Fairest of the Faire: The Best Renaissance Costumes [Costume Guide]

by |May 17, 2019

The Renaissance Faire is one of the largest costumed events you can attend outside of Halloween. While they're not always the most historically accurate, the stage shows and events like jousting and highland games can make you feel like you're visiting the Renaissance. (By the way, the Renaissance was a period that happened from about 1400 to 1600 across Europe, if anyone bugs you about it!) It's still a great excuse to run around in a Halloween costume and get in character for a day. If you're looking for the perfect Renaissance gown, princess costume, wizard robes, mythical creatures or peasant outfits, we have quite the variety for everyone!

 

Renaissance Dresses for Women

Women's Renaissance Dresses

Adult Tavern Wench CostumeRenaissance Princess CostumeAnne Boleyn CostumeMaid Marian CostumePlus Royal Maiden Costume
Lady in Waiting OutfitPlus Lady Guinevere DressLaced Medieval GownGreen Renaissance DressRenaissance Queen Costume

If you're aiming to be the fairest lady at the Faire, you'll need a queen or princess costume so you can look like a proper noblewoman. To avoid looking like a peasant or a tavern wench, you want a full-length gown. (In the Renaissance, proper ladies didn't go showing their ankles off to everyone!) The best part about these elegant gowns is the fact that you can wear them throughout the year at other costume parties, such as a masquerade ball or Halloween. While dressing like a royal does have its perks, many women enjoy the freedom of dressing like peasants at their Renaissance Festival. Historical accuracy does often take a bit of a nosedive here, but ultimately you'll be more comfortable because of the lighter fabrics, and you can show a little more skin. Regular peasant costumes will typically consist of a chemise and a simple overdress. However, many women will opt for the tavern wench costume because you can hike your skirts up and wear low-cut tops and bodices or corsets.

 

Renaissance Dresses for Girls

Girls Renaissance Dresses

Pink Medieval Princess DressGirls' Renaissance MaidenChild Courageous Forest Princess GownChild's Lady Juliet Dress
Girls' Renaissance QueenChild Renaissance QueenGirls' Juliet CostumeToddler Renaissance Girl

The Renaissance Faire is a great place to take your kids, especially if they love to wear costumes! It's like a big day of playing dress-up and pretend all in one. (If your little princess loves to be in character, just be ready to field a few royal decrees!) Most little girls like the idea of being a princess, so Renaissance costumes for children are often perfect alternative options for princess costumes. They will undoubtedly love running around in these bright, colorful dresses, and you can even find some in pink! She might also enjoy being a princess so much that she wants to wear her Renaissance dress for Halloween, too. Score!

 

Renaissance Costumes for Men

Mens Renaissance Costumes

Medieval King CostumeTavern Man OutfitMen's Renaissance Prince CostumeHenry VIII CostumeKing Arthur Costume
King Henry CostumeMen's Renaissance ApparelAdult Romeo CostumeKing Richard CostumeRenaissance Peasant Outfit

Social stratification was in full force during the Renaissance, so if you weren't a king or a noble, you were usually one of many, many peasants. Whether you want to dress up or down to attend your local Renaissance Festival, we have plenty of men's Renaissance and Medieval costumes for the occasion. You can channel one of the great kings (or even some not so great ones), or enjoy a drink at the tavern with your merry band. Just make sure to keep an eye on the weather so you know which men's Renaissance clothing to choose!

 

Renfest Costumes for Boys

Boys' Renfest Costumes

Boys' King Arthur CostumeRenaissance Squire OutfitBoys' Shakespeare CostumeRenaissance Peasant OutfitBoys' Noble Costume

Many little boys will want to be knights in shining armor (and we'll get to that), but we have some normal Renaissance attire for boys who want to be royalty or part of the peasant folk, too. Perhaps your kiddo enjoys the tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Maybe he feels the need to experience life as a squire before moving on to knighthood. Your little Renaissance man will get to choose his own path when he picks out his ideal costume for Renfest!

