At some point in your life as a Rennie or Playtron, you are going to decide that you need a hat or some head covering of some kind. You are going to decide, unless the ‘hair’ is part of the garb, that you want something to complete the outfit. The nice thing is, you have a lot of options.
Felt & Leather Hats
Felt hats have been around for centuries. Felt, after it has been blocked, becomes very easy to customize and shape. This has made it the hat makers friend. You can make any hat out of felt and when you get to the faire, you are going to see felt hats everywhere. From the Robin Hood hat to tricornes for pirates and just a plain felt hat that you can decorate yourself, felt is the material of the day at the Renaissance Festival. Merchants like La Paloma Hats make art with felt.
Personally, the hat I wear is made from felt, made by Captain Jack’s Pirate Hats. I love it. It wears well and because mine has been waxed and oiled, it is waterproofed. If you have a hat that hasnot been waterproofed you have headgear that breaths and will sit on your head lightly all day while you enjoy the faire.
Any hat you see made out of felt can also be duplicated in leather. The leather hat is a whole different look. At times a little harsher. Maybe a little more sinister, the leather hat is beautiful and is going to give a bit of a ‘pop.’
Cloth / Hoods
The hood is great for those people portraying a ranger or a peasant. The cloth hood is simply made but looks great and can give you either the look of mystery or just a happy go lucky peasant roaming around the lanes of the faire. Worn covering your whole face or pulled back, it doens’t matter with the hood. This look works for those fantasy playtrons and those that love a more traditional Robin Hood.
Cloth is also great for other types of hats. The best thing about cloth is that it breaths. I have a pirate cap, that is simply a black and white stripped hat made from stretchy cloth. This is my hat of choice in the summer. Light, breathable and it looks good.
From leather bands to actual crowns, the crown is certainly a hat choice at the Ren Faire. The leather or metal band is a good look on the fantasy warrior or the viking. A more elaborate crown is great for those wanting to assume the look of royality. The crown is also the perfect head covering for the young lady wanting to play the part of the princess. A wreath of flowers, a simple tiara or a metal band, the crown is elegant and beautiful.
Whether they are made of leather or metal, a helm is the ultimate in headgear. Amazing to look at and a work of art in its own right, the helm can finish off the warriors garb and be the piece of costume that ties the whole thing in together. People like LeatherHelms are reproducing traditional metal helms in leather and they make them look great and because they are in leathe rinstead of metal you can wear them all day.
Or go metal. They look great. They make a statement and if you are in armor… go metal.
Hopefully this will give you some ideas on the possibilities of the hats and headgear you can wear at the Ren Faire. This is by no means all the options. This is simply a primer, an introduction.