon.
Sorcery, blood magic, dark as night,
the wizarding world can be a fright.
Are you up for the shadows, spell casting in the fray?
I hope so, dear. For if not, you won't survive this day.
Number one favorite sorceress costume is...
This is the baddest. It screams wicked with class, able to kick some a@@, and, well, you get the idea.With the crown, it's so polished looking. I love the structure of the detailed sleeves and at the hips. The draping lends to the curvaceous look while slimming the waste at the same time. With a daringly low neck line that stops just shy of being too much, you will be sure to command attention in this "power" gown.Notice the rich attention to detail at the cuffs and the top trim on the bodice. This things is like a layered tapestry in and of itself.Lastly, the cut in the sleeves allowing the long, draping V ends to hang as the forearms remain free is just divine. The light material used on this part of the dress will create a flowing movement while the architectural components of the skirt keep it in the regal zone. Reserved, yet graceful and commanding. I want it!
Who is the most famous wizard of all?
Accessories for the most selective of sorceress -
Note how the pendant on the necklace below is actually a perfume vial. It would be the perfect container for your magic dust.
I'm thinking the purse would be great with the bracelet. I want to wrap the chain strap around my wrist right over and through the bracelet to keep it attached, and give me freedom of movement, if not hanging from a sash.
My number one pick for male wizarding costume is...
This is an awesome wizard costume. I like how it's not cartoon looking but more sinister than most.I plan to add a silver chain belt and a staff.I could also see sewing on some charms into the two pointy sleeves on the front to give it some extra sparkle, perhaps on the cuffs as well. Nothing too big, subtle stuff. I think Celtic knots and designs might work really well. I would want to pick up on some of the same embellishments on the hood to tie it all together.Lastly, I would love to do something a little different with a beard, like a Captain Jack Sparrow thing. Perhaps do some braids and weave in a charm or two. Just a thought.
A tiny sample of one of the many types of live entertainment you will see.
The fairy look -
What girl doesn't want to get to be a fairy?
The fairy looks is possibly the one with the most range.
Fairies come in all sizes and shapes. They are both good and bad, the essence of innocence, or they can be wickedly clever and seductive. And, best of all, they come with wings!
I can't tell you how many sets of spectacular, home fashioned wings I have seen. Students in the art club went gaga for the fairy theme the year I went with that group. Their creations were truly outstanding. I have never made a set myself.
Food for future crafting project.
Think fun in the sun, sparkle, shine, glitter and glam with this one.
Image credit; by Lilly and the Bee Novelties found on Amazon.
My number one fairy costume look is...
The colors here are great. I'd have to make some wings but that's no big deal really.I also really like the hem line here. The high low uneven thing is great as are the ends of the sleeves.Lastly, check out the bodice and the detailing connecting the shoulder straps. Really cute.
Pan is a name from the Greek tales of half goat half man creatures named satyrs.
Satyrs were known for being the most randy of devils. They carried wood flutes and are rumored to have loved wine, women and song, like most men.
Number one choice for Pan costume -
I do so love the leggings on this really unique outfit. It's by far the best looking I have seen. There were not many to pick from.While I do love it, it's a bit out of my price range. So, if we decide to go with this look, I will use this as a inspiration piece to make Mr. Vix some satyr leggings.He loves the idea of this for a costume, but has expressed concern it might get too hot. I will have to take that into account when designing if it comes to that.As yet, I can't come up with an idea for a material the poor man would not melt in.What do you think?
My four top picks for theme weekend:
Octoberfest - October 11 - 12, 2014
All Hallow's Eve - October 25 - 26, 2014
Highland Fling - November 22 - 23, 2014
Celtic Christmas - December 26 - 30, 2014
The secret to how to create the perfect coordinated theme costumes is easy.
There isn't one. Just pay attention to the accessories.
Accessories really do make or break any outfit, including costumes. The hard part isn't bringing it all together. The hard part is deciding on a theme!
Come one, come now, come forward ye all.
Hear the seduction of the Renaissance's call.
To be a queen, a fairy, or a tavern wench,
it is the details that really make it a cinch.
How do I get there?
Ye merry ole link -
- The Texas Renaissance Festival
The official website. Buy tickets, check school days, campgrounds, theme weekends.
Come one, come all, lords and ladies, come in.
The Texas Renaissance Fest is about to begin.
Barbarians all, fairies, nymphs and sprites
head to the beer garden to do it up right!
All writings contained herein are my own original work. Please do not copy whole or in part.