How to Dress in Renaissance Costumes

Renaissance costumes are perfect for festivals and Halloween!

Renaissance costumes reign in popularity centuries after they were designed, and are as fun to wear as they are easy! So many occasions call for Renaissance clothing, from Renaissance Fair festivities to unique themed weddings to annual Halloween traditions. Men, women, and children always have a variety of fun ideas to choose from, ranging from peasants to royalty to pirates.

As you plan your outfit, you may wonder what exactly qualifies as a Renaissance costume. The Renaissance was a cultural movement or “rebirth” of European intellectual life in the 14th-17th centuries, starting in Italy and spreading throughout Europe. Think knights, peasants, Leonardo da Vinci, or Drew Barrymore as Cinderella in Ever After. This cultural movement has maintained a foothold in modern times through annual Renaissance festivals featuring medieval themed events, lively music, homemade crafts, and of course, turkey legs!

Here are some fun ideas to get you ready, and make sure you look amazing!

Peasant / Renaissance Seamstress

Dress in the fashion of this hard-labor woman with a simple shirt and skirt combination, representing the life of a peasant woman. What job would you have in Medieval times?

Renaissance peasant woman dress

Renaissance Seamstress Hard at Work


A Renaissance Festival is not complete without a proud king. Most king costumes feature ornate capes and tunics. Accessorize your royal look with a crown, a sword, medallion, or a drink.

King at the Renaissance Festival

Drink like a King at the Renaissance Festival

King Henry VIII Costume


If you want to joust or slay a dragon, then a knight costume is for you. These warrior costumes usually come with tunic, a cape, a helmet or headpiece, and sometimes boot covers.

men's medieval knight costume

Medieval Knight Costume

All you need is a shield and sword then you are ready for action.

Medieval Knight Ready to Joust

Knight Ready to Joust


For women there are plenty of Renaissance costumes to choose. Princess costumes are abundant. Little girls and women alike love these elegant gowns.

the Red Queen at the Renaissance Festival

The Queen Greeting Her Subjects

These dress are have full skirts with intricate designs of flowers, pearls, or lace. Complete your regal look with a headpiece of flowers and jewels. If you have long hair, you can braid it with colorful ribbons. For more hair inspiration, check out these Renaissance Hair ideas.

Princesses at the Renaissance Festival

Princesses at the Renaissance Festival

Tavern Wench

For women who don’t want to be a princess or queen, they can wear a sexy tavern wench costume to the Renaissance Festival. These peasant dresses feature ruffled sleeves, low cut lace-up bodices, and full colorful skirts. After the Renaissance Festival you can wear this costume for Oktoberfest, meaning more chances for costume fun!

tavern wenches at the Renaissance Festival

Tavern Wenches Taking a Break

Oktoberfest Tavern Wench for Renaissance Festivals too!

Tavern Wench for the Renaissance Festival and Oktoberfest


Everyone loves a joker. Men, women, and children can be jesters. These bright costumes come in a variety of contrasting colors with pointy hats.

jester at the Renaissance Festival

Jester Making Mischief

If you are artistic, skip the mask and paint your face white and add geometric designs around the eyes.

Harlequin with Makeup at the Renaissance Festival

Harlequin with Face Paint

If none of these ideas appeal to you, fear not! There are plenty of other Renaissance costumes to consider, such as fairies, monks, gypsies, and more. When the Renaissance Festival is over, you already have a costume ready to go for Halloween!

fairy at the Renaissance Festival

Fairy Welcoming People to the Festival

Renaissance Parade with Gypsies and Jokers

Renaissance Parade with Gypsies and Jokers

Renaissance Monk

Renaissance Monk

If you’ve attended a Renaissance Festival or worn a medieval costume for Halloween, we would love to see your photos and hear more about it in the comments below!