Monday, February 5, 2024

The Soubrette Brunette's 11th Blogiversary Giveaway: Garden Party Time!

blogger giveaway the soubrette brunette

It's hard to believe that another year of blogging has gone by! While I'm not nearly as active on here as I once was (working full-time, owning a home, and having several creative projects on the side will do that to you), I still cherish this space – the outfits I've shared, the friends I've made, and the opportunities that have fallen in my dressed-up lap. 

When I started this blog 11 years ago, I didn't have any idea I'd still be publishing posts more than a decade later... or that I'd be writing for a living... or that I'd be interviewed in several publications... all as a direct result of starting The Soubrette Brunette! I'm thankful I took the leap all those years ago – and that there are still folks who take time to follow along and feel inspired by my personal fashion philosophy.

Every February, I host a big "blogiversary" giveaway to commemorate the start of The Soubrette Brunette and to thank you all for your support along the way. This year is a fun and flowery one! So without further ado... it's (garden) party time!

blogger giveaway garden party
With help from my friend Val at Sungrove Blossoms, I've really leaned into the floral theme for this year's giveaway and curated a prize package that feels like a garden party in a box! My 11th blogiversary giveaway winner will receive a beautiful, blooming bounty. Keep reading to learn what's up for grabs and how to enter the blog giveaway. 

blogger giveaway
garden giveaway

One (1) winner will receive:

  • $50 Ivy City Co. gift card (for the perfect garden party dress!)
  • a dried bouquet, artisanal crackers, and Katie Daisy sticker from Sungrove Blossoms
  • Floriography: An Illustrated Guide to the Victorian Language of Flowers
  • vintage floral veil hat and vintage decoupaged floral purse
  • lady head vase brooch by Lipstick & Chrome
  • Colourpop "Heavy Petal" eyeshadow palette
  • Rifle Paper Co. floral stationery set
  • The Secret Garden book vase
  • forget-me-not necklace
  • pink tulle gloves
  • assorted teas + other goodies

But if you want to win, you must follow all the giveaway rules below!

blog giveaway rules

All giveaway participants must enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below. (If you have trouble getting the widget to load, please try on desktop instead of your mobile device!)

** You MUST complete ALL REQUIRED ENTRIES EXACTLY AS WRITTEN to be eligible to win. I do and will disqualify folks who fail to follow directions, so triple-check to make sure you've completed all necessary entries! **

This giveaway is open worldwide and will close on 11:59 PM (EST) on Sunday, February 11th, 2024. One (1) giveaway winner will be chosen at random through the widget and contacted via email; no other platforms will be used to contact winners for this giveaway. Remember to include a valid email address in your blog post comment (btw, I'll never use your email address for any other purpose!). Anonymous commenters must identify themselves clearly so I can contact them. The contacted winner must respond to my email within 48 hours of message receipt or a new winner will be chosen. Once confirmed, the winner will be displayed via the widget. 

This giveaway is hosted and sponsored by The Soubrette Brunette, with generous contributions from Sungrove Blossoms. No other brands or businesses represented in this giveaway's prize selection are associated with or have contributed to the giveaway. Note that in the event of stock or availability issues, comparable prize selections may be made.

Now that you've read the rules, you can enter the giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thank you for ALL your support and best of luck!

Monday, January 15, 2024

My Favorite Puff Sleeve Cottagecore Dress: The Abercrombie & Fitch Emerson Dress

Abercrombie Emerson Puff Sleeve Cottagecore Emerson Midi Dress

In case you're not following me on Instagram or TikTok, you might not know that my go-to dress these days is the Emerson puff sleeve midi dress from Abercrombie & Fitch. If you're a fellow millennial, you may bristle at the mention of A&F... but they've done a massive overhaul in recent years (both in terms of style AND sizing). While there are still some styles that don't really fit my aesthetic, they've come out with some beautiful items within the last couple of years (which tend to sell out really quickly) – the Emerson dress among them.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links, but is NOT sponsored. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, I may earn a small commission (which helps to run my blog and social media channels) at no cost to you. I link only to items I truly love! Thank you for supporting The Soubrette Brunette.

