Colonial and Medieval Costumes for Kids

girl in medieval costume

Many parents must create or buy colonial and medieval costumes for kids when their children have school plays or projects. Others search for these types of costumes when their kids participate in historical reenactments or simply want to dress up as famous characters from the past.

Colonial Costumes

The colonial period covers several centuries and features several prominent eras, such as the early and late colonial periods. The earlier era featured the puritans and pilgrims, while the later period featured famous revolutionary figures. When choosing the best colonial costume for your child, think about which era you want to mimic in your costume.

Girls' Costume Ideas

Girls who want to dress up as pilgrims for a Thanksgiving play or project can wear black or gray long-sleeved dresses accessorized with a white square collar, wrist cuffs, apron and cap. If she is trying to create the look of a famous late-era colonist, such as Betsy Ross, dress her in a traditional long dress completed with a stars and stripes apron or shawl. Clothing worked to protect colonists from the elements and cold climates, and traditional fabrics included wool, linen and other heavy materials.

Boys' Costume Ideas

Boys' costumes are typically easy to create. Simply dress him in a white, long-sleeved shirt, breech pants (or knickers), white knee-high stockings and a waistcoat jacket. If your son is dressing up as an adult colonist, dress him in the same type of outfit, but add a vest, white wrist cuffs and a hat. Use accessories to create the look of famous men colonists, such as Paul Revere or George Washington.

Colonist Costume Accessories

Accessories can make your child's colonist outfit a huge success at the next costume party or school event. Unisex pilgrim costume accessories include black belts and shoes with square-shaped buckles. Some late-colonist accessories include white powder wigs and three-cornered hats, which were famously worn by revolutionaries, such as George Washington.

Medieval Costumes

Medieval costumes cover a long period - from the 1000s to the end of the 1600s, but when many people think of medieval costumes, they envision kings, queens and knights. Most of these types of outfits can be seen at renaissance fairs and events, as well.

Girls' Costume Ideas

Most little girls will want to dress up as medieval maidens or princesses. Both types of looks can be accomplished with long dresses that have high waists and long sleeves. It's up to you and your budget to decide how elaborate or authentic you'd like the rest of the dress details to be. For example, a maiden dress can be made of linen or cotton and feature two colors or a mix of a solid color and a simple pattern, such as ivy or flowers. Princess dresses may be made from velvet or shiny material and include gold rope details and puffy sleeves. Some famous female medieval characters include Juliet, Maid Marion and Guinevere.

Boys' Costume Ideas

Boys often want to dress up as kings or knights from the medieval era. Knights can wear metal or aluminum full-body suits. They can also wear gray or black long-sleeved shirts and pants with boots and a sheath. Little kings should wear purple or red velvet capes and crowns. Some boys may want to dress up as court jesters. This royal clown outfit can be created with checkered pants and shirts, as well as the traditional jester hat with a three-point jester hat with bells.

Medieval Costume Accessories

Girls' maiden outfits can be completed with flower and ribbon wreaths worn on their heads. Princess or queen outfits can utilize scepters, fake jewels and crowns. If your daughter is going for an authentic princess costume, she can wear a hennin, or a cone-shaped tall hat that has long veils attached to it. Boys that dress up as knights can carry plastic shields and swords. Jesters can wear harlequin masks and shoes, as well as carry canes with bells.

Putting Together Colonial and Medieval Costumes for Kids

Parents can make or buy colonial and medieval costumes for kids. If you want to make these costumes at home, try to utilize premade clothing as the base of your child's outfit. If you can sew, the colonist accessories should be easy to create. For medieval outfits, use costume jewelry, old sheer scarves and other common home materials, such as aluminum foil, to create headpieces and accessories. Some parents make or put together the clothing portions of the costumes and then buy the accessories. You can also rent many of these types of outfits from year-round costume stores.

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Colonial and Medieval Costumes for Kids