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  #1  
Old 06-09-2006, 05:12 PM
HeyHomie HeyHomie is offline
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Pirates of the Caribbean: When Does it Take Place?

When does Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pear take place?

This wikipedia article gives some tantalizing clues. It states that the "golden age" of Caribbean piracy ended c. 1680, and that Caribbean piracy was, for all intents and purposes, eradicated c. 1720. However, it also mentions that "The famous pirates of the early 18th century were a completely illegal remnant of a golden buccaneering age, and they could expect no more than eventual capture." This seems to square with type of pirates that Sparrow & co. were - remnants whose fate seemed to be eventual capture.

The movie also provides a couple of clues. One is Elizabeth's oblique mention of the pirate Morgan, who died in 1688.

The other, more telling clue from the movie is the flag that flies over the British ships. I can't find a picture of it, but it resembles the current flag of Australia. IOW, the Union Jack (or something resembling it) appears in the upper-left corner, and the rest of the flag is a solid blue field (no stars like in Australia's flag). Any Dopers have any idea of when such a flag flew on British ships?
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  #2  
Old 06-09-2006, 05:16 PM
HeyHomie HeyHomie is offline
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Black Pearl

NOT Black Pear

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  #3  
Old 06-09-2006, 05:35 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyHomie
The other, more telling clue from the movie is the flag that flies over the British ships. I can't find a picture of it, but it resembles the current flag of Australia. IOW, the Union Jack (or something resembling it) appears in the upper-left corner, and the rest of the flag is a solid blue field (no stars like in Australia's flag). Any Dopers have any idea of when such a flag flew on British ships?
Historically accurate Blue Ensign, which IMO suggests a time between 1707 and the effective end of piracy. The article gives a fair amount of background on it.
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  #4  
Old 06-09-2006, 05:35 PM
Lissla Lissar Lissla Lissar is offline
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The men's clothes looked mid-18th century to me, although my memory is a little fuzzy. Barbossa and crew looked like they were wearing late 17th century. Will's hat looks Cavalier, which is early to mid 17th century.

Elizabeth's dresses looked roughly 1750's-60ish, but were not overboard on accuracy, I don't think. Yep. Roughly mid 18th.
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  #5  
Old 06-09-2006, 05:36 PM
Miss Purl McKnittington Miss Purl McKnittington is offline
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This site may be of interest to you. The clothing is in PotC is pure 18th century. Elizabeth and Governor Swann's is more fashionable than the rest, and is late 18th century. I want to say around the same time as the American Revolution, though I can't remember how wide the panniers were which would help place it.

There's very little costume or location-wise to suggest that the movie was set in any other century than the 18th.
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  #6  
Old 06-09-2006, 05:37 PM
Lissla Lissar Lissla Lissar is offline
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Upon looking at some pics I have, Will and Jack's shirts have collars. Did any shirts include collars? I know they wore cravats and stocks, but I didn't think shirts were collared in that period.
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  #7  
Old 06-09-2006, 05:46 PM
Snooooopy Snooooopy is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyHomie
Black Pearl

NOT Black Pear

Eating a black pear might curse you with Montezuma's Revenge.
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  #8  
Old 06-09-2006, 05:48 PM
Icerigger Icerigger is offline
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The British flag flying at the fort is pre union with Scotland (no red stripes on the diagonal bars), so it would have to be before 1801.
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  #9  
Old 06-09-2006, 05:49 PM
Miss Purl McKnittington Miss Purl McKnittington is offline
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Well, much earlier, falling collars were very popular with the Cavavliers, which may or may not have been attached permanently to the shirt. Wiki says the collar in conjunction with the cravat had fallen out of fashion by the 1650/60s, but made a return in the period we're talking about.

Wiki says, "Shirt sleeves were full, gathered at the wrist and dropped shoulder. Full-dress shirts had ruffles of fine fabric or lace, while undress shirts ended in plain wrist bands. A small turnover collar returned to fashion, worn with the stock. The cravat reappeared at the end of the period."

