Costume Serendipity
Costume Serendipity

In two weeks time, I will be going to a major LARP convention, featuring a variety of different genres of game. I’ve known this for months now. But it only -just- occurred to me that I would need not one, not two, but likely four separate costumes.

As a gal who takes her costuming seriously, I have to admit that I panicked slightly at the idea of coming up with four costumes at the drop of a hat, and in less than two weeks.

So, in a panic, I ran to my closet to see if there was anything I could throw together that might work.

I shouldn’t have worried. See, the great thing about LARP is that the longer you do so, the more costumes you amass. (Especially if you’re like me – every second-hand shop is a treasure trove of costume goodies, and so what if you don’t have anything in mind for that piece yet??) I had a long coat I’d worn to a Mafia LARP last year that would work for a steampunk costume when paired with a floofy ren-faire shirt, and said shirt was perfect for a Changeling game, while my standard vampire wear would work wonderfully for a dark world of nightmare game, and I just so happened to have a full set of samurai armor for the L5R game… (Every gal should have a full set of armor in her closet. You just never know when it might come in handy.)

So, what costume pieces could -you- not do without??

News: Posted June 9th, 2008 by Alina

^ 34 Comments to “Costume Serendipity”

  1. Jader Says:

    my pirate/stempunk/vampire pants or my renfaire/pirate/Napolionic war hat

    Posted June 9th, 2008 at 2:48 am
  2. Quinn Says:

    That is easy. My black poofy pirate shirt. So versatile for so many different roles!

    Posted June 9th, 2008 at 3:39 am
  3. Quinn Says:

    errr. by mine, I should say I stole it from Jill who stole it from some guy because she “boobed it out”. He says “Boobed out” I say Poofy!

    Posted June 9th, 2008 at 3:40 am
  4. Daebereth Says:

    My wigs and contacts. Can be used for ANYTHING, even last minute half-arsed costumes look good when fluro purple hair and demonic eyes are added.

    Posted June 9th, 2008 at 7:50 am
  5. Kabbalist Says:

    My black monk’s robe tops the list. Seriously, the thing is phenomenally versatile, and comfortable to boot. Add a clunky silver cross to play it straight, a staff to make it do Wizard duty, hood up or hood down to control the level of creepiness that goes with the “pale guy in a black robe” look.

    Posted June 9th, 2008 at 9:10 am
  6. Alondro Says:

    I don’t have any costumes yet, cuz I’m just a poor lab tech and we don’t get paid squat. 😛

    But I want an Ulquiorra outfit! He’s all cooly evil and stuff. >:}

    And about the comic: Noo! Look out! They’re going to KILL YOU!! Use your Spider Sense to detect the danger, you fool! :O

    Posted June 9th, 2008 at 9:19 am
  7. BobisOnlyBob Says:

    Currently, my bow, my daggers and my army surplus gear. I’m only in moderate-to-high combat boffer LARP systems at the moment.

    The Hunters seem geekier than the regular geeks.

    Posted June 9th, 2008 at 10:11 am
  8. Morag Says:

    Hrm. There’s several

    – My priest/pirate coat. Buttoned up, I look like a member of a holy order, unbuttoned, it’s long enough to be a fantasy pirate coat.
    – My corset. Instantly adds shape and an element of feminity that a lot of my costumes lack.
    – My red oak staff. 6ft of wayfarer, elf, ranger, wizard, Verbena/Akashic Brotherhood/Thyrsus/Child of Gaia ass kickery. Also serves as a walking aid for any older PCs
    – My cheap jewellery box. Contains a lifetime of junk jewellery, beads, leather cords, bits of broken tech, and other things. It frequently gets raided by other players
    – My ring belt and my belt pouch. Bless having something to hold torches, totem symbols, swords and character sheets on/in! Completes any fantasy or historical up to the 1700’s costume and compliments a lot of modern costumes, as well
    – My makeup box. Scars, birthmarks, vampire, islander and various fantasy skintones, open wounds… anything’s possible with a reasonable makeup kit, and looking the part from the base often does more for costume than any clothes

    Wow, tl:dr. But that’s because i’m a big LARPer.

    Posted June 9th, 2008 at 10:47 am
  9. I have a full Indiana Jones costume that I couldn’t live without.