This particular dress has become such a staple for me that I now own it in about 10 different colors and patterns. I wear it for everything from picnics to auditions; it really is that good. It looks great on EVERYONE I've seen wear it and it's pretty forgiving in terms of sizing. I actually wear a medium in this dress and it fits perfectly (so it does run a bit big!); it also comes in petite and tall versions, which is really nice. Abercrombie just came out with about 20 new colorways in this dress, so I went a little crazy with my most recent order and added 4 new versions to my already overflowing closet. I posted a new Emerson dress try-on haul video on both IG and TT so you can see my choices IRL (so to speak), but you can also check out my picks below. 

best puff sleeve cottagecore dress for women

Lemon print Emerson dress   |   Strawberry print Emerson dress   |   
Black and white polka dot puff sleeve dress   |   Striped puff sleeve Emerson dress

FYI, sizes in this popular dress are already selling or sold out, so don't wait to order if you've got your eye on one! I wanted to put all the links to this dress in one accessible place so they're easy to find. They're actually 15% off as I'm writing this, too!! Here are a few more patterns and colors that I love:

Abercrombie puff sleeve dress

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Shop all of Abercrombie's Emerson dresses here

Comment and tell me: Where's your favorite place to find cottagecore dresses?

Saturday, December 2, 2023

The Soubrette Brunette's 2023 Holiday Gift Guides

It's finally that time of year again: my 2023 holiday gift guides are finally here! I've had a lot of fun putting together the best holiday gift guides I can for the last several seasons (check out my 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 gift guides, as well as my HSP gift guide, for even more unique gift ideas). And this year was no exception.

For my holiday gift guide 2023 post, I've embraced some very niche aesthetics, as well as some more general favorites. If you're shopping around for Christmas gift ideas, scroll through my curated collections and get some great inspo for everyone on your list. You might even find something to ask Santa for this year!

The Soubrette Brunette's Holiday Gift Guide 2023

best holiday gift guide for unique gifts

Without further ado, check out my holiday gift guides below and let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, I may earn a small commission (which helps to run my blog and social media channels) at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting The Soubrette Brunette! Now, let's get shopping.

American Girl Doll Gifts for the Historical at Heart

Ever since Halloween, I've been really leaning into fashion inspired by American Girl. Since so many other women hold Samantha, Molly, Kirsten, Felicity, Addy, Josefina, and the others so close to their hearts, I decided to put together a guide filled with American Girl gifts that any grown-up would love. Some of these American Girl doll gifts are obviously paying homage to the brand, while others just reminded me of these characters' iconic fashions. Take a look at my ideas for American Girl gifts below.
american girl doll gifts ideas
1. Samantha doll-inspired t-shirt dress
2. The Care and Keeping of You earrings
3. Taylor Swift/Samantha doll sweatshirt
4. Red velvet hair bow clip
5. Addy Walker throwback bundle
6. Dolls of Our Lives book
7. Plaid Mary Jane heels
8. Josefina illustration
9. Taylor Swift/Kirsten doll sweatshirt
10. American Girls tote bag
11. Samantha "Rich Bitch" sticker
12. American Girl notecards
13. Gold heart locket necklace
14. Red striped pajama set
15. American Girl transit print
16. American Girl winter outfit illustration print 

Marie Antoinette Gifts for Rococo Connoisseurs

I've always loved Marie Antoinette (who else had her Royal Diaries book growing up?), but I actually didn't watch the Sophia Coppala film version until more recently. Of course, it's become one of my cinematic go-tos. I put together this really fun list of Marie Antoinette gifts for those who love pastels, patisseries, and Parisian references. These Marie Antoinette inspired gifts include both the romantic and the tongue-in-cheek.
marie antoinette inspired gifts
a. Designed by Shea print
b. cake slice hair claw
c. cake wine goblet
d. old Versailles map print
e. gleaming primrose hand mirror
f. Marie Antoinette cat oven mitt
g. Rose ribbon choker necklace
h. "The Swing" Rococo pin
i. Rococo fashion stickers
j. Marie Antoinette's Head book
k. Marie Antoinette tote bag
l. Marie Antoinette scented candle
m. Marie Antoinette heels
n. Versailles treats mug
o. let them eat cake sweatshirt
p. Selkie confection muff purse

