Dress in comfortable clothing, similar to what you would wear to go for a picnic in a park or out for a hike. Be sure to wear a good pair of shoes as Fort Tyron Park is very large and you will be doing a lot of walking. Also, due to the time of year the Festival is held, it would be wise to bring a light windbreaker/waterproof jacket. Be sure to check your weather channel the night before to know how to dress.
YES! You are more than welcome and encouraged to dress up in Medieval Costume if you like.
All of the performers and volunteers will be dressed in costume as it definitely helps to lend an authentic air to the festivities, making the Festival even more like a trip back in time.
One of the first things you need to decide is if you want to be a noble or a peasant. Keep in mind that although the noble does get to wear fancy, beautiful clothing, it is often heavy and hot, you can't sit down on the dirt in it and it can be expensive to dry clean. Being a peasant has the advantage that the clothing is often comfortable and light, you can sit anywhere you would like and mostly is machine washable. But the choice is up to you and your imagination.
Independent Pattern Companies - These are smaller companies that offer more historically accurate patterns that are often much simpler to sew than most commercial patterns. Quality of instructions and service vary though.
Free Basic Patterns for Lady's Medieval Clothing- For the intermediate sewer, printable cutting diagrams to layout on fabric, perfect for basic wardrobe.Commercial Pattern Companies- While the advantages of being able to find these patterns at almost any local fabric store and even on sale are great, often these patterns are more difficult than necessary and not very accurate. If you are more comfortable using a pattern company you know, than you can find acceptable medieval patterns under the "Costumes" section of each catalog, usually toward the back.
Websites and Address of Rental Companies within the Tri-State Area. Also includes sites that sell affordable costumes.
Most costume rental companies have a small selection of medieval or renaissance clothing that you can rent for the day. Just look under Costumes in your local yellow pages. I have included a small selection I found below also.
When contacting these companies be sure to specify the date you would need the costumes and have your families measurements already taken:
Length from waist to floor
Around the upper chest
Around the neck
Length of the arms
Be sure to ask for a final price over the phone so you not surprised at the register. Rental places often have extra fees they must charge- such as for alterations and re-stocking. Often, the more you rent, the greater chance you can bargain for a discount.
Frank Bee Costumes Infant- adult, located in the Bronx, also sells on-line. 718-823-9792
Creative Costume Co. NYC, Adult clothing only, rental and sales. 212-564-5552
Costume Depot NJ, rental and sales. 973-492-6090