    Posted June 9th, 2008 at 10:49 am
  10. -fedora (c`mon…you can do so much with that hat!…but then again, I have a penchant for playing 1930s-style private eyes)
    -hardwood dragon cane (two characters, possibly a third)
    -suit jacket (I admit, I`ve used the same two jackets for about 7 different characters across…5 different venues? [Sabbat, Changeling, Requiem, Awakening, Mortal])

    My costume wardrobe is pretty limited. Its my props that make the PCs, as I try to have a few different props for each.

    I admit…I’m also a LARPing nut.

    Posted June 9th, 2008 at 12:07 pm
  11. Cori Says:

    All my hats. And the corset and the big stompy boots, and the little plaid skirt.

    Posted June 9th, 2008 at 12:31 pm
  12. Alondro Says:

    I wish I could find the site that had some of the anime cosplay winners from this big convention. There was one guy dressed as Vash the Stampede who friggin looked like he stepped right out of the anime! He was physically built like Vash, had the same facial features, the same expression, managed to make his hair the same, NAILED the costume in every minute detail… I could only conclude that if a live-action movie was made of Trigum, he MUST be Vash!

    There were a couple other costumes like that which were almost spooky in their accuracy when combined with how much the cosplayer actually resembled the character physically.

    Posted June 9th, 2008 at 12:46 pm
  13. Caspar Says:

    Oh, you really own a O-yoroi? Now, if I were somewhere in the vicinity of the north american continent, i would be tempted to ask you for a date 😉

    And concerning LARPS, i did only two outdoor and some few vampires (poor me 🙁 ). But my linen trousers, my stock of shirts and my ecologist style wool pullovers alway come handy for this. See, there is more than one benefit to being an nerd, even when it comes to cosplay…

    Posted June 9th, 2008 at 1:49 pm
  14. jenny mcv Says:

    my must-have larp item: my Big Black Bitch Boots. Knee high, thick soles, metal buckles, and cherry black vinyl that looks red under the right lighting. They’ve worked for me for soooo many larp characters. Of course, I have bunches of random stuff that is easily applicable to various character types, but the boots are my favourite. 😛

    I think it’s incredibly awesome that almost everybody’s universal-larp item was described as belonging to the “pirate” category. Is there anything awesomer than pirates?

    Posted June 9th, 2008 at 9:25 pm
  15. Fox Says:

    Ooh ooh ooh! I actually just moved and rearranged all my clothes two days ago by usefulness of costuming (as my costumes take up two/thirds of what is in my closet >.>)

    1. White Poet Shirt with poofy white sleeves and lace trim. Good for any non-modern costuming.
    2. Green sleeveless vest for any non-mainstream modern costuming.
    3. Eyeliner Pencil, a gamer’s best friend ^.^

    Posted June 9th, 2008 at 10:52 pm
  16. kristycat Says:

    My granny dress.

    No, seriously. I have a dress that’s perfect for a little old lady. Now, you might think that this wouldn’t get much use, but you’d be surprised how often it becomes necessary to portray a little old lady! And you might think it would be easy to find another granny dress – they’re ubiquitous, right? Grannies wear them all the time. But I had to check 10 thrift stores to find it! Maybe they’ve stopped making granny dresses…

    Posted June 10th, 2008 at 12:02 am
  17. Morag Says:

    *reads up*

    Ahaha. Fancy seeing you here, Derek.

    Posted June 10th, 2008 at 8:48 am
  18. Hermian Says:

    Wait, major LARP convention? Two weeks time? Either there’s more than one (most likely), or I’m going to miss out on a big chance to meet Alina. To answer the question though, I couldn’t do without my belt-pouch, a huge honking thing that I made myself (It was not easy…) I’m in a high combat boffer LARP though, maybe find another one to join at some point.

    Posted June 10th, 2008 at 12:22 pm
  19. …Morag being who? I feel like I should know this one by now.

    Posted June 10th, 2008 at 3:34 pm
  20. Erin Says:

    Being rather new to this, besides young, I don’t have much but my pirate (wench) outfit: white button down dress shirt, black corsette, blue skirt with lots of ruffles, black leather boots, and copious amounts of jewelry. But I am getting a black duster soon!

    Posted June 10th, 2008 at 9:01 pm
  21. Catherine Says:

    I have a pair of black boots and a corset that I could not live without. I want to do LARPing, but I can’t find any in my area =( So does any one know of any in the San Francisco bay Area?