Pickle Gifts for a Big Dill BFF

This one may be a bit niche, but pickles are having a much-deserved moment. I know I'm not the only pickle girl around, so I had to curate a list of pickle gifts for your big dill BFFs. These gifts for pickle lovers include both edible and wearable options, so your loved ones can savor and style their love of gherkins, cukes, and cornichons with ease. Check out these pickle gifts (some of which can double as gag gifts!) and watch your recipient relish them for years to come.
gifts for pickle lovers
1. pickle brands sweatshirt
2. big dill pickle candle
3. pickle chip earrings
4. dill pickle lip balm
5. pickle tea towel
6. pickle grabber
7. dill pickle popcorn seasoning
8. pickle socks
9. pickle hair claw
10. spicy dill pickle almonds
11. pickle jar Christmas ornament
12. Tatty Devine "In a Pickle" Necklace
13. pickle bandages
14. lift-and-drain pickle jar
15. pickles of the month subscription
16. pickle jar earrings

Literary Gifts for Book Lovers

I've put compiled a list of gifts ideas for book lovers before, but there are so many great literary gifts now that it made sense to include an updated version in this year's holiday gift guides post. These gifts for book lovers, bookworms, and wordsmiths will be sure to delight – whether your recipient has an affinity for classic literature or they want to add some new reads to their shelf.
gifts for book lovers
a. novel-tea literary blends
b. Little Women t-shirt
c. Owl Crate book box subscription
d. book shelf tote bag
e. books barrette
f. greatest first lines of literature mug
g. fictional characters long-sleeve tee
h. book stack sweatshirt
i. The Secret Garden book vase
j. no shelf control book socks
k. book lover's hair clip
l. Jane Eyre wallet
m. Merry Bookmas sweatshirt
n. reading valet
o. custom birth flower bookmark
p. collectible book scented candles
q. romance novels tumbler

90s Nostalgic Gifts for Sentimental Millennials 

Us millennials get a lot of flack from both sides, so what better way to celebrate your favorite late-20s-to-late-30s loved one than with some nostalgic gifts that evoke fond memories of our childhoods? These nostalgic gift ideas play on pop culture icons and sentimental experiences that just scream "1990s." I'd argue that these are some of the best gifts for millennials on your holiday list.
90s nostalgic gifts
1. Boy Meets World embroidered sweatshirt
2. Hook "Bang-a-Rang" enamel pin
3. Clueless VHS memories crossbody bag
4. create-your-own reel viewer
5. Pee-wee Herman ornament
6. One in a Millennial book
7. Ms. Frizzle sticker
8. Reading Rainbow earrings
9. Whatever! An Activity Book for 90s Kids
10. Kate Gabrielle "Ella" bag in sparkle
11. Our Universe Barbie heart bag
12. "Now That's What I Call Anxiety" sticker
13. Clarissa mug
14. Hook "Bad Form" enamel pin
15. Friends trifle salt & pepper shakers

Murder Mystery Gifts for Armchair Detectives

I've included true crime gifts in previous gift guides, but I love a good (fictional) mystery just as much, if not more. These murder mystery gifts are perfect for Hercule Poirot and Phryne Fisher fans alike. Whether your recipient has Opinions™ on Sherlock Holmes or they're really into Only Murders in the Building, these gifts for murder mystery lovers will provide the best kind of plot twist this holiday.
murder mystery gifts
a. Christmas Nightmare: At-Home Murder Mystery
b. Poirot bookmark
c. Lady detective role models t-shirt
d. murdle detective puzzle book
e. Sherlock Holmes book purse
f. "I'd rather be solving crime" keychain
g. miniature detective agency building kit
h. Arconia sweatshirt
i. Murder on the Orient Express wallet
j. Agatha Christie book weekender tote
k. Phryne Fisher enamel pin
l. Sherlock Holmes book teapot
m. The Great Bake-Down murder mystery
n. Only Murders Pickwick triplets hat
o. Clue movie poster t-shirt
p. magnifying glass necklace

Feminist Gifts for Your Favorite Badass

Searching the best gifts for feminist friends on your list? Look no further. I tried to steer clear of anything too cringe in favor of intersectional gifts for feminists across all walks of life. Whether a funny meme will always do the trick or you want to bond over your girl power, I hope you'll find something among this guide of great gifts for feminists when it comes time to present a present to your favorite badass.

