Caring for your Costume

Preparing Your Winter Renaissance Costumes for Summer Storage

With temperatures in the 70s and 80s on the forecast for this week, I can no longer pretend summer isn’t on its way. Don’t get me wrong – there’s a lot I love about summer. The sun shines brighter and later, friends make more time for get-togethers, and I can sit on the porch every night without wearing a coat. These are all good things! But as someone who is naturally drawn to heavy fabrics like wool and velvet, it does break my heart a bit to know I won’t be wearing them for a few months. But – they do get one last hurrah! Before packing them away I inspect each carefully to ensure they’re ready for storage. Here’s the steps I take, but I’d love to hear from all of you as well. I’m sure mine can be improved or expanded on! 🙂

Step One: Gather It Together: If you’re a more organized person than I am, this step should be short and sweet. But for the rest of you out there who, like me, have a Renaissance dress in one closet, pair of Medieval boots in another, and chemise just waiting patiently to be laundered, this can take a little more time!

Step Two: Look Over Each Piece: Once you have all your Renaissance clothing in one location, take some time to really inspect each piece for tears, missing buttons, dirt and the like. Make separate piles for pieces that are ready for storage, those that need mending, and those that need laundering.

For the pieces that need mending, you can always wait until fall to tackle that, but I find it’s much more satisfying to know that everything I’m putting away is ready-for-wear as soon as the cool weather comes ‘round again.

As for the pieces that need to be cleaned, be sure to follow the care instructions for each. And definitely fight the urge to ‘deal with them later’! The sooner you clean them, the better the results are likely to be. It’s also important to consider that dirt and food particles can attract bugs and other pests, so you’ll want them free of both before you stow them away.

Step Three: Decide On Storage Containers: While the best way to store your Renaissance clothing and accessories will ultimately depend on how many pieces you have, and how much room you have for storage, I always try to give everything room to breathe. I have friends that use all-plastic hanging bags and love them, but I’m partial to fabric bags or plastic bags that are at least partially fabric (these can be more affordable, and often feature the fabric panel in the gusset). I think this helps to alleviate any worries over heat and humidity compromising the fabric. I’m also sure to store them somewhere away from direct sunlight as this can break down fabric and cause it to fade.

Step Four – Bring Out the Summer Wear: This is the fun part! After all the gathering, mending, cleaning and storing, you finally have room to break out your favorite summer Renaissance wear and embrace a new season with old-fashioned style.

Welcome Spring with Some New Renaissance Wear!

While I hold Fall close in my heart as my favorite season, that doesn’t diminish my love for Spring in the least! When Fall arrives, it is a much-needed time for winding down after the busy summer. It is a time for long walks on cool nights, savored cups of cocoa, and snuggling up with a good book and a good dog. Spring, on the other hand, is quite the opposite! Following a long winter of scraping the car windows every morning, the sun setting before we’ve left the office, and wrapping ourselves in so many layers we barely know where our clothes end and our bodies begin, Spring is a time to shake off all that slowed us down and get moving! And as good as the break Fall brings feels after a long, hot summer, Spring feels just as fantastically invigorating after a long, cold winter.

One of the first things many of us do when Spring arrives is tackle the closet. It’s the perfect place to start our Spring cleaning, and tucking away heavy sweaters while breaking out much lighter pieces feels almost therapeutic. When we have all our drawers and closets emptied, it’s the perfect time to take stock of what pieces we might be ready to donate, what pieces we definitely want to keep, and what pieces we want to add or replace. If you find that some of your Renaissance costumes are looking a bit worse for wear, think of what you might want to treat yourself to. After all, don’t you deserve something special after all the hard work of cleaning your closet? We think so!

Here’s a few of our favorite Renaissance costumes for warmer weather, for her and for him. Which do you like best? Let us know in the comments! 🙂

Renaissance Dresses: For Noble Lady Airs and Wear

Renaissance Dress

The summer Renaissance faire season is behind, but there are still plenty of ways to find the opportunity to wear Renaissance dresses and act the part of a noble lady. Creating a realistic character, though, involves putting on the right outfit and the right airs. Whether you are mingling with other Medieval minded friends or whether you are acting before a crowd of school children, be sure that you are in character before they see you.

You can practice ahead of any formal event so that your accent is fresh and your Renaissance dresses ready. You can make sure there aren’t problems with your garb. Check to be sure there isn’t any insect infestation. While you may not have the outfits stored for winter because of pending engagements, you can still do your best to keep critters at bay by keeping dryer sheets in the storage area. Check out hair styles, crowns, trinkets and wigs in advance. If you are learning a part, run through it with a friend or family member. If you must simply be prepared to act noble, spend plenty of time preparing. At your events, make sure that you concentrate on the accent you are going to use.


Safe Storage of Your Medieval Costumes

Renaissance Noble Robe

Summer is the height of renaissance faire season, and as the chilly weather looms, you may be wistfully thinking about the fun you’ve had as you consider storing your festival garments. It’s important to store your Medieval costumes carefully so that they are protected from dust and moths through the winter. Take the time to pack away your gear safely so that next summer’s season will be just as much fun as this year’s was.