    Posted June 10th, 2008 at 9:57 pm
  22. John A Says:

    @Hermian – I believe the con Alina is talking about is SLARPcon which is the yearly LARP convention that takes place in Saskatoon. It is a major LARP convention for Saskatoon but if you compare it to other cons it is quite small. We are running 4 games. A Changeling LARP, a Urban Fantasy one that is sort of a combination of Heroes and Neverwhere, an Immortal Larp and a Legend of the Five Rings.

    For more information check out

    Posted June 10th, 2008 at 11:44 pm
  23. Allie Says:

    ahahahahaaa! i have a dress from the 80’s that closely resembles a tavern wenches dress! if you add the right props, you can be a pirate too! get your big black army boots, a small dagger (preferably a rubber/plastic one so no one gets an eye poked out), big hoop earrings with a few bangles, and a hankerchief to hold back your hair and you have yourself a sure-to-win!
    theres also my lovely little black dress. i did myself up to look like a newly born vamp and it was great! tussled hair, black smudges under an unnaturally pale complextion, and there you have it! my two favorite types of LARPs ^///^
    i also like to do the serious fantasy/science-fiction ones as well >,>’

    Posted June 10th, 2008 at 11:51 pm
  24. Alina Says:

    I totally agree that some great staples to have are a floofy pirate shirt, some awesome boots, a handful of cheap wigs (wigs are so versatile, and even a cheap Halloween wig can last a handful of games if taken care of!), and a really, really good makeup kit. (Yes, even for the boy LARPers. My buddy Quinn has a makeup kit to put mine to shame! Oh, the scar liquid!!)

    Oh, and Alondro, if you manage to get your hands on a good lab coat while lab tech-ing, they make -excellent- mad doctor costumes!

    Posted June 11th, 2008 at 1:02 am
  25. Morag Says:

    I don’t go by this tag usually- they call me Aussie_Katie in a lot of other places 🙂

    Posted June 11th, 2008 at 3:34 am
  26. steev Says:

    Like most of you, my pirate shirt (unbleached calico) takes the top slot because it works in almost any genre. And it’s sooo comfy too. Also high on the list are a pair of authentic dark ages boots for outdoor events. They’re warm, waterproof, comfortable and nigh on indestructible. Their hobnailed soles grip even on wet grass, great for combat – or just walking around and not falling on my ass.

    Posted June 11th, 2008 at 5:01 am
  27. gnrrrg Says:

    Too cheap to LARP, but when you say a LARP convention in 2 weeks are you referring to Origins or is there a con out there specifically for LARPs?

    Posted June 11th, 2008 at 6:50 am
  28. Cori Says:

    It’s a con specifically for larps, gnrrg, in Saskatoon. Small, but how much larping can one do in 48 hours anyways?

    Posted June 11th, 2008 at 2:52 pm
  29. Morag Says:

    Cori, you’d really really be surprised at that one. *has done six games plus political group meetings in 48 hours- it was mad*

    Posted June 12th, 2008 at 12:36 pm
  30. Allie Says:

    why must i live so far awaaaaay!??!?!? all the good conventions, even the small ones, are quite a distance from where i live… makes a girl cry outta frustrations sometimes…

    Posted June 12th, 2008 at 5:26 pm
  31. Rappunzill Says:

    My long black circle skirt with elastic at the top. It has looked kinky, formal, Renaissance, medieval, modern but feminine, and has fit me for ten years now, through many fluctuations of size. When in doubt, I start with that skirt.

    Posted June 13th, 2008 at 3:21 pm
  32. Erin Says:

    i dunno about LARPs, but i think the cons in reach of the bay area are DunDraCon, Conquest, and Comicon

    Posted June 14th, 2008 at 4:07 pm
  33. Nialias Says:

    A single silver charred ex-Naruto tag around my neck. It works with almost anything, even when not LARPing. I wear it to almost every game I go to, as a good luck thing.

    Posted June 15th, 2008 at 5:07 am
  34. cris Says:

    My black extensions. So expensive…but I’ve had so much use from them. Also those little “chinese” slippers…invariably useful from princess to peasant and everything pointy in between.

    Have fun slarp-conning!

    Posted June 20th, 2008 at 5:45 pm