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 (22kb)

Download Medieval tunic pattern (87kb)

Click here for help with these pdf files


 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 .
Clown Around . grenfell st city 82322755.
Fantasia . somerton park . 82946100 ..

Centre stage . flinders 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 in Mt Barker – 8391 4518


Interesting links for costume ideas:

Stall Decorations

Click here for stall decoration ideas (1.48mb)

Click here for help with this pdf file