That sounds much smaller than what I'm remember Will and Jack wearing. Lower-class clothing tended to lag far behind upper-class fashion, but over hundred years seems quite a stretch for someone in the middle class like Will. It's perfectly plausible for some of Jack's clothing to be hopelessly out of date, but something frequently replaced like a shirt seems like it would more up-to-date. My guess on the shirts is that it was a theatrical decision, rather than an historical one. A band collar (standing or not) would be more likely, I'd think, than a floppy or wing collar.
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  #10  
Old 06-09-2006, 05:53 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icerigger
The British flag flying at the fort is pre union with Scotland (no red stripes on the diagonal bars), so it would have to be before 1801.
Post union with Scotland (creating Kingdom of Great Britain, 1707), pre union with Ireland, which is what you're specifying.
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  #11  
Old 06-09-2006, 05:54 PM
Lissla Lissar Lissla Lissar is offline
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The sleeves on Elizabeth's golden dress are really weird, now that I look at them. They are sort of ruched back and have falling ruffles. The men's costume is definitely early to mid 18th, according to Nancy Bradfield's Historical Costumes of England.

Isn't it fun to be able to be really boring at parties?
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  #12  
Old 06-09-2006, 06:05 PM
Icerigger Icerigger is offline
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Polycarp, I stand corrected it is pre-Irish union.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Flag
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  #13  
Old 06-09-2006, 07:56 PM
Miss Purl McKnittington Miss Purl McKnittington is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lissla Lissar
The sleeves on Elizabeth's golden dress are really weird, now that I look at them. They are sort of ruched back and have falling ruffles. The men's costume is definitely early to mid 18th, according to Nancy Bradfield's Historical Costumes of England.
The dress she wears on the cursed pirate ship is really weird, too. This red thing. It seems like it should be outdated enough relative to everything else that it should be falling apart, especially considering the conditions at sea. And it looks like it ought to be right, but something's off with the whole ensemble. It strikes me as very McCalls patterns.

I guess it's all pseudo-18th-century with a healthy dose of "Oooh! This goes pretty when you do this!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lissla Lissar
Isn't it fun to be able to be really boring at parties?
I pretty much live for it. Less popular at keggers, more popular at theatre parties. I guess there was a reason I wasn't prom queen . . .
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  #14  
Old 06-09-2006, 10:44 PM
Lissla Lissar Lissla Lissar is offline
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Yeah, that doesn't look remotely like... like anything, really. If anything, it should be Charles I's or Commonwealth or... or something. But it isn't. Not even remotely. It's definitely an "Ooh! Pretty!" outfit.

I wonder if there's a career in film costume nitpickery?
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  #15  
Old 06-09-2006, 11:29 PM
Miss Purl McKnittington Miss Purl McKnittington is offline
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Ha! I wish. As it is now, throwing popcorn at the screen for costume boo-boos is a good hour and a half of entertainment whenever the latest historical-ish movie comes out. I don't think I've ever seen one that got everything right. Maybe Master & Commander, but I don't know a lot about British naval uniforms.

To get this back on track, I believe the costuming steers PotC to mid-eighteenth century, with lots of anachronisms.
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  #16  
Old 06-10-2006, 08:24 PM
Chronos Chronos is online now
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Quote:
The dress she wears on the cursed pirate ship is really weird, too.
Well, I don't know historical costumes, but that's the dress that was given to her by a Hell-cursed undead captain on a supernatural ship. I'd expect it to be weird, regardless of the time period.
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  #17  
Old 06-11-2006, 11:08 AM
Lissla Lissar Lissla Lissar is offline
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Yeah, but unless the Demonic Powers have a nice little Demonic Fashion Designer, I'd expect something that looked vaguely like the last 100 or so years of costume.

Clothes don't usually mutate under the influence of evil. Except maybe for the 70's.
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  #18  
Old 06-11-2006, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Miss Purl McKnittington
I don't think I've ever seen one that got everything right. Maybe Master & Commander, but I don't know a lot about British naval uniforms.

The guys who did Master & Commander worked their asses off to insure that as many details as possible were accurate. I know that the weapons were particularly dead-on, so I assume the costumes were as well.

They were incredibly anal about it, which was refreshing.
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  #19  
Old 06-11-2006, 11:54 AM
BMax BMax is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lissla Lissar
Yeah, but unless the Demonic Powers have a nice little Demonic Fashion Designer, I'd expect something that looked vaguely like the last 100 or so years of costume.

