Costume help/ideas for a marcher sailor/ship captain

Hi all!

I was wondering if you could help me out with ideas for what a marcher ship captain could possibly wear, E1 this year will be my second event and I am looking at ways I could improve my costume to make it fit my character profession.

That is a very good question.

The Marcher culture seems very traditional-English in nature. Have you looked at the elements of a traditional English sailor’s costume? There might be some things you can incorporate into your costume. The colours blue and white are the first things that come to my mind, and stripes, and brass buttons. I know that sailors in the 18th century wore loose, wide trousers, although that is outside the Marcher time period.

I would start by looking at what sailors wore in the Marcher time period (12th century to War of the Roses, so from 1100 to the 1450s-1480s), and see if you get any inspiration from that. You could also look at what says ‘ship captain’ to you and see if you can incorporate those elements into your costume in some way.

You could also talk to other Marcher ship captains and see what they wear.

Good luck with it. I think with some reasearch you will be able to produce an amazing costume.


P.S. This link might help, although I can’t vouch for its accuracy:

P.S.2 Just another thought - are you a member of a household (any Marcher who owns land can be a household and declare a livery)? If you are, can the household livery show sea-faring in some way, e.g. blue and white stripes, a crest with showing an anchor or a ship or a fish/whale/dolphin of some sort?

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My intial thoughts are, however please note I know every little about the marchers costume brief!!

Are look at films like Elizabeth the golden age and also Shakespeare’s in love and there have been some great bt productions too specifically the white queen springs to mind. I think they represent great costumes for the period and also portray some great captains too. However you may need to adapt them to bring them into the brief.

It’s not a huge help but might point you in the right direction.

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Not a Marcher, so I’m not even nearly 100% with the brief, but I picture a heavy coat, probably waxed, which would protect you from the elements out at sea.

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This came up a while ago on the Marcher Fb group and someone suggested this style of costume could work.

It’s old icelandic costume, but waxed canvas or leather for some bits of costume could work for a marcher sailor.


Hey, yeah I started having a proper dig around on pinterest for some ideas and I did come across that picture which I have included in my pinterest board for my character. I also came across this picture that I really like the style of, and have been using it as one of my main sources of reference, I think it keeps well with the marches brief of being practical, rugged clothes made for working in.

The only downside I can find is when it is in the colder months or when it gets dark I might have to put long johns on under the breeches but that should be ok as it could look almost like this picture.

I really like the first picture with the shirt, breeches and waistcoat/vest/thingy. If you made the vest thingy to button in the front, like a jerkin, I think you would be right on brief for the Marchers.

Maybe you could add a waxed canvas T-Tunic and hat as per the Icelandic picture for inclement weather?

Long tight trousers are part of the Marcher brief as well, so maybe a pair of those for colder weather/nighttime? Otherwise the long johns will probably look like hose and be on brief as well. It all depends on what you want to wear.

I’d love to see a picture when you finish assembling your kit. It should look wonderful.