When planning out your reenactment or roleplaying wardrobe, you may want to look at pieces that can work in a variety of outfits. For example, you should look at shirts that can work with multiple different periods and styles to create various looks. Our example shirt is the Godfrey Shirt. This shirt comes in two colors: black and off-white.
Shirts like the Godfrey Shirt have a relatively simple style. This shirt has a V-shaped neckline and long, loosely cut sleeves. This simplicity means versatility. It works with and relies upon other pieces to define the style of an outfit. A shirt with a simple yet versatile look ensures that it doesn’t overshadow other pieces when combining the pieces into a single look. With the right shirt, you can create a wide variety of looks. With the Godfrey Shirt, we have created three baseline looks. Each look has a pair of pants and a pair of shoes. You could easily add more to the outfits chosen here to customize it to your particular character or role. These examples are designed to give you a better look at how a single shirt in different colors can fit in multiple popular genres.
Taking the Godfrey Shirt in off-white, we have paired it with the Landsknecht Pants and the Martin Boots in brown to create a medieval outfit. The pants are the truly defining piece of the outfit. It has a classic medieval style with the slashed color design. They are based on a medieval mercenary group with an instantly recognizable look. The boots continue the medieval feel with the fold-over cuff and simple style. Adding accessories such as belts and pouches contributes even more to the look. With any outfit, a shirt provides a basis to work off. In this case, it complements the Landsknecht Pants for a medieval look. For additional medieval style, you can layer your look with some outerwear. The Orthello Suede Leather Vest is a great option to wear over the top of the shirt.
Once again with the white Godfrey Shirt, we are changing to a different but highly popular genre: pirates. To create this pirate look, we paired the shirt with the Ataman Linen Trousers in cream, the Men’s Ornate Captain Boots in black, and the Captain Jack Tricorn in black as well. You could also choose the brown options of the hat and boots if you wanted to.
Looking at the outfit closer, the loose cut of the trousers is based on a style that was popular with sailors of all kinds, not just pirates, during the Golden Age of Piracy. This style was rather common in hot and humid areas. The boots add to the pirate feel. They have a fold-over cuff and multiple buckles. The ornate buckles give the boots a wealthier feel that fits in well with the idea of a pirate captain or first mate on a ship. The tricorn hat truly finishes off the pirate look. A tricorn was a popular hat of the period.
Again, this shirt provides a canvas to build up the look of the outfit. Its loose cut works well with the flowing style of the pants and its simplicity doesn’t contrast against the boots and hat. A baldric like the European Baldric would easily add more to the look, but these pieces alone create an easily recognizable pirate outfit. If you would like to go beyond this outfit, you could look at layering with a vest like the Fletcher Canvas Vest. A sash like the Pirate Sashes from House of Warfare is a great way to add even more pirate style to your outfit.
For a Viking outfit, we have paired the Godfrey Shirt in off-white with the Kievan Rus Viking Pants in brown and the 12th Century Leather Shoes in addition to a pair of Winingas or leg wraps. Again, in this outfit, the pants take center stage and truly define the look that the outfit is going for. The loose cut around the thighs and the tighter calves create a silhouette common to the Vikings and Norse people. The leg wraps add even more Viking style to the look as they were a popular clothing accessory.
Meanwhile, the shoes have a simple and versatile look that fits the Viking era. Together, the pieces create a style that would work for any Viking warrior or everyday Norse look. This distinctively Viking outfit allows for other pieces to be added if desired but work well together on their own. If you are wanting additional items for your outfit, you can look at outerwear and accessories. The Hibernus Medieval Hooded Cloak and the Einar Belt are a couple of great options for adding to a Viking look.
With the Godfrey shirt, we have walked through three very different but popular reenactment and roleplaying genres. From medieval to pirate and Viking, the right shirt can work with various other pieces to create a variety of looks. A versatile shirt like the one shown is a must in any LARPer’s or reenactor’s wardrobe.