The first Empire LARP event will be Easter weekend which is end of March/ start of April. While I, and I am sure many others, will be praying for a heat wave such as we have had in March for the last couple of years, I have to consider that it may be cold. This obviously affects my fabric choices, but before I even pick up a needle it affects those things I will not be sewing and that are not part of the Costume for under £30 challenge.
As much as my costume will be “aspirational” and I will keep improving it, and as much as I will aim for “coolthentic”, I will not be concerning myself with whether my underwear is too modern, too ugly or too uncool. What I will be thinking about is warmth and comfort. Thermal leggings and top are a must, and that affects the necklines of what I make. Whether I change the necklines or add in scarves to cover the thermal undies is something I need to consider, but the thermals themselves are non-negotiable. The leggings will be hidden – under tights and harem trousers.
Secondly, footwear. I have heard very good things about Sealskinz, either as liners or socks, and while they are a lot of money, I would rather have warm dry feet than skimp on that. They are also available second hand on ebay, I am trying to work out if I can get past my “ick” factor on that or not. I mean, they’ll be washed but still…
I also need boots. Until March of last year I had my trusty DMs, but after 25 years of use and abuse they finally died on me. I have new trusty and beloved DMs, but as they are bright purple they may be cool, but don’t fulfill the “thentic” criteria of coolthentic. I would probably also prefer non-lace up boots, as they are more waterproof, but finding non-lace up boots, without a zip, that go over my calves, is not easy. Considering I am likely to trash them at the event, I will look in the sales towards the very end and also in charity shops (of which Cambridge has many good ones).
Gloves are essential, and here I want to look for nice bright red ones to go with my kit. They should be cheap by that time of year, so I can get some with fingers and some without.
To keep my head warm, I am going for something a little different. While my Burnoose will have a large hood (a very large hood probably) and while I may line it in fake fur, I am also going to be wearing wool on my head in the form of roving dreads. I will probably make these myself, in fire colours, or if I can afford it get someone else to make them. I am quite tempted to make flame dreads in fleece, but I am not sure how well they would stand up to LARPing. (Please note, none of these photos are mine, they are beautiful examples I found of the sort of thing I hope to do or get.
The first picture is what I would really like (but not with horns), the second I may be able to make or buy and the third are the fleece ones, which is the cheapest but possibly least appropriate for Empire version. Which means I may make them just for me 🙂
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