 

Renfaire Pirate Costumes for Adults

Adult Pirate Costumes for Renaissance Festivals

Women's Pirate Flag OutfitAdult Realistic Caribbean PirateWomen's Fearless PirateMen's Blackbeard CostumeRenaissance Pirate Wench Costume
Captain Morgan CostumeWomen's Pirate Captain CostumeMen's First Mate CostumeBrazen Buccaneer CostumeMen's Black Coat Pirate Costume

Piracy rose in the Mediterranean during the 13th century, although what was referred to as the golden age of piracy didn't occur until about 1650. However, there were still some pirates during the Renaissance period, so naturally, you'll see a lot of pirate costumes at any Renaissance Festival. (You have to love those technicalities!) A pirate outfit is another great costume choice if your goal is to be comfortable on a hot day. You can even have fun with an added sword prop!

 

Ren Fest Pirate Costumes for Kids

Renaissance Pirate Costumes for Kids

Pirate Queen OutfitBoys' Ship Captain OutfitGirls' Pirate OutfitToddler PirateToddler Pirate Dress
Boys' Buccaneer CostumeToddler Girls' Pirate CostumeBoys' Pirate Captain CostumeGirls' High Seas PirateBrown Coat Pirate

A pirate costume for kids is probably the easiest way to get your child to dress up for your local Renfaire. (Other than princesses and fairies for the little girls!) Kids will love getting challenged to sword fights by the staff playing in character, and some events even have special pirate weekends and kids' activities! Make sure to keep an eye on your Renaissance Festival's calendar so you can maximize the fun with your kids.

 

Sexy Renaissance Faire Costumes

Sexy Renaissance Costumes

Sexy KnightSexy Plague DoctorMen's Kilt CostumeSexy Pirate DressSexy Viking Outfit
Women's Sexy Robin HoodSexy Pirate OutfitMen's Sexy VikingSexy Fairy CostumeSexy Executioner

Many Renaissance festivals occur during the summer, and if there's anything we know about being outside in the summer, IT'S HOT. Some women and men enjoy the liberation of fewer layers and don their favorite sexy costumes at Renfest. (We know the Renaissance was a time where ladies wore many, many layers, and we're so glad that no one has to dress like that anymore!) They may not be "historically accurate", but if you're considering a cooler costume to wear for hours in the summer heat, you might want to give these sexy outfits your consideration. Keep a special look-out for special themed weekend events like the highland games weekend, Oktoberfest weekend, Viking and pirate days, and more!

 

Adult Knight Costumes for the Faire

Adult Knight Costumes for the Faire

Classic KnightKnight Crusader CostumeLady KnightBlack Knight CostumeNoble Knight OutfitMen's Dark Knight

While none of these outfits are authentic knight costumes made of real metal, your body will thank you by the end of the day. (Plus, the real thing isn't convenient for restroom breaks. At all.) You can choose from fake armor styles to comfortable knight tunics—and even a lady knight outfit! Don't forget to pair your Renaissance Festival costume with a knight's sword and shield set. (Don't be surprised if they decide to peace-tie your prop weapon at the door.)

 

Kids' Knight Costumes to Wear for Renfest

Renaissance Festival Knight Costumes for Kids

Kids' Knight CostumeGirls' Knight OutfitToddler Knight CostumeBoys' Knight Crusader CostumeGirls' Knight CostumeRoyal Knight Outfit

Another popular Renaissance costume for kids, your little one will love wearing a knight outfit with a toy sword and shield. It's really fun if your kid loves to get into character, too! (See if they want to make their own knight name to use for the day.) Your child may even want to wear their knight costume after the Faire. They're certainly perfect as dress-up costumes or for Halloween!

