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beginners' garb

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  • Coblaith Mhuimhneach
    Simple tunics made using rectangular construction methods were worn from the beginning of the
    Message 1 of 6 , Jul 10, 2008
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      Simple tunics made using rectangular construction methods
      <http://www.personal.utulsa.edu/~marc-carlson/cloth/tunics.html> were
      worn from the beginning of the core S.C.A. millennium almost to the
      end, all over Europe (with some variations in details like the shapes
      of sleeves and necklines and the placement and type of trim). I
      recommend you start with these. They're appropriate to gentles of both
      sexes and all ages. (Anyone can wear one floor-length. Male personae
      may also wear shorter ones.) They're economical of fabric and easy to
      make and to dress up or down. Even if you later decide to "do" Tudor
      or Italian Ren, you'll want something simpler to wear while setting up
      camp or making late-night runs to the privy, so the time and effort you
      invest in tunics will still pay off for years.

      Tunics based on the finds classed as "Type 1" by Nockert are the sort
      most commonly made in the S.C.A. There are online several good
      articles on these, each with its own strengths. Jane Stockton's
      "Getting Started with Tunics"
      <http://needleprayse.webcon.net.au/research/index.html> is a good
      overview of how one is put together, with information on plausible
      colors and details you can vary to get a look you like. Reconstructing
      History's "Your First Garb"
      takes a slightly different approach to assembly, and has more
      information on fabric choice. And Cynthia du Pré Argent has an
      interactive worksheet
      <http://www.virtue.to/articles/tunic_worksheet.html> into which you can
      put your measurements to get fabric measurements automatically
      calculated for you. (Click "feed them into this form".)

      There are fewer articles around with details on other types of tunics.
      Hefdharfru Vigdís Vestfirzka's "Viking/Norse Underdress"
      <http://www.silverdor.org/viking/underdress.html> is based on Nockert
      Type 5 finds. Sarah Thursfield's articles on early medieval dresses
      and tunics
      <http://www.insulaedraconis.org/FlamePeace/AOP_new/stcostume1.htm> and
      shirts and smocks
      include cutting diagrams for a few different types.

      Just the tunic is enough (for males or females of all ages) for a first
      outfit. If you want a more "complete" look, you might add a hood
      <http://www.virtue.to/articles/hoodlum.html>, or (for a male persona) a
      coif <http://www.virtue.to/articles/coif.html> or (for a female
      persona) a veil <http://www.virtue.to/articles/veils.html>, to keep the
      sun off your head and for that extra dash of authenticity. A plain
      leather belt with a simple buckle, a pouch or satchel (or both) to keep
      your "stuff" in
      action=displaycat&catid=288>, and some unobtrusive shoes (or period
      ones <http://www.personal.utulsa.edu/~marc-carlson/shoe/SHOEHOM3.HTM>)
      will round out the look. Those with male personae who are
      uncomfortable in skirts alone may wear hosen or, as early-period
      alternative, trews <http://www.regia.org/members/basclot5d.htm>. (I
      suppose those with female personae could do likewise, but as their
      skirts will fall to the floor, trews or hosen won't show.)

      If you'd rather buy than make, there are a lot of vendors offering
      "medieval" and "Renaissance" clothing. Unfortunately, the majority
      make little or no effort to make their wares resemble anything that was
      actually worn before 1600. You'll need to familiarize yourself with
      real medieval and/or Renaissance clothes before you shop, if you don't
      want to end up with an outfit that's half Disney, half pre-Raphaelite,
      or worse.

      The most reliable sellers will tell you exactly what they've based
      their goods on. (That's true not just where clothing is concerned, but
      in relation to all "historically inspired" items.) Historic
      Enterprises <http://www.historicenterprises.com> is an excellent
      example. They rate their own products on a five-point scale, from ". .
      .derived from several contemporary sources. . ." to ". . .a direct
      reproduction of a specific garment or object. . .". They also tell
      you, in each item's description, which sources have been used in its
      design and to which places and times it's appropriate. Revival
      Clothing <http://www.revivalclothing.com> isn't quite as good at
      reporting where things come from, but does make an effort. Where and
      when each garment "belongs" is part of its description, and many of
      them are accompanied by re-drawings of similar items from period art.
      (Since the original pieces are clearly identified, it is possible for
      the shopper to at least try to verify their accuracy, if she or he has

      There are also a fair number of clothes-makers who only do custom
      orders, and will either (1) make things exactly as you ask them to,
      leaving the question of accuracy up to you, or (2) advise you as to
      what is accurate, and make things according to standards you agree
      upon. As when browsing the stores of vendors who don't give you
      information on the bases of their designs, before placing orders for
      custom clothing you need to already have an idea of what you're looking
      for. Some of the sellers are very knowledgeable. Others just claim to
      be. The garb4sale Yahoo! Group
      <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/garb4sale/> is a good place to start
      looking for someone, or members of your branch may be able to point you
      to locals who work on commission.

      Coblaith Mhuimhneach
      Barony of Bryn Gwlad
      Kingdom of Ansteorra
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