Best Secret Santa Gifts, White Elephant Gift Ideas, and Gifts For People Who Are Hard to Shop For

What do you get for that new coworker, friend-of-a-friend, or loved one who has everything? I put together a "miscellaneous" holiday guide this year that's full of great Secret Santa gift ideas, white elephant gift ideas for adults, and gifts for people who are hard to shop for. Before you grab a generic gift card or take a total shot in the dark, check out what I think are some of the best Secret Santa gifts and unique presents for when you're stuck on what to give.
best secret santa gift ideas
a. The Music Memory Game
b. adulting merit badge mug
c. white elephant candle
d. The Thrifty Baker book
e. lavender heat wrap
f. corgi hair claw
g. slipper socks
h. hangry oven mitt
i. mini golf club bag
j. cozy tea bookmark
k. lavender sleep mist
l. yodeling pickle
m. condiments tote
n. gingerbread sipper
o. breakfast food apron
p. world's smallest Bop It
q. It's So You Kate Spade book

Happy holiday shopping!

Friday, November 24, 2023

Black Friday 2023: What's in My Cart + Black Friday Coupon Codes!

Another Black Friday has arrived! Of course, I have to share some things I've been eyeing – and a HUGE list of Black Friday coupon codes for you to take advantage of. Take a look at what's in my Black Friday 2023 shopping cart and be sure to scroll down to find some great discounts before you place any orders! I'll be updating this post as more info comes in, so check back if you don't see your favorites listed.

Please note that this post contains some affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, I may earn a small commission (which helps to run my blog) at no cost to you. I link only to items and brands I genuinely love. Thank you for supporting The Soubrette Brunette!
The Soubrette Brunette Black Friday 2023
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2023 Black Friday Deals and Discounts