Clothes don't usually mutate under the influence of evil. Except maybe for the 70's.
Well, that nails it to the 1770's then.
Being evil and all, maybe it was made of polyester and that's why it didn't fall apart at sea in the tropics for a few decades.
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  #20  
Old 06-13-2006, 11:00 PM
Terrifel Terrifel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EJsGirl
The guys who did Master & Commander worked their asses off to insure that as many details as possible were accurate. I know that the weapons were particularly dead-on, so I assume the costumes were as well.

They were incredibly anal about it, which was refreshing.
I'm pretty sure there's an unwritten rule about not using the word "anal" in reference to a sea epic. Even though the crew may indeed have been extremely fastidious about their costumes, it's really not appropriate to describe them as anal seamen.

Lissla Lissar and Miss Purl McKnittington: I'm deeply impressed by your insight into the costuming of this era. I live in the Tampa Bay area, and as you may know, Tampa is all about the pirates. There's just so much piracy around, I can't even begin to tell you. However, I have an acutely embarrassing confession to make: I do not own a pirate costume. It is shameful, I know. I walk down the street and people are all like, "Dude! Arrr! Where's your pirate costume?" and then they laugh and sic their parrots on me. So I am seriously considering how best to assemble a properly authentic pirate costume. But I would like to do it right, of course, lest I be mocked for my anachronistic gussets or some such. Are there reference works and other sources that you could recommend to me for this purpose, or does this sort of knowledge simply have to be acquired via years of study?
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  #21  
Old 06-14-2006, 03:20 AM
Miss Purl McKnittington Miss Purl McKnittington is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrifel
I'm pretty sure there's an unwritten rule about not using the word "anal" in reference to a sea epic. Even though the crew may indeed have been extremely fastidious about their costumes, it's really not appropriate to describe them as anal seamen.
Dear sir, what about all those poor rear admirals?

Lissla Lissar and Miss Purl McKnittington: I'm deeply impressed by your insight into the costuming of this era. I live in the Tampa Bay area, and as you may know, Tampa is all about the pirates. There's just so much piracy around, I can't even begin to tell you. However, I have an acutely embarrassing confession to make: I do not own a pirate costume. It is shameful, I know. I walk down the street and people are all like, "Dude! Arrr! Where's your pirate costume?" and then they laugh and sic their parrots on me. So I am seriously considering how best to assemble a properly authentic pirate costume. But I would like to do it right, of course, lest I be mocked for my anachronistic gussets or some such. Are there reference works and other sources that you could recommend to me for this purpose, or does this sort of knowledge simply have to be acquired via years of study?[/QUOTE]

I actually don't have more than a passing familiarity with the time period. My favorite period is the sixteenth century, followed by Victorian, and both are much different fashion-wise from pirate-wear, which is roughly late seventeenth century. Even then, because I'm a delicate flower, I know more about women's clothes. I do know, however, unless you're a proficient tailor, you're going to have to shell out beaucoup dollars to purchase an accurate ensemble. Probably no less than $400 and that would be on the cheap side.

My advice to you, though, is to take a three-prong attack to the problem. The first two steps are research. The third is also sort of research, but more action-oriented. The steps are:

1) Discover what look you want

This is actually the first step for any costuming project. I usually start with a Google search, honestly, and see what sources other people have used or if I can compile some source images. These can be anything that catches your eye as to being what you want in a look; at this stage it doesn't necessarily need to be accurate. Once you accrue more knowledge of the era, you'll be able to pick out what is accurate in your images and what isn't.

That said, the best source images and texts are primary ones, that is, images and texts that came from the period, produced by people who actually lived in it. There's a nice explanation of the different types of sources here. And here is a nice discussion on using art for costume research. It's geared toward the sixteenth century, but it has some nice insights for any era. Some examples of good source images for pirates would be portraits of sailors in general. Also useful

This is also where you take the opportunity to learn a little bit about the world this character lived in. You don't necessarily need to form a persona, but it's good to learn about the social status and life of the sort of person who would wear the costume you're trying to make. For example, you might discover that pirates weren't that far separated from their law-abiding counterparts on merchant ships. (This is true. Some even switched back and forth between the two, one journey with a pirate captain and the next with some due hauling rum.)

