Basic female wardrobe

galiana

Newbie
First post for a soon-to-be noob (planning on attending an Oregon Alliance event as an NPC at the end of Jan - hi folks! :) ), and I'm looking for some basic costuming advice, particularly from the ladies.

I'm hoping to get a decent-ish basic wardrobe for a female human character. However, I have no idea what standard basic items are, what's vital, what's just for fun, what is or isn't practical, etc. Does anyone have a good run-down of a simple outfit, or a few pieces that can be mix-and-matched to create 2-3 outfits?

My first stab at a wardrobe (but hopefully will be commented on and corrected!):

Chemise - white cotton
Simple over-dress of some sort
Pair of poofy pants (wrap or something else)
Wool tights or other leggings
Cloak or other covering

Additionally, how common is it for female characters to wear pants-ish type clothing? I prefer pants when it's rainy out, which the NW is from about September through June, and consequently practicality is high on my list.

Thanks in advance for any and all advice! :)
 

evi1r0n

Baron
Hi! I am an OR and SEA player (not a lady). Because of cold weather and practicality, most women wear pants or tights. I know there are formal occasions where people dress fancy but those are apparently, rare.

My only advice would be wear practical clothing that you can move and run in. Considering getting rained on and stomping through the mud is something that will happed to you in OR, dress warm and have good shoes. Wool socks are great for winter months.

Having a costume, as a NPC, isn't a must. Just wear black clothes and boots. Costumes will be provided while you are an NPC. If you have a costume to bring you will probably get a chance to wear it.
 

Wraith

Newbie
Really, the 'best' garb is going to depend on what you see your character spending most of their time doing. A front-line fighter who's got to be worried about freedom of movement and dodging spells is going to dress a lot differently than a merchant who spends most of their time in a tavern, after all. ;)

As far as practicality goes, my best suggestion is to avoid cloaks and full-length skirts. Both are magnets for spell packets, as well as getting caught in brush or tripped over while running.
 

Druk

Rogue
Welcome to Alliance! I'm a member of the Oregon NPC guild and as Ron said, costumes are provided, just show up in warm, black clothing and some sturdy shoes (dark colors and boots are best) and we'll set you up. That being said, if you have some costuming you'd like to bring for yourself, you are always welcome to do so and will most likely be able to use it.

If you're looking for costuming for a future PC, then what type of character you're planning to play, would have a great deal to do with the garb you choose. If you're going to be a sneaky rogue, then you'd want clothing that won't catch, stand out or make noise. A fighter will want clothing that's easy to move in and won't catch packets. As far as wearing pants go, I've seen plenty of our female PC's wearing pants, go with whatever is practical for you.
 

evi1r0n

Baron
Wraith said:
As far as practicality goes, my best suggestion is to avoid cloaks and full-length skirts. Both are magnets for spell packets, as well as getting caught in brush or tripped over while running.
I would never wear my cloak into battle or any scene that I would be running. I would, however, never come to an OR or SEA game without one. During the fall/winter/spring months it's wet and cold. My treated wool cloak has saved my from the shivers a lot.
 

Inaryn

Knight
I wore a skirt all the time as my previous character and never had a problem with dodging packets. I split it in the front and back as if for riding a horse.
 

galiana

Newbie
Awesome, thanks everyone!

I'm going to NPC for at least my first event, but I figure having a decent bit of gear will only be helpful. I have tons of good, dark-colored plain clothes, which seems to be all I'd need for NPCing (other equipment/costuming provided), so that's good to know.

Also good to hear that cloaks/other flowy, bulky clothing is detrimental for certain activities, but there are adjustments that can be make (good call, Inaryn). That's exactly why I asked all you experienced folks. :) I'm tentatively planning a female human templar or adept, but I'm waffling a bit there - I like almost all of the different classes, so we'll see when I end up settling on that.
 

prashka

Scholar
Oregon Staff
Marshal
Well hello! I PC in both Seattle and Oregon, and I actually AM a lady! Ooh.

I wear both a full-length skirt and/or pants, depending on my mood (and the weather). I tend to layer them when it's cold. The full-length skirt i definitely a packet-catcher, although you can work around it if you're fast. I've found my poofy pants to be somewhat obnoxious in the rain (they get all sticky...blegh), although that might be more because of the materials than because of the fact that they're pants (my skirt is made of more water-resistant material, and the pants are standard cotton, which can also be very cold in the breeze).

