National Starter Kit

An offshoot of a different thread, what would you say is a basic kit of each nation? The inexpensive starting point that would immediately identify someone as from a nation? Please refer to male and female dress (if appropriate). I’ll edit this
first post as appropriate

I am focusing on a beginner making their initial kit as to be honest this is often the cheapest way

General advice
Colour is a strong determinate of where you’re from along with cut. Rich colours such as blues and reds will often have you mistaken for Dawn, whereas paler flowing clothing you will get taken for Urizen. Colour is very important and you should think carefully about it, regardless of your budget. For materials don’t go to to mainstream places, find your local market, which often sell discount fabric, or there are discount haberdashery around. Failing that charity shops are your friend, for materials cutting up old curtains and bedsheets can work, depending on the outfit.

Mandala did a £30 kit challenge, which images from this is available here. This is particularly useful for Brass Coast, Suaq Wintermark players, Urizen, Dawn, Navarr, Varushka and Imperial Orcs

Improving your Kit
It is more than just your kit, it’s what you have around you kit and it can be easily supplemented by accessories. A good guide is a available on the wiki here.

A basic white or black Tunic or simple is a good start. Beyond that Kirtle, Cote, Surcote or a High Status Dress. If you have little to no confidence with Sewing a Tabard with your Chapters symbol on could be a cheap addition.

Uniformity is important with the Highguard but this is best communicated with a unifying symbol and colours on your costume with your group mates.

  • Imperial Orc
  • The League
  • The Marches
  • Navarr

The Navarri colours are marked by their enviroment, with heavy earth and forest tones:
Navarrcolours

A simple Tunic is always a good start, but this isn’t necessarily the case with Navarr as the most important thing is layering. Fur and leathers are the go to choice, and these can look patched and repaired in a pragmatic fashion. For acquiring furs and leathers charity shops are again your friend, acquiring several items, aging them to give a lived in feel.

Varushka in terms of costume are quite similar to Wintermark in that the basic kit is a Tunic, however, the colours are very different as the Varushkans favour bright vibrant colours. You could also use one of the alternative patterns. You could try using an alternative pattern such as with decorated hems. A hat is always a useful addition and there is an excellent simple pattern available on the wiki. For both a hat and tunic fur trims are a great addition, scouring charity shops for outfits and collars for fur clothes then cutting them up for the trim is a great way to do it. I purchased a few fur items the other week such as a womans sleeveless fur jacket for £3 - it doesn’t even come close to fitting me of course but it’s perfect cutting fodder. Trousers for Varushkans are the baggy “hero pants” style and so very different from Wintermarks, these can be a pain to make, and are often cheaply available online from £12, so I’d generally recommend just buying a pair

Wintermarks basic outfit is the T Tunic which the wiki has an excellent guide. Purchasing material you can make a tunic with a needle and thread for less than £10. With three distinct groups within Wintermark Steinr, Suaq and Kallavesi, your colour and style choice of Tunic will mark you out. An accessory that will do well in all three tribes of Wintermark will be a hood, which they favour over hats. Fortunately a simple Skjoldehamn Hood is very easy to make with a pattern easily available online with an accompanying sew through video. Trousers are tight fitting can be as simple a pair of simple plain joggers which can be hidden with tunic, or you can make a simple pair with patterns, however this is more challenging than a simple tunic so it sometimes buying a pair

Suaq favour very pale colours so ensuring your Tunic is suitably pale will mark you as a Suaq. The inclusion of painted on animals would especially mark you so. A hood and trousers would follow similar colours

Steinr prefer Dark shades of greens, blues, reds and browns along with metals. These have the easily identifiable Saxon/Rohan/Northern GoT Houses look. Having a very simple embroidered trim would be good, Claire made and excellent guide for simple embroidery. A hood and trousers would follow similar colours

Kallavesi prefer drab colours like dark grey, smoke and moss, reminiscent of the bogs and marshes they come from. I personally think a Kallavesi Tunic would be the easiest for a novice as frayed edges and the “rough” look is a good look. Adding a few feathers (go for a walk and pick up any black feathers you find, make sure to clean them) and wooden beads would do more to mark you as Kallavesi. A hood and trousers would follow similar colours and styles.

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here is somthing on Urizen kit

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Highguard: Black or white shirt or tunic and trousers. Add black or white hood or veil.

A long robe or dress in black or white would also work, preferably with slim sleeves not drapey ones.

If you only have a small budget adding a decorative stole (long strip worn around the neck and reaching the knees both sides) with virtuous designs, appropriate runes or labyrinth patterns is probably the most impressive thing to add. Can be done with half a meter of polycotton and a contrasting coloured fabric pen.

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For the league:

Every One:
A mask, simple domino or extravagant masquerade mask, it up to you. Try to avoid something obviously plastic, or make one up Blue Peter style in paper-mache.

A hat, with feathers. The fancier the better but simple hats work just as well with some additional decoration. Wax seals on pin badges, ribbons, feathers, a charm ect. Style to look at are berets, Tallenberets (Very easy to make simply 2 disks of cloth with a space for your head, square on top to cover). there are Snood looking things that are great for long hair made from wool or fleece.

Rings, avoid taking anything valuable on the field but rings are especially important to the league and it would be rare you would have none. (This could be a character point)

Basic Soft Kit

Men and Women:
Think Shakespeare (a gross over simplification but will do).
No ruffs. Contrasting colour leggings and harem pants will make do as a pantaloon/tights combo when the ankle is pulled over the calf.
Big billowy shirts/hero shirts (lace trim is too modern but for one event no one will care too much).

Anyone else weigh in?

There’s some helpful stuff on the wiki:

https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Costume_advice - lots of ‘How To’ links in there

Redirecting... Mandala making a complete outfit for each nation that cost them less than £30 each.

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These pants are very simple to make, you could even draw your pattern on wrapping paper if need be

For a really really super basic, easy tunic you could use this T-tunic - Craft Tutorials but bear in mind, you may end up with sleeves that don’t reach your wrists id you are tall like me (5ft )

This was basically my first kit.

A very simple brass coast kit would be harem pants, a tunic style shirt, a sash or scarf toed around the waist or hips as a belt rather than a leather belt, lots of cheap and cheerful gold tribal style fashion jewellery, and a tagelmust. Even if the rrst of your kit is simple, you’ll fit right in with the coast as soon as you put a tagelmust on your head! At its most basic a tagelmust is a long strip of cloth wound in a specific way - there are plenty of tutorials online.

Colours are bright, flame colours or ocean colours primarily feature. Absolutely no black or white on clothing - white would mark you as being in poverty, and black signifies death. Fabrics should generally be light and flowy, so layers are key to keeping warm, though it’s entirely possible to get some very appropriate coats that are heavier weight (mine is a brocade and is fleece lined). Scarves with beads and sequins or sparkly trim are an easy way to add layers and sparkle at the same time. I’m pretty sure you could make an entire Freeborn outfit out of scarves if you put your mind to it :grin:

Costume stops at the ankle, but should you want your footwear to be IC as well, jewelled slippers are perfect.

The overall look should display the influence of moorish spain and morocco.

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