Black Friday Coupon Codes for My Favorite Brands

Abercrombie & Fitch: 25% off everything
Aerie: 40% off the Aerie collection + new deals all week
Aerosoles: 25% off sitewide
Anthropologie: 30% off + an extra 40% off sale items
ASOS: up to 80% off almost everything
April Cornell: up to 50% off
Ava Gowns: 30% off with code BF2023 35% off everything with code GOBIG
Betsey Johnson: 35% off sitewide with code BABE
Box Lunch: 30% off sitewide + up to 50% off cyberbuster deals
British Retro: 15% off everything with code BLACK15
Buffbunny: up to 80% off sitewide
Chelsea Crew: 15% off orders $150+, 20% off orders $200+, 25% off orders $250+
Chronicle Books: 25% off with code CBFAM
Claire's: 50% off almost everything
Coach Outlet: up to 70% off + an extra 25% off everything
Collectif: up to 60% off hundreds of styles
Colourpop Cosmetics: 30% off sitewide + extra deals
Dolls Kill: 40% off everything with code PARTY
Erstwilder: 30% off 100s of designs + bonus gift with orders $100+ (AUD)
Girlfriend Collective: 30% off sitewide + up to 60% off select styles
GOODAFTERNINE: 25% off sitewide
Heart of Haute: 25% off sitewide
Hill House: 30% off with code EVERYTHING30
Hollister: 40% off everything
Hot Topic: 30-50% off sitewide
Irregular Choice: up to 40% off select styles
Ivy City Co: up to 75% off (+ get an extra 15% off with code SAMMI15)
J.Crew: 50% off almost everything
J.Crew Factory: 50-70% off sitewide
JessaKae: 40% off sitewide
Joanie Clothing: 40% off everything
Kate Gabrielle/Sweet and Lovely: 25% off all pins, patches, and ornaments with code PEPPERMINT
Kate Spade: up to 50% off select items + extra 25% off new markdowns with code BFPREVIEW
Kate Spade Outlet: up to 70% off + extra 25% off with code SAVE25
Katie Daisy/The Wheatfield: 20% off everything
Katy Perry Collections: 40% off sitewide
Kitten D'Amour: up to 70% off select items
La Femme en Noir: 35% off sitewide with code BACKTOBLACK
Lulu's: 20% off sitewide with code BFSALE
Lulu Guinness: 30% off almost everything + extra 10% off with code EXTRA10
Luxulite: 15% off orders £30+ with code SHOPSMALL
Madewell: 40% off your purchase with code LETSGO
Miss Candyfloss: 35% off almost everything with code BWMC35%
ModCloth: 30% off full-price styles with code FULL30 + 40% off sale items
Modern Millie: 15% off sitewide
Old Navy: 50% off everything
Out of Print: Buy 1 get 1 free t-shirts
Packed Party: 35% off everything with code SANTA35
Pigment: 20% off
Pippi Post: 30% off with code BLACKFRIDAY30
Pottery Barn: up to 50% off select items*
The Pretty Dress Company: 30% off with code BLACK30
Princess Highway: 20-60% off sitewide
Pusheen Shop: 15% off sitewide
Quirks!: BOGO all Erstwilder + Lipstick and Chrome with code BLACKFRIDAY
Red Dress Boutique: 30% off with code BF30 + doorbuster deals
Retrolicious: 30% off sitewide
Retrospec'd: 30% off almost everything
Rifle Paper Company: 30% off everything
Samantha Pleet: 25% off with code MAGIC
Selkie: 7 days of sales (sign up for emails for further info)
Sephora: up to 50% off Cyber Week deals
ShopDisney: up to 50% off sitewide with code GIFT
Silverwind: 40% off everything with code HAPPY40
Sister Jane: 30% off everything
Sourpuss Clothing: 30% off everything with code BLACK
Steady Clothing: 25% off sitewide with code HOLIDAY23
Tarte: 30% off everything + free shipping with code CYBERSZN
Tatyana: 55% off everything + free gift with code BF23
Timeless London: up to 50% off your order
Too Faced: 30% off sitewide + 50% off fan favorites
Torrid: 50% off everything + free shipping
Trashy Diva: 30% off sitewide
Trixie Cosmetics: 30% off sitewide
Ulta: get $10 off $40+ purchase with code THANKS23 plus up to 50% off Black Friday deals
Unique Vintage: 30% off everything sitewide + daily cyber deals
Vans: 30% off sitewide
Vendula London: up to 60% off select items
Vixen by Micheline Pitt: 35% off sitewide with code BACKTOBLACK
Wax Poetic Clothing: 35% off in-stock items and 15% off pre-orders with code PAINTITBLACK
World Market: 20-30% off Black Friday deals

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

American Girl Samantha Parkington Halloween Costume Reveal

Samantha Parkington American Girl Costume

Meet Samantha! I've always been a huge fan of the American Girl dolls, but Samantha Parkington was unsurprisingly my favorite. Not only do we share a first name, but we also look quite a bit alike! I've been unofficially leaning into American Girl-core style for the last few years (and, more broadly, my whole life), so it seemed fitting to put together Samantha's birthday outfit for this year's Halloween costume!

American Girl Doll Samantha Parkington Halloween Costume
Happy Birthday Samantha American Girl
Samantha American Girl Doll Costume Idea

Costume Details
Pink striped dirndl dress: Vintage (found here)
Flower crown: Marta Shishkova Design
Knee-high socks: Amazon
Black Mary Jane flats: Amazon
Teddy bear: Amazon
Fan: Amazon

American Girl Samantha Paper Doll
Samantha Parkington Molly McIntire Costume

I have to say that I'm really proud of the work I did on this. I even dug my doll and her birthday tea set out of storage to make this vision come to life! It's always really satisfying when the end result reflects the idea in your head. Plus, Emma (my business partner at Dear Blossom Studios) dressed up as Molly this year to complete the American Girl concept!

American Girl Doll Samantha Costume

Happy Halloween!
(and Samantha)

Monday, October 23, 2023

The Soubrette Brunette's 35th Birthday Party Giveaway!


the soubrette brunette birthday giveaway

princesscore princess dress

It's pretty surreal to think that I turn 35(?!) this week. Turning 30 felt kind of scary – mostly because of what was going on in my life at the time. But 5 years later... I feel so much calmer, so much more content, and so much more settled into myself and my life. And while societal pressures still exist, I'm not all that preoccupied with them. I'm just determined to celebrate myself and figure it all out as I go at my own pace.