I've found the ladies generally wear whatever feels most comfortable. You'll probably see a 50-50ish split between pants and skirts. :)

Also, as mentioned, don't worry about costuming for NPCing. I'll be at the Jan event, so come say hi! :D I go by Barbara OOG.

Oh! And ditto on what evi1ron said about the cloak. HAVE ONE. Totally a packet catcher and all that jazz, but it's great for keeping you warm and keeping the rain off. I tend to just toss mine aside when combat begins, and pull it back on immediately after combat ends. I'd recommend one that is easy to remove/put on.
 

Ezri

Knight
HQ Staff
Female characters (myself included) wear pants all the time. It is neither frowned upon nor looked at as oddball or out-of-period (we can be knights AND wear pants! LOL). Wear whatever you can comfortably move around in that fits the type of character you want to play. :)
 

zehnyu

Squire
As a recommendation if you're going to be NPCing your first event, you'll want a nice (see: WARM) set of black sweat pants/black long-sleeve top. This is usually a great place to start considering it will keep you warm during the NPC hours, and also as a good base layer.

Welcome aboard!
-Ali
 

Wraith

Newbie
Thermal underwear (or underarmor in the summers) is an excellent go-to base layer.
 

SkollWolfrun

Squire
Oregon Staff
A; welcome to the Funny Farm
B; they took care of all the usually equipment stuff
C; hopefully will meet at the Jan event. the Oregon staff are a fun bunch.
 

galiana

Newbie
Yay, more helpful replies! I'm really excited. There was a bit this last week where I was worried work might conflict and I'd miss my first event, but crisis averted.

I'm slowly working on designing (/imagining/lusting over...) the stated simple wardrobe I hope to pick up over the next ~2-4 mo, if I get up the guts to PC at another event. Given everyone's advice, I suspect I'll get some decent pants (shirts don't sound like they're much of a big deal, i.e., anything decent really will work?), some warm-ish over shirt thing, and hopefully I'll get a slightly more low-profile cloak.

On a more specific note, I'd really like to do as much construction of my costuming myself, but I've got fairly limited sewing experience. I like to think I have good spacial skills and am generally pretty handy, but last weekend I mocked a cloak up with my sister and it was kind of a disaster. Does anyone have any good resources for patterns (pants, cloaks, dresses, maybe some simple leather armor w/studs)? Any and all hints are welcome!

And now I'm off to make an official "hey I'm new!" post... :p
 

galiana

Newbie
Oh and one more question, but about NPC-ing. What's the best footwear to bring? I have some brown leather knee-high probably-can-pass-but-only-for-female-characters boots, and then regular hiking boots, black Vans, and regular white running shoes (planning on eventually getting some more period short boots/shoes).

I'm guessing hiking boots to be the best option?
 

Ezri

Knight
HQ Staff
Definitely bring the hiking boots, and probably those other boots. Don't bother with the white ones. If the black Vans are solid black with no logos or other markings they might be passable, or at the very least, comfy to wear in the car to and from the event. ;)
 

Druk

Rogue
The hiking boots for sure, the site we'll be playing at may very likely have snow, otherwise rain, so the boots will come in handy for traction.
 

SkollWolfrun

Squire
Oregon Staff
galiana said:
Yay, more helpful replies! I'm really excited. There was a bit this last week where I was worried work might conflict and I'd miss my first event, but crisis averted.

I'm slowly working on designing (/imagining/lusting over...) the stated simple wardrobe I hope to pick up over the next ~2-4 mo, if I get up the guts to PC at another event. Given everyone's advice, I suspect I'll get some decent pants (shirts don't sound like they're much of a big deal, i.e., anything decent really will work?), some warm-ish over shirt thing, and hopefully I'll get a slightly more low-profile cloak.

On a more specific note, I'd really like to do as much construction of my costuming myself, but I've got fairly limited sewing experience. I like to think I have good spacial skills and am generally pretty handy, but last weekend I mocked a cloak up with my sister and it was kind of a disaster. Does anyone have any good resources for patterns (pants, cloaks, dresses, maybe some simple leather armor w/studs)? Any and all hints are welcome!

