Words of Whimsy

What to wear to the Renaissance Festival – and what NOT to!

The Minnesota Renaissance Festival runs weekends, Labor Day, and one special “Festival Friday” from now through October 4th – and this year, The Whimsy Factory will be part of it! One weekend only, August 29th & 30th, our traveling boutique will be set up as part of Silk Road: Discover the Riches Fairy Festival festivities on The Shepard’s Green – and we’re bringing LOTS of great options for RenFest dress up & beyond. Not sure what your littles should wear? When in doubt, ALWAYS DRESS UP! While not a requirement, many of the patrons (and most of the workers) at Renfest will be costumed, and tiny Festies will love the fun and added attention of wearing something magical. Here are some suggestions:

TwigFairyWMI took two fanciful little fairies to fest last year, prior to the existence of The Whimsy Factory. While they looked adorable, I made all the wrong choices with their outfits. The #1 offense: LEOTARDS. I cannot explain the comedy of errors that was our time in the “privies.” Even in the double wide port-a-potties, it was a nightmare to take off basically everything they were wearing, and keep it all from touching the nasty surfaces or falling in. Lesson learned. A much better option for a little fairy: FairyIdeasWM
Start with your favorite machine washable, comfortable, non-itchy princess dress – I think our Amulet Princess and Lily Pad Princess are great options for fairies. Add crowns, sparkly headbands, or our beautiful ribbon Fairy Halo + Wand set, and finish off with wings from The Dollar Tree. Yes, I said the Dollar Tree. Why am I not trying to sell you spendy wings from our own line? We don’t carry them. We’ve owned a lot of wings over the years, and they’re all somewhat disposable – regardless of how much we’ve paid for them. They get bent and ripped and the delicate fabric runs – so save the headache (and the funds) and just pay $1. You could even upcycle them with glitter and fabric glue, or apply gems to match the dress. But at just $1 you won’t feel required to carry them around if they are uncomfortable (which…they are), and if they get muddy or squashed life will go on.

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Note in the photo above: My one WIN of last year’s costumes (besides the cuteness factor, which was extremely high) – tennis shoes! If you are new to RenFest, you should know…it’s a hot mess. Literally. Temperatures can swing from over 100 to the low 60’s during the Fest timeframe, and the grounds are either mud or dust, depending on the moisture. The event goes on rain or shine, and can be enjoyable in any weather – provided you are comfortable and not worried about delicate outfits. Miss P’s tights and Miss D’s dance costume were a big fail on this front – itchy, hot, and stained beyond help before we got out of the parking lot. Luckily we wore smart shoes, and they were able to flutter around the wide grounds and across mud/grass/woodchips without trouble (I’ve seen more than one flip flop lost to the muck!). Better costume options – we have just a few of our fun fancy pirates  and buccaneers left, and pirates are BIG FUN out at the renaissance festival! Some of the wackiest RenFest characters we’ve met over the years have been on hiatus from the high seas. We love that with our costumes, the swords are included, but so is the little loop to carry it! (can you tell I’m a mom who is sick of being handed all the JUNK?) And of course, free of her tower Rapunzel is a perfect princess for the Renaissance Festival – her outfit embodies the late Renaissance/Regency era, but I always think it looks (to the layman, like myself) similar to productions of Camelot and Arthurian legend I’ve seen too. Rapunzel’s soft long sleeves are lightweight enough in even the warmest weather (and can provide a little sun coverage), or can be easily rolled for ventilation.

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Did you know that in addition to the knights, royals, pirates, and fairies there are a host of other magical creatures to meet at the Renaissance Festival? One of Miss P’s favorites were the “real mermaids!” Kids can view mermaids swimming in ponds and aquariums, perched on rocks, and guarding treasures. The line can look a little intimidating, but it it worth it! Such magic!

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Our comfortable 2-piece Mermaid outfit would be PERFECT for the Renaissance Festival! Miss P wears this out and about all the time, and I can attest it doesn’t slow her down a bit. The tail wears just like an elastic waist maxi skirt, which you can easily roll up to provide more ground clearance if necessary, and the loose fitting top is lightweight and shimmery.

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A newer addition to the festivities is the Viking encampment. If I remember right there’s a ship, and all sorts of vikings and ruffians roaming about – so you know what that opens the door, for, right? FROST SISTERS! You know they will take ANY chance to wear those beloved “Frozen” dresses out, so let them. And get a photo with a Viking. And don’t correct my history, it’s close enough and it makes everyone happy 🙂 We currently carry an adorable Anna-esque Frost Sister dress, a gorgeous and glitter-free Frost Queen, and awesome soft crowns in silver and gold frost styles.

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Other not to miss spots –  according to Miss P -include the Fairy Forest, which is full of magical creatures (and photo ops), the juggler’s show, the swan swings and butterfly carousel (human-powered carnival rides), and of course – THE WHIMSY FACTORY! Come see us on the Shepard’s green between the jousting and the Viking Ship. Whatever you wear, we hope you’ll stop by and say “Hi!”. We’ll be stocked with all of these favorites and MORE – stay tuned for part II where we preview our new adventure dress ups, premiering at the Renaissance Festival!RenFestCollage.comDon’t forget to play today! ~Heather