Costume: Details

3 juni 2017 Door Alexandra Hofman

Details are very important to your costume, they can change a dull costume to something vibrant and magnificent. There is so much to say about costume details but a lot depends on you and your character. This isn’t some general guide for details, but there are some tips and tricks you can keep in mind.
Keep reading! Alexjuh

As I said before, details are very important to your costume. There are so many different pieces that can be used as details. They can be either small or large but details are what can make your costume stand out.
What those details are depends highly on your character, your basic costume, the money you’ve got available, time and, most of all, what you like.

Details can be separate pieces of accessories such as jewellery or a coat of arms on a costume piece.
However details are also the finishing touches to any other costume piece such as getting your make-up just right or picking the same colour thread as the chosen fabric for a coat.

A coat of arms on fabric, made with a stencil and a permanent marker

Then there are the details that make your costume a lot easier to put on/take off and wear. People often say: ‘what you see is what you get’. I added a little bit to this statement when it comes down to costumes: ‘what you see is what you get but what you don’t see doesn’t mean it isn’t there’. What I’m trying to say is that you can cheat with your costumes as long as you give it decent consideration.

Some examples: at a low fantasy larp a zipper isn’t very in-game correct, but it can be so much easier to get into your costume. If you want to use a zipper it’s a good idea to try to cover it up.

A zipper in the torso part of my costume

In studded leather armour there is an easy way to cheat. When you’re creating this armour yourself you’ll need rivets. But a press button looks almost the same, making it a lot easier to connect certain parts of your costume.

Press buttons in studded leather armour

When you have a lot of stuff hanging on your belt you can use a key-snap to take little things easily off your belt, such as your water bottle or your lock-pick kit.

A key-snap, the parts can be separated easily. Instead of the key-rings you can use a leather cord

If there is one thing I’ve learned about details, it’s that they need a lot of attention, time and love. The more of these three you give your detail, the better the it will become. Think about what you want to achieve with your detail, how to create it and what you need. Don’t rush it, take your time. If you can’t finish it before the event, don’t worry, there will be a next event to wear and show it.

Frays on a coat

Not rushing things also applies to when you’re fixing your make-up at the event. Take your time to get it right. Try to get up early if you need a lot of time, try to find somebody who can help you and most important of all, make sure you’ve got everything you need. It’s not a big deal if you get in-game a little bit too late and if you’re just as nit-picky as I am, then take it for granted.

Photograph made by: Ork de Rooij
Make-up takes time

A lot of details will take a lot of time and love. Some say there is something like too many details, but I disagree on this. A lot of details can appear chaotic and unless you’re aiming for this, it isn’t always a good thing.
When you have a lot of details make sure there is some unity to them. This can be achieved by not using too many different colours, making sure a lot of the details are in the same style and that they are logically spread across your costume. Even in chaos there is some sort of order.

Photograph made by: Robbert Bruggeling
Lots of details and ordered chaos

In the end details are a pain in the ass. When you’re trying to collect those details you can find yourself struggling to get your hands on them (searching the internet and stores for weeks). When you’re crafting something yourself you most likely will hurt yourself a little, but this is part of the fun of doing things yourself. And they can take up a lot of your time if you’re spending every evening working on it. But in the end, it’ll be worth it! So, don’t give up, go on, and take up the hunt for those details!

Special mention for this entry: Doomsday General. Thank you for your input on this topic and for helping me with translation, grammar and filtering out little mistakes.

Next entry: Armour, leather.

Dit artikel is oorspronkelijk gepost op Alexandra’s blog (7 april 2014) en is opnieuw beschikbaar gesteld voor LARP Platform.

Alexandra is momenteel actief met het organiseren van Dark Union, een unieke bad guy LARP in Nederland. Daarnaast is ze heel creatief meer leerbewerken onder handelsnaam Layers.

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