And now I'm off to make an official "hey I'm new!" post... :p
Any fabric stores should have pattern options.
Some that bear looking at online would be http://www.simplicity.com
Long Cloaks: http://www.simplicity.com/p-2620-misses ... tumes.aspx
Short Cloaks: http://www.simplicity.com/p-3076-misses ... tumes.aspx
Tunics: http://www.simplicity.com/p-1900-misses ... tumes.aspx

one cloak pattern that I am possibly going to use is here...
http://www.eg.bucknell.edu/~lwittie/sca/garb/cloak.html
 

prashka

Scholar
Oregon Staff
Marshal
SkollWolfrun said:
galiana said:
Yay, more helpful replies! I'm really excited. There was a bit this last week where I was worried work might conflict and I'd miss my first event, but crisis averted.

I'm slowly working on designing (/imagining/lusting over...) the stated simple wardrobe I hope to pick up over the next ~2-4 mo, if I get up the guts to PC at another event. Given everyone's advice, I suspect I'll get some decent pants (shirts don't sound like they're much of a big deal, i.e., anything decent really will work?), some warm-ish over shirt thing, and hopefully I'll get a slightly more low-profile cloak.

On a more specific note, I'd really like to do as much construction of my costuming myself, but I've got fairly limited sewing experience. I like to think I have good spacial skills and am generally pretty handy, but last weekend I mocked a cloak up with my sister and it was kind of a disaster. Does anyone have any good resources for patterns (pants, cloaks, dresses, maybe some simple leather armor w/studs)? Any and all hints are welcome!

And now I'm off to make an official "hey I'm new!" post... :p
Any fabric stores should have pattern options.
Some that bear looking at online would be http://www.simplicity.com
Long Cloaks: http://www.simplicity.com/p-2620-misses ... tumes.aspx
Short Cloaks: http://www.simplicity.com/p-3076-misses ... tumes.aspx
Tunics: http://www.simplicity.com/p-1900-misses ... tumes.aspx

one cloak pattern that I am possibly going to use is here...
http://www.eg.bucknell.edu/~lwittie/sca/garb/cloak.html
Sewing stores are definitely good. Joann's especially usually has a good selection of patterns and cheap fabrics. Muslin and cotton work well for most clothing, although it's not warm, for certain. On occasion, I've found some rather amazing cotton/wool blends for cloaks there on occasion. Check the sale bins. They have some good stuff sometimes.

Lots of people who will be at the event do tons of costuming. :D Just find someone wearing something cool, and I bet they would be more than happy to share tips and the like.
 
Hey! I'm a girl and I play in Oregon too! Welcome, and hooray for new NPCs!

My best advise would be: if you are going to splurge on anything get good, waterproof, low-heel, comfortable boots (bonus if they are especially in period). Dry feet make a world of difference.

For Armor: check out Oregon Leather in downtown Portland, and haunt their scrap bin. You might find some nice pieces there you can work with. They probably will have some special made-for-leather patterns, too. But otherwise, watch the sales at Joanne's fabric and get patterns when they are $.99 or $1.99. Joanne's also has some nice quality faux leather in their decorator fabric section, if real leather proves too expensive/difficult right now. Get coupons out of the papers too, or sign up for their mailing list. I never buy much fabric there without a coupon.
If you have a sewing machine with all-metal parts (I have an one from the 70's), you should be able to sew even fairly thick leather on it (think a bit more than motor-cycle pants thickness/stiffness) But for my very first game costumes, I hunted thrift stores for half-off-day leather coats/shirts and then modified them by hand. You can also try ebay, I found some perfect suede pants there for about $15.

Layering is also important! Bring extra layers for your first game; you'll figure out how cold you get.

As for shirts, if you go Adept, that will involve a bit more sneaking around so you might want to consider darker colors like blues and greens so you won't stand out in the dark. Since it gets dark at 4:30pm in the winter, expect to be doing quite a bit of night fighting and running! Think about sleeve length- as an Adept or Templar you will have spells you can throw, so you won't want sleeves that envelope your hands or get in the way. Most people wear some kind of belt that they can attach sword-sheathes and pouches to, so a shirt that can be tucked in is useful too.

Good luck with finding costuming. I look forward to meeting you at the next game! Like Barb said, feel free to ask all of us anything you want! We like to share our hard-won knowledge!

~Carmen
 

Druk

Rogue
If you're looking to make a cloak, PDX Seamsters offers a cloak making class now and then. I don't see one on their calendar right now, but if people express interest, they would probably offer it again. They're also great if you just want to learn more skills-cheap classes and they provide machines and patterns.
http://pdxseamsters.com
 
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