I actually had a harder time figuring out the theme for this giveaway than with turning 35. (When you've hosted so many themed giveaways over the years, you start to run out of ideas.) But I finally decided to throw a party with this year's giveaway – and you're invited to celebrate with me in style!

blogger birthday giveaway

One (1) winner will receive a birthday party-themed prize package that includes:
  • Betsey Johnson "Stack of Gifts" crossbody purse
  • Kate Spade cake pendant necklace
  • Packed Party confetti belt bag + cake sipper
  • Jenny Lemons cake-shaped hair claw
  • Colourpop Feelin' Bubbly eyeshadow palette
  • Lauren Conrad rose gold bow earrings
  • Pastel Mickey balloon keychain
  • Pink sprinkle knot headband
  • cake de-stress ball
  • Vintage Parties book
  • Eos birthday cake lip balm
  • Pink confetti nail polish
...PLUS some extra party-themed treats!

    But if you want to win, be sure to follow the rules below.
    blog giveaway rules
    As usual, all giveaway participants must enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below. (If you have trouble getting it to load, please try on desktop instead of your mobile device!)

    ** You MUST complete ALL REQUIRED ENTRIES EXACTLY AS WRITTEN to be eligible to win. I'm funding 100% of this giveaway myself this year, so I will be a stickler about this. Triple-check to make sure you've completed all necessary entries and followed all directions. (I will disqualify you if you're missing any, sorry!) **

    This giveaway is open worldwide and will close at 11:59 PM (EST) on Sunday, October 29th, 2023. One (1) winner will be chosen at random through the widget and contacted via email; no other platforms will be used to contact winners for this giveaway. Remember to include a valid email address in your blog post comment! Anonymous commenters must identify themselves clearly so I can contact them. The contacted winner must respond to my email within 48 hours of message receipt or a new winner will be chosen. Once confirmed, the winner will be displayed via the widget.

    This giveaway is hosted and sponsored by The Soubrette Brunette. No other brands or businesses represented in this giveaway's prize selection have contributed to or are otherwise associated with this giveaway. Note that in the event of stock or availability issues, comparable prize selections may be made.

    Now that you've read the rules, go ahead and enter the giveaway:

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    puff sleeve princess gown

    Thank you for celebrating with me! I truly appreciate all your support. Best of luck!

    Friday, June 30, 2023

    DIY Ren Faire Costume Ideas: How to Create Your 2023 Renaissance Festival Outfit

    diy ren faire costume ideas

    Huzzah and Happy Friday! The 2023 Ren Faire season is upon us here in Western New York. Taking a trip to the Renaissance Festival is one of my favorite pastimes; I've been going since I was a little girl, and I'm tickled that it's become more popular in recent years.

    Whether it's your first time or your thousandth... After you've figured out which Ren Faire you want to attend and decide when you want to go, the question becomes: What to wear to a Ren Faire?

    There are a lot of ways you can go here. Some people don't dress up at all, while others opt for something vaguely reminiscent of a bygone era. Still others spend months devising the perfect get-up. Anything goes, really. But unsurprisingly, I tend to go all out!

    Personally, I prefer to create my Ren Faire outfits from pieces that I already own and wear in real life or can use in other situations. They aren't strictly costumes! They're items I can and do use in multiple ways for all kinds of occasions. I also love wearing something different each time I visit, which is partially why I don't want to spend $500 on a complete outfit. I love the flexibility and creativity involved in a DIY Ren Faire costume. While I don't consider myself quite crafty enough to make things like shoes and shields, I've made my own flower crowns before and really enjoy figuring out which pieces I want to wear together.

    In most cases, I'll take a base dress that's already in my closet and add things like belts, corsets, hair accessories, bags, and period-looking shoes to turn it into something that's at least somewhat Renaissance-y. Personally, I don't care if there are anachronistic elements. That all adds to the fun for me!

    There are a lot of examples of what to wear to a Ren Faire online (and I'm planning to post videos of my best Renaissance Festival costumes for this year, so keep an eye on my social media!). But it can sometimes be tough to know where to start sourcing costume pieces. I've created this post to give you a good jumping-off point!

