Renaissance Faire Post #5 – The Social Classes of the Renaissance

Dressing appropriately for your social class is important to stay in character at the 5th Annual San Jose Renaissance Faire. This may seem like a piece of cake, but there are important details that can’t be overlooked.

Renaissance Social Classes


Royalty: Royal men and women had to show their wealth by wearing the best materials, such as silks, lace, and fur. Women’s hair tended to be done in intricate up-dos with jewels or other head-wear, men wore caps with jewels or feathers. Gowns were full with many layers.

Lords and Ladies: While higher in class than the common people, lords and ladies are not quite the stature of the royalty. Materials for attire tends to be a little cheaper (fewer silks and lace) but still tend to be colorful with intricate decoration.  Outfits also have fewer layers with more narrow gowns. Hair is typically worn neat and long with less prominent up-dos.

The Common People: The common folk of the village have little left over to be able to spend money on fancy clothing, they stick with hardy fabrics that are pragmatic, such as wool, so as not to have to keep replacing clothing. These clothes are not typically colorful. Hair is tied back to keep out of the way and there are few, if any, accessories.

Stop by one of our locations in San Jose, Marin, or Santa Cruz for more tips for this weekend’s Faire!

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