Costuming at a Renaissance Festival When You’re VERY Pregnant and Wanting to Look Your Best

My husband and I attend the local renaissance festival every year, often going three or four times a season. We have four young children and it would seem I’ve been very pregnant for the last ren fairs. Sometimes we take the kids; sometimes it’s just the two of us. We are avid costumers (and apparently quite fertile). I have spent considerable time over the years trying to figure out how to dress up my impending watermelon figure without looking like I’m wearing a tent or over-heating my already over-heated state of being. It’s bad enough that pregnancy makes you sweat constantly, but in our area, the renaissance festival is always held at the end of August until the beginning of October (read: HOT).

I’ve come up with some tips for you gals that find yourself in a similar situation.

Step 1: First of all, most of your usual ren wear basics will work (even when you’re pregnant). Your renaissance skirt already has an adjustable waist and is very, very full. Normally, I would say wear this under your belly, but these tend to be very long and this would not be practical as you’d have a hanging down and creating a tripping hazard. Instead, put it on over your head and pull the waist down just under your bust. You’ll notice a tent effect, where the front of the skirt is much shorter than the back thanks to your belly. Trust me, it won’t look flattering until you do a few more things; bear with me.

Step 2: Next, go through your early stages maternity gear. Find your belly band. Put it over your belly, over the skirt. This helps people know you’re pregnant, not just wearing a moo-moo. I know, I know. it still looks ridiculous. Just hear me out.

Step 3: Get a shear peasant top that is not maternity; rather 2-3 sizes larger than your non-pregnant size. I was a size medium not pregnant and used a size 1X. You want to pick one that is princess cut waist. I haven’t tried it but I’m guessing a chemise would work too if it was large enough. To define your shape better, I would make sure it’s princess waist.

You’ll notice you’re starting to look more put together and ready to go. The belly band helps your skirt to not blouse out and shows off the belly nicely. The peasant top is super lightweight and not adding to the heat. At this point, however, your skirt is still shorter in the front and the peasant top looks kind of tent-ish.

Step 4: Get your belt. The belt will fit over your peasant top or chemise at the low part of your belly. To fix your skirt, use your usual skirt hikes, one on each side or over each leg-or just one. Now it’s not noticeable that your skirt is shorter in the front.

Step 5: Embellish with your usual scarves, jewelry, purses, and renaissance accessories and you are ready to go!

Author: Jacqueline Louise Gagnon