It’s possible to use a simple garment bag to store your Medieval costumes. If moths or rodents are a concern in your home, then you may want to consider using mothballs in the bottom of your garment bag. These should be kept out of reach of youngsters as they are toxic in nature. A more popular and better smelling option for repelling critters is the use of dryer sheets in your garment packaging. You may opt for some of the current suction bag options that allow you to completely remove air from the garment bag, perfect for ensuring protection from moisture, insects and other hazards. Some people find that a trunk is better for their storage needs than a bag. Everything from hats to boots can be stored along with your costumes.

Lightning Plans for Those in Medieval Armor


Get out of your Medieval Armor if you see Lightning

Summer is the best time for Renaissance Faire activities, but one force that can’t be programmed is that of nature. Summer rainstorms are refreshing, but when lightning accompanies the cool downpour, the refreshment can become dangerous. It’s essential that those participating in such events pay attention to weather reports and conditions, especially those wearing Medieval Armor. Metal can attract lightning, and the last thing you want to do is act as a walking lightning rod. Monitor lightning and storm activity and take lightning seriously.

Create an alternative plan in advance of your event so that if weather becomes a problem, you can easily evacuate those in attendance. Of course, those attending the fair can move to their vehicles for protection, but those clothed in medieval armor need alternative areas to go to for cover. You may want to provide a large tent or secure structure for weather related issues so that people can remove their metal armor. Heat can be just as detrimental as lightning, and those participating in performances should have ample room to cool off and hydrate. Likewise, those wearing heavy garments in renaissance style should be given space to cool off and take care of themselves if heat becomes overwhelming. Renaissance Faires are exciting, but be ready for the weather to take a turn, keeping your knights and ladies safe from lightning.

Stay Dry and in Costume with a Medieval Cloak

Pearsons Renaissance Shoppe Wool Cloak

Stay Warm and Dry in A Wool Cloak

Much of the fun of attending a Renaissance fair or festival comes from dressing the part. Donning period-appropriate footwear and garments helps attendees immerse themselves in the moment while bringing the past to life. Nothing spoils the illusion faster than modern raincoats. Protect yourself from the elements with Medieval cloaks.


You have three options when it comes to rain gear: Water-resistant, water-repellent and water-proof fabric. Water-resistant fabric offers the least protection while water-proof materials are safe from heavy rain. Water-resistant, hooded cloaks should protect you from fine mist or drizzle; a strong downpour will leave you soaked. Select fabric with a tighter weave so the rain is less likely to penetrate your cloak. Spray your cloak with a fabric-safe water repellent for better protection from rain.


Base your fabric choice on when you plan to wear your cloak. Select Medieval cloaks made from wool or velvet for chilly weather. Stick with lighter fabrics, such as cotton, for summer. Wear an unlined, twill traveler’s cloak during changeable spring weather. Match your cloak to your clothing. Wear a luxurious cloak if you’re a lady. Simple cloaks with serviceable fabrics, on the other hand, are more suitable for country maids.

Medieval Armor Oxidation Care

If you are a Live Action Role Player, LARPer, or a Renaissance Faire enthusiast, you’re going to need a costume that looks the part. One element that you may want to include is a piece of Medieval armor. Medieval armor is one of the most recognizable features of the Medieval era. It can also help keep you protected during battle reenactments or as a playable character in a LARP setting.

But what happens when your chain mail gets wet? You never know when it may start to rain or when you can fall into a stream, puddle, or other body of water. Will this be harmful your chain mail? What should you do?

If you get your chain mail wet, the best thing you can do is to dry off the piece of armor with a cloth. Then you also want to make sure to shake out the armor to ensure that it is as dry as possible. Even after you dry out the armor it may still oxidize somewhat, which is the nature of all metal. When you shake off the armor you may note that the layer of oxidation will flake off.

It is also important to note that when you do rub down your armor that you need to use something soft like cloth. If you use a metal brush, sandpaper, or metal screen it will get rid of the rust, but the scratches will be deeper which will give further oxidation plenty of room to multiply and grow rapidly.

Hopefully with these tips you’ll be able to keep your chain mail as protected as possible.

Watch For Thorns

If you have recently purchased a Renaissance or Medieval costume from, you want to make sure that it lasts for a long time.  Although you can not deny the quality of our costumes, there are certain things that can happen that will damage your brand new investment.

One such thing, which is of particular interest to LARPers, is to walk through thorn bushes.  Depending on where you are in the world, thorn bushes can sport very long briars.  These types of briars can tear hole into costuming and in some cases literally rip the garment to shreds.

Therefore, as you are in the woods at a LARP event, try to be conscious of where you are walking.  Or, if you are the rogue type, make sure you know your escape routes in case you have to take off into the middle of the woods at a moment’s notice.  Especially if it is night time.  The last thing you want to happen in the middle of the night is to run head first into a forest of thorns.