    If you're looking for very easy Ren Faire costumes, this may not be the way to go. But if you want the creative satisfaction of putting together unique Ren Faire outfits, you can start with my picks below.

    Please note: This post contains some affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of those links, I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you!) that helps to run my blog. I appreciate your ongoing support of The Soubrette Brunette!

    Best Ren Faire Dresses

    When I'm putting together Ren Faire outfits, I'll usually opt for a base dress. Since I already own so many of them, this is usually the easiest route. (If you're the type of person who prefers separates, stay tuned!) I've chosen some dress options that are adorable for daily life and would make an excellent foundation for your DIY Ren Faire costume. Note: Many of these come in multiple colorways!

    ren faire dresses

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    renaissance festival dress
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    FYI: Hill House ("h" and "k") is having a 20% off sale this weekend! Use code 20FORYOU at checkout.

    Selkie Dresses for Ren Faire Outfits

    Here's my two cents: As much as I love Selkie dresses, I might not spend hundreds of dollars on something I'd wear only to the Renaissance Festival. That being said, if you already own one of these dresses or know that you'll find other occasions for them, I think that they can be great options for Ren Faire costumes. Even some of the shorter, more pastel styles would make a great base for a fairy costume. While some of styles lean more toward the Regency era than the Renaissance, I think the ones I picked out would work beautifully with other pieces. Just note that the longer styles will undoubtedly get dirty unless you layer and use skirt hikes (see the "accessories" section for examples of those)!

    It just so happens that Selkie is running a Summer Solstice sale now through July 2nd and some of these dresses are included! (I don't earn any money from this – I'm just sharing so you can save some $$!) Use code 2023-SOLSTICE at checkout for 25% off select items.

    selkie ren faire
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    Skirts for Ren Faire Costumes

    Separates, anyone? If you're the type who loves a swooshy maxi skirt in summertime, this can be a great way to get more for your money. You can even layer a couple of skirts; playing with different hemline lengths or styles will add fullness and textural interest. Note that these may not be the most authentic options, but I think you could create some really cool and relatively cheap Ren Faire outfits with these.

    skirts for ren faire

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    ren faire maxi skirts

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    Renaissance Faire Costume Tops and Blouses

    Peasant blouses and other staple tops can come in handy when you're going for separates, but they can also be layered under sleeveless or strapless dresses to give a modern piece a period look in a pinch. I think a lot of these would look cute IRL outside of the shire, too. Keep in mind that even if a blouse looks shapeless, you're going to add more structure to your final Ren Faire costume by adding on other layers!

    peasant tops blouses ren faire

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    what to wear to a ren faire

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    Ren Faire Costume Ideas: Corsets, Belts, and Bodices

    My favorite Ren Faire outfits for women usually feature an exaggerated shape (i.e., lots of cleavage and a cinched-in waist). However, I think that wearing an actual corset is a big commitment – especially because it can get sweltering hot during the festival. I like to be comfortable and be able to eat as much as I want, so I often opt for corset belts or bodices that are more forgiving. If you're really dedicated to the bit, just don't lace yourself in too tight. I'd also recommend swapping out flimsy ribbons for stronger laces. You don't want your DIY Ren Faire costume breaking down on you! My picks below span the spectrum of super-stretchy cheats to more restrictive bonafides.

    ren faire corsets 
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    corset for ren faire

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    Ren Faire 2023 Hats, Crowns, and Hair Accessories

    I'm picky about the hats and hair accessories I wear, but there are SO many options available when crafting your DIY Ren Faire costumes. There are more traditional hats, hair chains, circlets, flower crowns, snoods, clips, sticks, and much more to choose from. I've included just a sampling below of some of my favorite picks to bring your look together. (Figuring out a hairstyle is a whole other challenge!)
    ren faire flower crown hat
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    Ren Faire Costume Jewelry

    Even a cheap Ren Faire outfit has to have a bit of sparkle and shine. I usually like to layer different necklaces and add some rings, but let your imagination run wild here! If you've got pierced ears, earrings are an excellent way to show off your commitment to the theme. For those who are emulating nobles at court, there are plenty of finer costume jewelry pieces to be found – but I personally enjoy a more whimsical approach, as seen below.
    renaissance festival jewelry

