So once upon a time I used to be a renfaire performer/model, but I haven't been in a few years -- largely because of a lack of interest on the parts of my compatriots. This year, however, I'm damned near determined to go, and my boyfriend has even expressed interest in giving it a try and dressing up. I've retained a lot of the gear I've picked up over the years for my shows, but because I'm a lady, it's mostly corsets, skirts, gloves, and other girly things. I'd like to put together a character and high quality costume for my partner, but I don't know nearly as much about renaissance gear for men as I do for women.
I know there are a lot
of options out there, so I'm appealing to your gentle tastes, lords and ladies, for suggestions on where to start. Here is what I'm working with:
1. One (1) man who has never attended a renfaire before, does not already own a pair of tall boots, but loves to clean up nice. He does not want to be a pirate, but seems to be interested in more elaborate costumes for nobles/ruffians/persons-of-character. He wants to try a bit of roleplay, so a good outfit could help him there, but I also don't want to intimidate the guy.
2. My outfit(s). Ideally, we'd coordinate a bit, but that's pretty easy. I have a bunch of corsets in various brocades/leathers, so I can probably tailor my appearance to help enhance his costume. An idea I suggested earlier (that he seemed to like) was to dress him as a somewhat refined, Robin-Hood-esque outlaw, and I could dress the part of a Maid Marian type, which would allow me to help him hand out gold coins to children, sneak around shops, and generally help him loosen up a bit. (The only downside here is that my gear is all custom, and so while matching up our characters should be easy, matching up the quality of the materials might not be. I only mention this because I don't want him to feel slighted, if it turns out his things are little more than Halloween-store-costumes and mine are not.)
3. About $200-$300 dollars. I think this should get me something sexy and basic, like a doublet, pants, and maybe one or two good accessories. Obviously I won't be able to pick him up some knee-high leather boots or anything for this, but I can work out the little things later at thrift stores and the like.
So, any suggestions for wearables? If you've bought something for your own outfit and found it to be particularly swanky, could you link me? It's often difficult to tell the quality of these things online, and I know a lot of it looks seriously bad in person. I'm particularly at a loss for pants, because I don't think he'd go for the velvet-tights thing (and to be honest, I'm not sure I would either.) Help?