Note on women's garb: Our men are the peacocks; while we are no peahens,
our garb is a bit more sedate than theirs. In the woodcuts the women are
often dressed extremely simply so we endeavor to stay simple and yet be
wonderfully german. Don't worry, they still mistake us for nobility so
we must look fabulous! If you are worried about looking 'unique' do some
research on you head covering or hat, there are lots of wonderful choices,
or make a smocked apron.
- Bodice: Must be quite snug, bra should not be needed (with proper
fitting you will find a German dress to be one of the most comfortable
things- much more comfortable than an under wire!) Bodice must be
lined with canvas or similar material; it is recommended that it is
lined with two layers on the front panels. For a first dress it must
be all wool, simple 'T' front with a square or oval neck and simple
sleeves. Can be low-cut but must still be modest (no pressed-together
"English" styles). It should be front opening, closed with
hooks and eyes or laces that leave no more than a half inch between
edges; it may be boned along the opening edge. The shape of the bodice
should be curved in the front rather than flat like the English style
of the time. Sleeves should snug and may have a cuff that covers the
hand. Slashing can be at the elbow, shoulder, and/or wrist. Detachable
sleeves are possible upon petition. Slashing on the sleeves is not
required but you will probably want it on the elbow at least. No slashing
on the body of the bodice. Ask for patterning instructions and assistance
for bodice. The skirt must attach to the bodice, sewing is recommended,
if hooks and eyes are used it should not be distinguishable from a
sewn on skirt. Slashing is permissible only on the sleeves and unlike
the men the 'puffing' is the shirt. Remember to cut your sleeves on
the bias so your slashing will fray less. If there is an issue with
fraying instead of washing your fabric until it is thick use Fraycheck
on the edges, it is a liquid that disappears.
- Second or later dresses- the simple style is still recommended but
other styles will be considered such as a much lower neckline with
a 'brustuch' to cover the breasts or a 'plastron' style bodice- open
down the front and laced over a 'brustfleck', and somewhat more elaborate
sleeves. Velvet banding and/or silk trim and possibly some brocade
may be allowed if your character has rank.
- Skirt: Will open in the front and be modified cartridge pleating
or stacked pleating. You must get instructions from costume director
on these! No Knife pleating or English cartridge pleating. Skirt should
be approximately 3 ½ to 4 yards of fabric. Should be evenly
hemmed (no train) and the length should fall lower than the ankle
and almost to the ground with enough length to "kirtle".
Should have at least one band, but no more than three. Bands should
be of the same color. Width from about 2 and a half inches up to 18"
if one band.
- Shirts/chemise worn underneath the doublet will be white/off-white
linen (or a natural fabric that really looks like linen). Linen
is highly recommended because the combination of linen under wool,
even with a cotton lining in between, particularly snuggly fitting
is a much cooler combination than any other. Linen wicks away the
sweat rather than getting 'swampy' like cotton. The shirt itself
is a very loose fitting garment that will general extend down to
the ankle or mid thigh. The sleeves should be especially long and
big as they will be your puffing to pull through the slashes in
your sleeves. A renaissance style shirt is acceptable, but no high-ruffed
collars or Irish linya. Ruffles should be no more than 1/2inch at
the most. Necklines may be simple gathered or smocked, they may
have short standing collars, high necks or follow right under the
edge of the neckline. Small ties if they are needed for closures.
Smocking highly recommended. Blackwork is fine in moderation only
for high ranked characters. No trim, beads, drawstrings, collars
that fold back on themselves or eyelets.
- Underskirts should be worn but we sometimes let it slide because
of an extra layer in the heat. They do provide protection for the
thighs from the wool of your skirt. The underskirt should kirtle
with the overskirt. Overskirt can not be hooked up on a side without
an underskirt showing and not hooked up too.
- Should be linen and fall to the wearer's ankles.
- Hose or Thigh-High Socks
- Hose and Socks should be 100% wool or linen, but alternate fabrics
are acceptable. Check with the costume coordinator for accepted
alternatives to wool socks.
- Socks should go high up the leg.
- Socks can be vertically striped or solid, matched, or mismatched.
- Garters are required in order to keep the socks from falling down
around your ankles.
- Colors do not have to match dress but should be neutral or similar
- Belts will be made of leather without fancy buckles, or of homespun-looking
rope, or simple fabric. They should be long enough to hang off a
hip rather than be snug at the waist. The end or ends can almost
reach the ground. Nothing should be worn hanging off the belt except
the pouch unless absolutely necessary.
- Because we are often marching in the sun a hat called a tellerbarett
(platter hat) is the best choice. It is a large fairly flat circle.
The hat should be made from wool and selected from a woodcut. Be
very careful about the size of the hat - don't make it too big,
as it will get in the way of your pike. Somewhere between 16"
and 24". It can be a simple circle but it is recommended to
do the style that is two overlapping somewhat more than half circles.
