Photo by Wigwam Jones
Brave knights. Lovely ladies in fine clothing. If you are looking for costume ideas that are always in style — and rich in color and diversity — the Middle Ages and the Renaissance are great places to look. Men and women can find a wide variety of colorful costumes, accessories and even hairstyles when they look to medieval times and to the Renaissance. These two eras in history offer options for romance and color, valor and villainy.
Fairy tales and epic adventures take place during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and you can bring the magic alive, whether you plan to where your costume to a Renaissance Faire or whether you are simply looking for a fun Halloween costume for the kids. Here are 20 web sites where you can learn about the Middle Ages and the Renaissance — and get some great costume ideas:
- About.com Medieval History: This is a great place to go to learn a little bit more about the Middle Ages. Learn about specific people that were famous then (and see paintings of them for costume ideas), and learn about what life was like. Also dips a little bit into the Renaissance.
- Got Medieval: Carl Pyrdum is a graduate student with a passion for all things medieval. Get his take on the culture of the Middle Ages, and how it relates to pop culture today. Additionally, you can also get some great costume ideas from the images of paintings, manuscripts and tapestries available on the site.
- In the Middle: Get an idea of what was like in the Middle Ages from this “study group” web site. While the site’s main focus is medieval times, you might also find information on more recent and related happenings, from seminars on the subject to meet-ups. Some of the images available offer great inspiration for costumes.
- News for Medievalists: This blog is a foray into medieval art, society, culture, history, literature and architecture. Images can help you come with great costume ideas, as well as help you learn a little more about the Middle Ages. Get the latest happenings in the world of those who love medieval culture, and connect with others who share your passion for all things medieval.
- Medieval Material Culture Blog: Get helpful links to modern happenings based around the Middle Ages. Links to medieval paintings and other images are especially helpful for those looking to recreate the clothing of that time period.
- A Corner of Tenth-Century Europe: Fantastic look at Europe in the 10th century. Includes images, maps, articles of interest and history lessons on Europe as it really began emerging as an influence on Western Civilization.
- Nan Hawthorne’s Booking the Middle Ages: This blog focuses on books about the Middle Ages, and writing with a medieval sensibility. Images provide inspiration, and the blog itself offers helpful information on medieval times, as well as literature.
- StevenTill.com: Steven Till loves the Middle Ages, and shows it with his blog. Links to interesting sites and articles are included on this blog, as are interesting facts about the Middle Ages.
- Medieval Bookworm: Meghan is interested in all things medieval — especially books about the Middle Ages. This is a great blog to read if you are interested in fiction, especially fiction about the Middle Ages.
- Living the History: This looks at modern interpretations of the Middle Ages, courtesy of Elizabeth Chadwick, who writes historical fiction. Enjoy her experiments and research, and see how you can put together your own realistic costumes related to medieval times.
- Writing the Renaissance: This blog is written by Julianne Douglas, who has a Ph.D. in French literature. She enjoys writing fiction set in 16th century France. Her passion is helping people understand Renaissance Europe. Included on the site are interesting interviews with other authors, as well as images that provide a look at Renaissance costuming.
- Renaissance Magazine: Yes, there is an entire publication devoted to the Renaissance. Visit the web site to learn about the Renaissance and even buy related merchandise. If you actually get the magazine, you can imagine the awesome costume ideas you are bound to get by looking at modern interpretation of Renaissance style.
- All About Renaissance Faires: Renaissance faires take place all over the country and the world. If you are interested in getting some background on the Renaissance, and learning a little bit more about how to participate in Renaissance faires (including what to wear), this is a good place to start.
- Hoydens and Firebrands: This is a collection of ladies who write about the 17th century. This blog about a portion of the Renaissance includes biographies (in case you want to be someone specific), history and places. Plenty of images to go along with the information.
- The Raucous Royals: While not specifically confined to the Renaissance, there are plenty of posts and pictures related to the Renaissance era. The focus is on royalty, so you can get a number of great costume ideas relevant to kinds and queens, princes and princesses.
- Tudor Book Blog: The Tudors ruled during the Renaissance. And if you are looking for distinctive costuming, you can’t go wrong when you consider ideas based on images of Queen Mary (the Spanish Tudor), Mary Queen of Scots (even though she wasn’t a Tudor), King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I. As a bonus, you can learn about current literary efforts in fiction and non-fiction based upon the Tudor era.
- Tudor History Blog: Another blog focused on the rule of the Tudor family. Interesting tidbits and information for events planned by and for those who love this interesting and turbulent era in European history.
- Versailles and More: Novelist Catherine Delors takes you on a tour of late Renaissance France. A fascinating look at history, including images of paintings and more. A treasure trove of fancy costume ideas.
- Renaissance Faire: This site includes a helpful blog, videos of different Renaissance Faire happenings and costumes, as well as a directory of related sites and helpful hints. Some of the more popular videos include belly dancing. Yes, there was plenty of belly dancing during the Renaissance.
- Renaissance Faire Homepage: Want to attend a Renaissance Faire? This blog web site will help you figure out where to find faires across the U.S., as well as provide you with historical perspectives and specific advice and help with costuming and accessories.