Tuesday, June 20, 2017

I Can't Even

I Can't Even...
Sara 'Zarine' Jessop
… Tourney Fashion

Armor Created by

It's that time of year again, when our weekend activities tend to focus more on the competitive side of things. War maneuvers and one on one competitions are a fantastic way to get your body moving and get in shape. Unfortunately people also seem to think that it's a perfect opportunity to pull out their grimiest and most ill fitting clothing. Tournament fashion doesn't have to be terrible.

Now, you'll be fighting and running around all day, so formal wear is out of the question unless you are only there to spectate, and even then you'll likely want to dress a bit more comfortably for the summer weather. You'll want to keep practicality in mind while choosing your outfit as you are not looking to win a fashion competition, but rather a war maneuver. However, you can look good while dressed to kill, and I am here to tell you how.

Footwear is the most important thing. You'll want to be able to run, cut, jump, and stop quickly. You'll also need good ankle support as no one wants to deal with carting you and your disconnected foot off of the field. Boots are the obvious choice, though make sure you try them on with your leg armor before purchasing an expensive pair. And yes, you get what you pay for with footwear, so pony up and take care of your feet. The rest of your body will thank you. If your footwear is falling apart, either get it repaired or purchase a replacement. You will both look and feel better.

Pants and Shirts. Wear them. Of course there are all sorts of shirts and pants. You'll want something easy to move in, in a breathable and durable fabric, in a color that won't show stains. I prefer something tight for both as it won't get snagged on anything or anyone, specifically a weapon because before you know it your whole damn arm has fallen off. Of course the menfolk have some extra equipment so perhaps they prefer something a little baggier in their nether regions. There are pants out there with what is called a 'drop crotch'. I am not a big fan of them in a more formal setting, but for fighting they are fabulous. Others opt for shorts as they allow for more airflow. However if you are the type to spend a lot of time on your knees perhaps shorts aren't for you. Shirts can be sleeveless, but just remember that the armhole should not extend to your waist, giving us an unhindered view of your naked torso. It's not attractive. If your shirt has an attached hood remember to bring hair clips of some sort so that it doesn't fall off while running or due to wind. That's assuming that you have hair. If not, I hear that duct tape works. Just because clothing needs to be practical does not mean that they have to be boring. They can have interesting pockets, embroidery, and laces. Just make sure that none of the decorative items are going to interfere with your fighting skills, or lack thereof.

Belts. They hold your pants up, so they are quite important. They also can hold belt favors to denote your team or role, extra weapons, spell components and pouches. They allow you to display your pride in your knightly order. As an added bonus, you can also slap people with them, just remember to tuck it back in so that you don't trip over it while marching across the field. I imagine that would be quite embarrassing.

Armor. It should all match. It's understandable with folks new to competitive fighting, but don't be that guy who's been around for years and still looks like he got his armor from the loaner bin. And if you are a part of a nation your armor should all look similar enough that one of you doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. It should be well fitting both for practicality and visual appeal. And please for the love of whatever god you worship do not use duct tape on any portion of it. There are enough leather workers and ring crafters in the Realms for that not to be necessary. In an emergency it's understandable, but get it fixed as soon as possible. Clean it and care for it regularly, for it will both last longer and look better.

Tabards. Don't forget, lose, or otherwise not have your tabard. You'll never hear the end of it. Most nations in the realms don't have an official military uniform other than a tabard. On the field, it denotes who you fight for and represent. It's important and you can all learn an important lesson from me at ToC this year: be more careful with the important things and less worried about superficial ones. Take pride in your national heraldry and repair rips, remove stains and just keep it in over all good condition.

All of your clothing worn at such events should be cleaned immediately upon returning home. Do not leave it in your carriage for weeks, especially if it has gotten wet. Mold is not an attractive look on anyone and it could ruin your expensive leather armor. Metal armor can rust. Rust causes tetanus, which is something you do not want. After washing put it away in a way that will not cause it to become a wrinkled mess. You don't want to show up the next weekend looking like you just rolled out of bed.

And for goodness' sake wear clothing! I know it's summer and that it's hot but that is no excuse for running about in your skivvies. Make sure that the clothing you have chosen to wear is lightweight and comfortable enough so that you won't feel the desire to strip right on the field. Clothing protects you from scrapes and cuts, bug bites, and the harmful rays of the sun. And there is plenty of clothing that is not actual undergarments that will expose quite a bit of your body to the elements if that is what you so desire.

We have all gotten better at dressing up for formal events, but this progress has not extended into other events and it needs to. So I challenge you, dear reader, to not only improve your combat skills but your combat fashion as well. Find a way to look good while still winning. After all, don't you want those gold medals to rest on a chic background rather than a unstylish piece of cloth that looks like it came from the rag bag?

See you next Tuesday.

Zarine is the proprietor and Madam at Alchimia Lupanar, a magic marshal approved practitioner of medicine, an award winning author, and has 36 years of experience in giving her unsolicited opinion. 


  1. Hi there,
    a customer came across your blog and recognised our armour, but was surprised no credit to the creators or "by kind permission of" etc... I am sure it is merely an oversight, but you have chosen a shoulder armour that's been admired by over 100,000 people over the last months and someone was bound to notice. I'm assuming your request email just got lost in transit, but would kind request either removal or credit please.

    Kindest regards

    Martin from LARP FASHION

  2. Martin, our apologies for the faux pas. I add Credit to Black Raven Armories.

  3. thank you, much appreciated :)