Where to buy kit on the high street

Since we’ve had a lot of new players lately who might not own a lot of LARP kit (plus this may be of interest to more experienced players), I have a few tips for where to find kit cheaply and easily that might be of interest. This is aimed at women as I know a lot less about where to buy mens clothes that happen to look LARPy.

PRIMARK. No seriously, almost every character I have ever played has had some Primark kit. They often do faux fur coats, linen trousers that work as base kit for almost anything, and occasionally faux leather tops and trousers that could pass for LARP kit. More recently they have been really into the bell sleeve trend and some tops could work well in Dawn or Urizen. Avoid their military style coats for Empire as they’re way off brief, but worth buying for other games.

TK Maxx. Variable from store to store but a couple of months ago I struck gold as they had linen tunics perfect for Wintermark just before the heat death of the universe at E2. I don’t know if they will still have any. I also got a nice rough looking faux fur coat from there, a bit more expensive than Primark but not too steep.

Sainsbury’s. They have also picked up on the bell sleeve trend and also have a lot of natural looking fibre tops with embroidery. They look really good for Varushka, some could work in Dawn or Wintermark.

Not sure if they still do them but I got a nice beige/brown woollen hat from H&M a while back. Headwear is really important for staying warm, a wooly hat in the region of £5 that blends in for LARP is amazing.

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I’ve been looking for some Brass Coast gear but can’t really find much where I live.

I’ve looked in all the charity shops I could find and there really isn’t much same with primark and other big chains, any tips or ideas?

I’d probably look at Asian clothes shops for that sort of thing.

There is squat for Brass Coast in my local charity shops, but by going a couple of towns over with a different ethnic mix I’ve had more luck.

They’ve also had more curtains, and given 80% of my kit is made of second hand curtains that was a great discovery!

Do remember when charity shop hunting that the rails for the other gender are also perfectly valid options.

Women’s flat fronted draw string linen trousers will fit a male figure absolutely fine, loose cotton shirts with buttons at the neck will fit most chest sizes, even if it’s not the size you would usually buy.

And trying the next town over is usually an excellent option if you’ve been round all your local ones.

As a Varushkan who was trawling south london charity shops and markets for kit this summer, I can tell you that’s a great place to find Brass Coast kit and absolutely nothing Varushkan.

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Any places in particular?

Also curtains sound like a good idea, any ideas for nice boots that don’t cost the earth? I’ve been looking at brown riding boots

Not to draw anyone a map to my home or anything, but the area I was shopping in that seemed to be plentiful with Brass Coast bits and bobs was Deptford. Also nice boots that are also cheap boots that are also great to walk around in the mud in are on about the same level of unicorns, but best of luck to you.

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I covet a good pair of boots, but have to make do with brown walking boots. Dry feet are more important than stylish feet (although clearly both is good). Try to avoid anything too modern looking but walking boots or shoes in a discreet colour will be fine.

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I recommend looking at charity shops online as well, Oxfam has a particularly good online store that is full of things that could be LARP worthy if you’re willing to adjust them a little.

As OP mentioned TK Maxx is great although can be a little dear. I picked up one of the tunics mentioned, dyed it and roughened it up a little a that was my basic Navarri shirt made. I also found some handy parts in New Look, that didn’t need anything done to make them usable which means I can also use them outside of empire.

I find that if it’s really a struggle to find something appropriate it can be fairly easy to get hold of dye or even just the classic teabag or coffee will do (although not so much for brass coast) in which case any pale colours can be altered at least a little to maybe make them fit the brief a little more.

It may be that shops like Primark etc are also seasonable so many of the bright clothes suited to the brass coast will be out of the stores for the winter so they may begin to appear again around the start of next year in preparation for summer so you may have more luck looking then rather than now.

Oxfam online is often very good for brass coast things and sometimes you can find real gems on there that look like they were absolutely made to be worn at empire so I recommend trying that at least for the little bit of brass coast bling.

For my League kit, beige jodhpurs from Sports Direct or similar make acceptable (if plain) hose. (I picked the knee patches off :slight_smile: )

I’ve had a lot of luck with buying plain leather boots online; if you’re not squeamish, second-hand boots off eBay are usually cheap and worth a punt. Again, not flashy, but cheap and “good enough”. I think I paid a tenner for my current pair.

For the fall season I’ve noticed Sainsbury’s have some plain but IC-ish boots. Can’t speak to their quality but they look nice.