There are many other details that are allowed- there are many woodcuts.
The crown is usually a flat circle. You may have a smaller hat if
you are absolutely immune to the sun but it is not recommended as
your only hat.
- Feathers are optional; you may have from 1 to possibly 10 (if
small) ostrich feathers, large or 'down'. The amount and color of
feathers should be checked with the costume coordinator. Period
feathers can be difficult to find since modern colored feathers
tend to by dyed too brightly. Natural, white, or primary colors
are encouraged. Pastel or neon colors will not be allowed. No other
types of feathers allowed.
- Hat is not required if a large headdress is always worn but it
is recommended that you have one anyway because of the sun.
- Are easily the most expensive accessory of any costume, and where
the most leeway will be given. Avoid china flats in all but the
most desperate circumstances. You will be on your feet all day,
and you will be walking on rocks and mud. The best alternative to
custom shoes (which are preferred, but not required) is to find
a low, buckle-less and seamless shoe. On any shoe, any rubber soles
or modern comforts should be hidden or minimized.
- Examples of Alternatives: Clogs, Mary-Janes, closed-toe sandals.
- Black is acceptable but brown other natural colors are recommended
- NO BOOTS! No laces, no eyelets, no more than one strap and a small
- Gloves are not mandatory, but highly recommended - they will save
a lot of wear-and-tear on your hands. Acceptable gloves are short
or no cuff, black is acceptable but brown or other neutral colors
are recomended, leather gloves - no fencing gloves. Try gardening
- Haube or other head wrap.
- We use the term Haube to mean a small cap for over the hair. It
is generally a circle gathered into a band that sits on the back
of the head with a couple of inches of hair showing on the forehead.
It may not hang over the back of the neck like a muffin cap. It
may be quite small or made large with braids or wulsthaube/ undercap-
a padded roll or some other hidden structure- making it a steuchlein.
This should be experimented with until you find the best way of
putting your hair in your haube that gets the customary siluette.
One of the best ways is to make two braids from the top back sides
of your head and wrap and pin them over the top, this will give
you the period shape. Haube may be of Linen or of silk. This is
one place where you can show a bit more wealth so they may be "fancy"
with netting and symmetrical decorative banding. Netting may be
metallic but not the commercial machine made stuff. A small comb
on the inside of the band helps keep it in place, no modern bobby
pins should be showing.
- You may also wear a Steuchlein - a large roll at the back of the
head covered with a veil snug on the head, or a bundlein- the same
with a chin strap, or a simple linen headwrap- a rectangle of linen
folded and wrapped around the head. See Costume director for directions.
There are many things worn on the head, all sorts of slightly different
head dressings, you are encouraged to research and experiment!
- Also a veil/ schleier may be worn as another layer over the other
- If you have very long hair, down to your waist braided, you may
occasionally wear your hair in two braids down your back tied together
at the bottom.
- If your hair is not long it should be covered completely at all
times unless for a specific gig.
- If your hair is long or you have passable fake braids your hair
may be left braided, up, uncovered on very rare occasions.
- Long hair may be worn lose for specific gigs.
- All women should wear a pouch. Nothing else should be worn on
the belt unless absolutely necessary. If knife is worn it should
be sheathed at the back of the pouch. Pouches were often worn hanging,
almost to the ground in some cases. For practicalities sake they
can be worn higher, at hip or thigh hight. Pouches can be simple
drawstrings, squares with flaps, or the gathered bag with little
pouches attached that is so characteristically german- see woodcuts.
The most recommended is the type with the top hinge half circle
or half rectangle opening an two or three gathered side bags. They
must hang down from the belt by one or two points. They cannot be
held flush with the belt. No more metal lidded pouches.
- May be a simple rectangle at the waist for the kitchen or a gig.
May be a narrow smocked at the top with a tie around the neck. These
were worn as status items and were carefully pleated and embroidered.
A double apron with the same narrow one down the back is another
option. Full skirt aprons with the waist smocked were quite common.
- Kirtle belt or cloth
- Skirts should be kirtled, hiked up and tied around the
hips, when possible on procession and always when fighting.
- A sort shoulder cape. Can also be a 'partlet' style vest that
goes to just bellow the breasts. Can be made of linen or wool. Can
be banded or have chord trim. Highly recommended for those few faires
we do that get cold or to make your dress look high necked. If the
cape style it might be allowed to be fur lined and possibly in velvet.
This is another place, like the haube, where somewhat richer fabric
and trim is allowed because it is small.
- While not period they should be worn if any brawling or other
such activities where your skirts might flip up and show a bit too
much to the world. No silly fabrics. Linen bloomers are recommended
to help prevent chaffing. If your skirts stay well in place bike
shorts help prevent chafing if that is an issue.
General Guidelines, Fabrics, and Accessories