Renaissance Costumes for Medieval Festivals Medieval clothing is sumptuous, a feast for the eyes and an experience for the soul when you deck yourself out in renaissance clothes or renaissance clothes similar to those worn by kings and royalty, by pirates, by the clergy, by the commoners or peasants or lords and ladies. Since that age had dress codes categorized according to social status, one can choose themed renaissance costumes to match a medieval festival or renaissance faire. The nobility of that era outdid themselves in the matter of dress styles and alongside, pirates developed a style of pirate clothing representative of their personality and lifestyle. Even today pirate clothing carry a special aura of swagger and style. Though following a general pattern, Italian, French and British renaissance clothes had their own distinctive styles. Renaissance, French for rebirth, was a period when the elite used renaissance costumes as a way to show off their social status. This led to use of rich fabrics like velvet, silk, damask and fine linen in vibrant and splendid hues in costumes for the rich while the poorer sections were forbidden by law to either use rich fabrics or colors other than gray and brown. Brocade and lace is lavishly used to embellish renaissance clothes. Renaissance costumes for women of that period were elaborate, multilayered ensembles comprising of underskirt, bodice, vest, skirt, hoop and collar topped by a head dress. Elaborate renaissance clothes for women usually had lots of ruffles and layers, puffing out the dress, especially at the lower part of the skirt. Layers equated wealth. The corset came into fashion during the renaissance and formed a part of fashionable women’s couture. Women did outdo each other in headgear ranging from pointed types to the French hood style with veils. Compared to modern day dresses, renaissance costumes are gorgeously flamboyant and can give an added flair when you wear a replica for renaissance faire or for a medieval festival. Men did not lag behind in style or fashion. Earlier part of the period was characterized by a square look, leading to a more barrel shaped look during the latter period. Padded vests and coats were common to give a man a broad, square shouldered look. Upper body garment, particularly the shirt was characterized by voluminous sleeves with slashes. Even today, renaissance shirts in all their variants are definitive fashion statements. Renaissance shirts matched with vests with a sash tied at the waist, topped by the right hat can give a man some dashing looks. Dressed as nobility in royal splendor or in pirate clothing, it is all about harmonizing with the theme of the event and having an enjoyable time. Sourcing the renaissance clothes, pirate clothing or medieval costumes from brick and mortar stores is easy, letting you try them out for fit and feel. Buying from online stores may be cheaper but one has to be careful about fit and size and know about replacement and returns policies.