 

Renaissance Faire Robin Hood Costumes

Renaissance Robin Hood Costumes

Realistic Robin Hood CostumeWomen's Robin Hood CostumeBoys' Robin Hood OutfitMen's Robin Hood TunicAdult Monk Costume

Is it really a Renaissance Festival without a Robin Hood show? We think not! There are quite a few Robin Hood costumes to choose from, including female Robin Hood outfits. Get monk robes for a Friar Tuck outfit and some peasant or tavern man costumes to outfit the rest of Robin Hood's band of merry men. You simply can't go wrong with this group costume idea for Renfest! These Halloween costumes are great excuses to get a prop bow and arrow set if you don't mind holding a weapon all day. Sure it's a little something extra to be juggling on Faire day, but you'll be able to take some great pictures!

 

Fantasy Costumes for Renfest

Renaissance Fantasy Costumes

Rose Fairy PrincessAdult Minotaur OutfitKids' Dragon CostumeWomen's Mermaid Costume
Adult Dragon OnesieGirls' Mermaid OutfitInflatable Centaur CostumeGirls' Fairy Costume

Do you remember tales about knights fighting dragons, people finding fairies in the forest and encountering other fantasy creatures? Mythical creature costumes are perfect for Renaissance Fests! You can even get a little inventive and make a DIY fantasy costume using a variety of horns, wings and other costume accessories! We're sure that you can pull off that faun costume or winged elf that you always wanted to be at the Faire. Mythical creatures are also very popular costumes, so no one would bat an eye if you used your costume again for Halloween or any other appropriately themed costume party.

 

Pop Culture Renaissance Costume Ideas

Pop Culture Renaissance Costumes

Gandalf CostumeQueen Arwen DressGandalf the WhitePrincess Aurora DressLabyrinth Jareth
Princess Bride Westley CostumeButtercup CostumeXena Warrior PrincessDaenerys CostumeKhal Drogo Outfit

Lots of fantasy movies and TV shows occur in a vaguely Renaissance-ish setting. While the Renaissance Faire is meant to teach us about life during that period and to keep some of those traditions alive, you will undoubtedly also see a number of people wearing pop culture costumes from fantasy settings. Some examples include The Princess Bride and Game of Thrones, along with some Disney princesses and The Lord of the Rings characters. (You're also probably going to see at least half a dozen Links from the Legend of Zelda games, and plenty of steampunk costumes.) If you merely want to have fun and you want to dress like the Dread Pirate Roberts, an Elven queen in a white dress or a Disney princess in a big ball gown, go for it!

 

Renaissance Costume Accessories

Renaissance Costume Accessories

Ram Horns AccessoryProp LanceShoulder Quiver48" Bow Prop WeaponGold King's Crown
Blue Dragon WingsKnight Sword and Shield SetWoodland Horn Accessory47" Sword PropBrown Boot Covers

What is a knight without a sword or Robin Hood without his bow and arrow? These Renaissance costumes and costume accessories go together like bread and butter. Anyone who wants to look authentic from head to toe might want to consider hats and shoes or boots covers. Also, as we mentioned earlier, the costume-savvy crafter can make a DIY Renaissance Faire costume and add a variety of horns, wings and other items. You'll be a hit once you set foot on the festival grounds!

 

We hope you have more than enough ideas for Renaissance costumes to wear to the Faire. Have you attended a Renfest before? Do you like to wear more traditional Renaissance costumes or are you into less historical costumes? Whatever your preferences might be, if you are a costume nerd, you'll want to check out your local Renaissance Festival. You can also easily reuse your costume for other parties and events!

Angela Poch
Angela Poch

Angela Poch is an Inbound Marketing Specialist and Resident Crazy Cat Lady at HalloweenCostumes.com, where she is an assistant editor and covers tutorials, crafting and pop culture. Angela has created costumes and props for Halloween events, conventions and Renaissance festivals.

Some of her favorite costumes include 90s Rogue, a custom Jedi, warrior elf, and some nameless Renaissance pirate. (She’s still figuring out how to make a Jedi light-chakram.) You can find her on Twitter @AngelaPoch1 or her cats on Instagram @stardustnebulanova.


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