Costume Ideas

Costume ideas for the medieval fair

Costumes add to the personal fun of the fair and look of authenticity can be achieved easily and inexpensively.

There are innumerable reference books, illustrations, and films etc. that depict the various facets of Medieval live, ideas and customs. These may inspire you to dress in a particular style. If you haven’t made up your mind or are thinking of changing, or adding to your existing costume, perhaps the following background information will help you.


The medieval periods of the early or (Dark) Ages, to the later High Middle Ages is popularly known as being in Western Europe between the 5th and 15th Century. (i.e. between the end of the Classical Greece and Roman times to the advancements beginning the Renaissance, or 475AD to 1475AD). The high Middle Ages refers to that time which we often see portrayed in films. The terminology is used to show that this was the time when the many advances of the Middle Ages reached their highest point. After the chaos of the Dark Ages, things were starting to settle down, and a new culture and way of life was developing. It was a time, also, when many modern nations, especially England, France and Germany, had their real beginnings, and when the European culture was starting to grow and expand out into the rest of the world.

Some keywords associated with this period are Barbarians, Dark Ages, Romanesque, Early Christian, Byzantium, Christendom, Gothic, Normans, Franks, Saxons, Monarchies, Crusades, Feudalism, Chivalry, Castles, and Knights.


This period was much different than the one we live in today. It was characterised by almost total illiteracy amongst the lower classes and lack of communication between people, absolute deference to authority, particularly males, Lords and the church. There was magic and superstition including strict divisions in society where everyone knew their place. Each group or class had their own codes of behaviour and dress.

These class groups were:

The Church – Bishops, friars, priests, monks, abbots, nuns, knight templars, and pilgrims

The Ruling Class – Kings, queens, lords, ladies, nobles and knights

The Working Class – Merchants, craftsmen, tradesmen, soldiers (mercenaries, and conscripts) peasants, entertainers, huntsmen, vagabonds, outlaws and gypsies


For example a working class Foot Archer (conscript), around 1330, English / Welsh would wear:

  • Outer-garments – long sleeve, green and white tunic (half and half vertically), and from wool or linen with brown tunic/cloak or wool or linin for warmth
  • Under-garments – Wool or linen singlet or underpants with brown or blue hose (substitute cotton or knitted fabric)
  • Headwear – shoulder hood with liripipes over white skullcap
  • Hairstyle – medium length
  • Footwear – soft leather ankle boots, with hard sole
  • Accessories and weapons – Bracer, buckler, purse(s), six arrow in belt(s), 3′ sword, longbow, 6′ staff

Download full text as a pdf file

Download Medieval tunic pattern

 List of known Costume Shops That people use for the Fair:

Valentines Evanston Park 85233833
An Illusion Valley View 82615175
Alakazam Smithfield 82843403
Dressed To Kill Port dock markets, Port Adelaide.83952363..0411768975 Sunday & public holidays.
Krazy Kapers Hillcrest 82663500
Fantasia. Somerton Park 82946100
Centre stage Flinders St city 82326047
Mask-o-rades Hindmarsh 83463928
Theatre costume shop Wright St City. 82314231
Kool 4 Kats Melvern 82728461
Chaos bazaar Glandore. 82933500
Costume Land Melrose Park. 83744760
FancyThatOnBeachRoad 90d Beach Road, Christies Beach, 883848835
B’kostumed Mt Barker – 8391 4518


Stall Decorations

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