tisdag 25 februari 2014

Wish I'd known

Having two wardrobes has been a hard thing for me. It takes a while getting used to the different styles and choices of material when you’re more used to beanies, sloppy jersey tops and biker boots. I’ve made a number of embarrassing mistakes during my career as a reenactor, the kind that’s hard to avoid even when you have nice friends who tell you what to make and how to wear it. This is my 2014 letter to my 2007 self:

"A time of grace and chivalry."

“Dear Anna,

I’ve already ranted about overly generous skirts and trains. Also, about the fact that sleeves that are too tight will cut off circulation, even if they seem fine while fitting – bending your arms will immediately tell you that skin-tight garments are reserved for people who do nothing but taunt the nearby peasants all day long. You’ve got the taunting down, now let’s move on to the basic fitting. 

Lacing in the back is horribly impractical and not very historically correct either, since you’re doing 14th century clothing. Lacing on basic shifts is just WTF. You might want to come across as the supposedly sexy larp elf you once imagined yourself to be, but back lacing comes with the added humiliation of not being able to dress yourself. And one day, you’ll be stressed out and in a hurry to get out of the tent, and there will be spiders and earwigs inside and a rampant cooking fire outside, and the softlens lacing-up one-on-one with that fake Aragorn dude you spotted yesterday will be totally ruined. 

Bonus feature for reenactors everywhere.
DO NOT squash and flick. It only gets worse.

 Windspeeds are directly related to the number of pins you need to secure your veil and the added whatnots that cover your throat and keep the whole bundle stuck to your head. Do resist the urge to tie your headband (or the strings of your St Bridget’s cap) as tightly as you can, especially over braided buns or other bumps on the skull, such as ears… It will give you a headache in no time, and hurts like a bitch when you take it off. The headwear makes you feel stupid? Don’t worry, it will pass. 

Socks are better made a little too large than a little too tight. The air pocket inside will provide added warmth, enable circulation and allow for some natural fulling from wear. You are not a size 4. 

Buttons on dresses meant to be worn undeneath other dresses are a complete waste of time. Not only are they totally fucking invisible – they will create a weird sort of “spine” on the front of the outer garment, and make it pucker.

You cannot for the life of you imagine what a laughing-stock the contrasting gores will be in a few years. You cannot. 

Tiny stitches are (sometimes) vastly overrated. Especially when sewing wool panels together. Your OCD will not pay off in this case. Repeat: Your OCD will not pay off. 

“Reasonable deduction” as source claim will cause more tears and arguments than the result is actually worth. For you, for everyone. What this means is that you will not look like an character out of Fable III or any incarnation of the Assassin’s creed dude. It seems the real people of the Middle Ages looked plain silly. In no way will you get away with imposing your larp-goth issues on an outfit while at the same time appearing historically correct. Just give it up. Learn to enjoy looking like a loser.    

Yours, you.”

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