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    Ren Faire Bags, Pouches, and Purses

    Here's a very important addition to your Renaissance Faire costume: A bag to carry around all your treasures in! If you have a belt as part of your costume, you can typically find pounch-style belt bags that can slide right onto it and be on your person all day. Cross-body bags and backpacks are good options, as well. I'd advise against anything that you have to carry in your hands – and avoid anything really heavy and bulky if you can! All that being said... I'm a sucker for a novelty bag! Here are some of my favorite thematic and (somewhat) practical purses.

    best bag purse for ren faire

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    ren faire bags

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    Best Accessories for Ren Faire 2023

    When it comes to costume ideas for Renaissance Festivals, the accessories can really make the outfit. Those little details can turn something basic into something awe-worthy. I love looking at all the little trinkets that attendees add to their costumes. The best Renaissance Festival costumes are personal to the wearer and tell a captivating story! I've included some ideas to get your imagination going.

    ren faire trinket ideas

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    Easy Ren Faire Costume Footwear

    Finding the right Ren Faire costume shoes can be tough. Unless you're a pro and have feet of steel, I wouldn't recommend wearing heels or anything too constrictive. Something with good support is best. You'll be doing a fair amount of walking up and down hills at most festivals. Don't forget that there'll be plenty of discarded food and other muck on the ground, so don't wear pristine pumps. All that being said, you'll still want the right shoes to go with your Ren Faire costumes. I've rounded up a variety of options that still fit the theme but that are (hopefully) comfortable enough to get you through the day!

    best shoes for ren faire

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    General Ren Faire Tips

    Now that you know where to buy Ren Faire clothing and what to wear to a Ren Faire in your area, I'll leave you with just a few general tips and tricks for your trip.

    1. Wear Layers: Not only will a layered look at more visual interest, but it'll make it possible to remove pieces throughout the day if you get overheated. Lighter fabrics + layers are preferable to heavy materials that you're stuck in for hours!

    2. Expect to Get Dirty: Ren Faires are usually located on large parcels of land and are meant to look relatively untouched by modern-day technology. You'll walk over lots of hills, cobblestones, and dirt paths to get from one area to the next. Some shows involve water and mud. You'll probably step in discarded food or spill a drink on yourself. You might get caught in the rain or sweat through your blouse. When in doubt, don't wear something you'll be upset to get dirt on.

    3. Bring a Fan: The act of fanning may make you feel warmer, but I bet you'll still be glad you brought a fan along. Whether it's a basic one made of paper or a fancy one of feathers, make room in your bag or on your belt for your cooling apparatus. (If you want to get anachronistic, a battery-powered neck fan or handheld fan might be worthwhile.)

    4. Establish a Meeting Place: Ren Faires are notorious dead zones. Regardless of your cell provider, you'll probably be hard pressed to find service for most of the day. It's fitting, but a bit inconvenient. If you're in a group, establish a meeting place where you'll reconvene if you get separated. You probably won't be able to text or call each other to find out where someone is. (I've heard some folks bring ye olde walkie talkies to combat this problem!) Don't plan on posting much to social media or responding to emails until you're out of the shire.

    5. Be Careful With Fake Weapons: Real weapons are a no-no, but even fake weaponry might be confiscated at the faire due to safety concerns. If you tie it in a way so it's inoperable, you should be okay – but be sure to check out the FAQs for your own Ren Faire if you plan on bringing faux knives, swords, or other items.

    6. Put On Your Fit in the Parking Lot: It's a time-honored Ren Faire tradition to get dressed in the parking lot of the festival. Some folks wait until they arrive to put on everything, while others delay putting on corsets and other restrictive pieces until the last minute. Depending on how far you are from the faire, you won't want to risk wrinkling (or even breaking) your Renaissance festival costume pieces. Err on the side of caution and at least save the uncomfy elements for right before you go through the main gates.

    Are you planning to go to a Ren Faire this summer? Be sure to share your outfit with me on social media and let me know about your experience! Happy festival-ing!

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