It is the early-to-mid 1600s. You are bold. You are beautiful. You are free- for now. But Oliver Cromwell calls you godless, and Oliver Cromwell is determined to destroy your King, Charles II. Cromwell is a dangerous man to cross. You are, quite possibly, doomed.
Cavaliers was a pejorative name for the supporters of Charles II. The name was quickly reclaimed by the people it described as a positive thing; they called their enemies (the puritans), “roundheads”. The differences in dress between the two groups were not extreme to our outsiders’ eyes, but one of the chief differences was the extravagant feathers that graced the wide-brimmed beaver felt hats of the cavaliers (source). So, if you consider yourself a loyal servant of the monarchy, get your feathers and let us ride!
Cavalier-Style Dark Brown Pirate Hat via Hats by Violette. Wool. Ships to US only. $95 USD
Half the world is slowly marching towards summer; the other half is slowly sliding into winter. Every larper who doesn’t live in a desert probably needs their rain boots right about now!
The Wellington boot is the common ancestor of rubber rain boots in most of the world. The basic shape was made popular by the Duke of Wellington when he had a pair of Hessian boots altered around 1815. The Iron Duke was a military hero of the United Kingdom, and his style quickly spread amongst the wealthy young men of era (source).
The original Wellington boot was made of leather, but the industrial revolution was busy changing the face of Europe, and in 1850 this resulted in the rubber version of the boot. The leather version would see action in the American Civil War, while the rubbers would become a staple of trench warfare in World Wars I and II.
Nowadays they’re used in many parts of the world, in many contexts. Shown above is a clip from a gumboot dance, the modern child of a form of communication developed in South Africa by workers who were forbidden from speaking while working the mines (source). Think about that, when you’re crafting evil overlords for your adventurers to defeat, or when your characters are laboring under the rule of a tyrant- people have found ways to join together, in spite of terrible things. A boot that started as the fashion of foppish Englishmen became a symbol of oppression and freedom at the same time. Your characters will find their way to freedom- and in doing so, change the very meaning of things in your world.
It seems as though the French Cuff evolved along side the cuff link; however the “French” part either stems from Napoleon’s desire to hide the snot on his soldiers’ sleeves, or the popularity of the garment in France thanks to Dumas’ “The Three Musketeers”, or both; this is the sort of thing that’s going to require more offline research on my part, so expect a follow-up post. In the mean time:
1950s Pink and White Stripe Dotted Swiss Cotton via Oldclothes. Cut for people with breasts. Ships worldwide. $10 USD
Vintage Esquire Nylon French Cuffs Shirt via BarberryLane. Cut for people without breasts. Ships to US only. $10 USD
Vintage Ivory Blouse/French Cuffs via SarahKates. Cut for people with breasts. Ships worldwide. $30 USD
Shown Above: Brooks Brothers University Stripe French Cuff via A Days Work. Cut for people without breasts. Ships worldwide. $38 USD
The problem of how to artfully hold ones sleeves closed at the wrist is a relatively recent one; as a common problem, it is more recent still. It implies a certain luxury of cut- there needs to be enough fabric for a gape in the first place, after all.
This is bore out by the history of cuff links as a fashion item. Prior to the 1600s in Europe, sleeves that needed to be held closed were closed with ribbons or laces. It wasn’t until the 1600s that buttons, connected by a bit of chain, became the trend. (source) (These are similar to the modern silk knot, which dates from 1901.)
The modern form of cuff links were born in the 1880s, when George Krementz invented a machine that was capable of producing them; the industrial revolution and economies of scale meant that cuff links were much cheaper to obtain. (However, it wasn’t until the 1920s that the T shape shown above was invented.) Combined with their popularity, this also made them much more common across Europe and its current/former colonies.
The end of their ubiquity came around the 1970s, when shirts with buttons already on the sleeve largely replaced the French cuff. (source) Nevertheless, the French cuff has never entirely fallen out of fashion, which means cuff links are still readily available.
Set of 10 Vintage Cufflinks by Cockroach Shop. Ships worldwide. $2 USD
Rectangular Silvertone Chainlink Cufflinks by The Foundry 12. Ships to US only. $8 USD
Shown Above: High Seas Cuff Links by The Lysine Contingency. Ships worldwide. $17 USD
Wrap Around Black Leather Cufflinks by CuffCuff. Ships worldwide. $48 USD
Things I Love Thursday: Featuring the Most Cheerfully Menacing Photo I Have Ever Seen
The Crazy Costumes of Maurice Grunbaum ~ I Want You To Lick My Ice Cream ~ 38 THOUSAND Historical Maps Digitized and Free ~ So, Knutepunkt 2013 Happened ~ It Came With Instructions ~ Punny Cattle Branding for Fun and Profit
Emergency! Emergency! This awesome kickstarter only has five more days to meet its goal and I reeeeeeeeally want this movie to exist!
The story is told through the eyes of Karen, a new LARPer who is unsure how she is going to fit in when she joins her older sister’s overly enthusiastic adventuring group. Reclusive Karen is thrown headfirst into the fantasy world of Mariador, a land where magic flows freely and conflicts are often resolved with the blade of a sword. Things seem to be going well until she mistakenly opens a mysterious treasure box, releasing an evil into the world that has been kept secret for aeons.
Working together with new friends, she’ll have to undo the damage she’s caused, learn the rules to the game, and avoid dying if at all possible. Like LARPing in general, it’s full of exciting action scenes. Swashbuckling adventurers. Dangerous caves. Heroes. Evil monsters. Terrifying apparitions. And – most importantly, some would say – bacon. - Basic Adventuring 101