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Renaissance Costumes: Fitting and Sizing Tips

Whether you're attending a medieval or Renaissance faire, a Renaissance costume party, or participating in a reenactment or chivalry sports event from a certain period in history, it's important to buy a costume that fits comfortably. Wearing Renaissance costumes is fun and exciting, but only if the costume allows you to move and breathe freely. These tips on fitting and sizing will help you find just the right costume for the occasion.

Fitting for Online Purchases

Many people buy Renaissance costumes or medieval garb online, so proper fitting is extremely important. Order far in advance of your event in case it doesn't fit properly and you need to make an exchange or get alterations. Also, pay attention to the sizing instructions provided by the online costume retailer. Sizing varies from one store or brand to the next. Some medieval or Renaissance costume pieces may be designed to fit loosely while others may have a snug fit. Look for words like "tight or close fit" or "generous fit" and take into consideration your body shape, height, if you are short waisted, have long or short legs, etc. Ask a close friend or relative to help you with measurements so your sizing will be as accurate as possible.

How to Take Accurate Measurements

All measurements should be taken in "inches." Using a tape measure, the bust area should be measured under your arms and around the fullest part of your chest, with your arms at your sides. The waist should be measured around the natural waistline, with the measuring tape a bit loose. For hips, measure the fullest part of the hips. For skirt length, measure from the back part of your waist to the floor.

Trouser measurements for the inseam should be taken from the crotch to the desired length of the trousers (with shoes on). The outseam measurement should be taken from the natural waistline (below the belly button) to the desired trouser length (with shoes on). The neck measurement is the full circumference at the base of the neck.

Critical Measurements for Women's Renaissance Costumes

For women, the critical measurements are the bust, waist, hips, height, and skirt length. Sizes usually range from small to 3X. For leather bodices, the bust and waist measurements are needed, but the waist measurement is the most important. Girl sizes usually come in small, medium, and large and are often comparable to store sizes.

Fitting for Men's Renaissance Costumes

For men, critical measurements are the waist, chest, hips, neck, and height. Men's sizes usually range from small to 3X, and boy's sizes usually come in small, medium, and large based on store size ranges.

Minnetonka hat measurements should be taken around the circumference of the head just above the ears, where the hat will rest. Women should consider the type of wig they will wear and measure accordingly with a little room to spare. Hat sizes typically come in small, medium, large, or extra large.

Look for a detailed sizing chart when ordering online. The company should provide measurement instructions and/or customer assistance to ensure that your Renaissance costume and accompanying gear fit properly. Also, shop where you can buy all your costume items and accessories together to save on shipping. Items offered can include medieval swords or other weapons, SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.) armor, SCA garb, medieval wedding accessories for weddings, pirate costumes, medieval jewelry, games, costume patterns, tights, boots, or shoes.

With the right fit, you'll be able to enjoy the Renaissance costume event to the fullest!

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