Some questions to ask yourself at this step are:
2) Analyze the research

And gussets generally are in places that only someone you knew very well would be seeing. Like the armpit of your shirt and the crotch of your smallclothes and pantaloons. So no worries there!
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  #22  
Old 06-14-2006, 03:21 AM
Miss Purl McKnittington Miss Purl McKnittington is offline
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Sweet merciful crap on a cracker! I hate this laptop. That was not ready at all. I'll return in my own sweet time shortly with something that's actually coherent.
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  #23  
Old 06-14-2006, 04:19 AM
Miss Purl McKnittington Miss Purl McKnittington is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrifel
I'm pretty sure there's an unwritten rule about not using the word "anal" in reference to a sea epic. Even though the crew may indeed have been extremely fastidious about their costumes, it's really not appropriate to describe them as anal seamen.
My dear sir, what about those poor rear admirals?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrifel
Lissla Lissar and Miss Purl McKnittington: I'm deeply impressed by your insight into the costuming of this era. I live in the Tampa Bay area, and as you may know, Tampa is all about the pirates. There's just so much piracy around, I can't even begin to tell you. However, I have an acutely embarrassing confession to make: I do not own a pirate costume. It is shameful, I know. I walk down the street and people are all like, "Dude! Arrr! Where's your pirate costume?" and then they laugh and sic their parrots on me. So I am seriously considering how best to assemble a properly authentic pirate costume. But I would like to do it right, of course, lest I be mocked for my anachronistic gussets or some such. Are there reference works and other sources that you could recommend to me for this purpose, or does this sort of knowledge simply have to be acquired via years of study?
I actually don't have more than a passing familiarity with the time period. My favorite period is the sixteenth century, followed by Victorian, and both are much different fashion-wise from pirate-wear, which is roughly late seventeenth century. Even then, because I'm a delicate flower, I know more about women's clothes. I do know, however, unless you're a proficient tailor, you're going to have to shell out beaucoup dollars to purchase an accurate ensemble. Probably no less than $400 and that would be on the cheap side.

It is completely possible to amass the information you need to make a costume, in a remarkably short period of time. My advice to you, though, is to take a three-prong attack to the problem. The first two steps are research. The third is also sort of research, but more action-oriented. Iím sorry if this is a little muddled, but I generally donít do everything in order because I am not that organized. The steps are:

1) Discover what look you want

This is actually the first step for any costuming project. I usually start with a Google search, honestly, and see what sources other people have used or if I can compile some source images. These can be anything that catches your eye as to being what you want in a look; at this stage it doesn't necessarily need to be accurate. Once you accrue more knowledge of the era, you'll be able to pick out what is accurate in your images and what isn't.

That said, the best source images and texts are primary ones, that is, images and texts that came from the period, produced by people who actually lived in it. There's a nice explanation of the different types of sources here. And here is a nice discussion on using art for costume research. It's geared toward the sixteenth century, but it has some nice insights for any era. Some examples of good source images for pirates would be portraits of sailors in general.

This is also where you take the opportunity to learn a little bit about the world this character lived in. You don't necessarily need to form a persona, but it's good to learn about the social status and life of the sort of person who would wear the costume you're trying to make. For example, you might discover that pirates weren't that far separated from their law-abiding counterparts on merchant ships. (This is true. Some even switched back and forth between the two, one journey with a pirate captain and the next with some dude hauling rum.) Hit up your local university library. Look in books outside of costume history and explore the social history, domestic life, etc. You might be surprised by what you discover about clothing in these books, but youíll also understand more about how and why these clothes were made and worn.

A good source for information at this point are serious re-enactors. I enjoy Reconstructing History, whose pattern line Iíve heard very good things about and whose research and work I respect deeply. Kipar.org also generally does excellent research and has wonderful examples, but if I recall correctly, thereís a slight female prejudice there. (Er, maybe not, looking at the PotC article. She does a smashing job running down the costuming in that movie and giving advice. She ends up dating it slightly earlier than we have, to the beginning of the eighteenth century.) La Couturiere Parisienne has a wide array of portraits and info about clothing.

Some questions to ask yourself at this step are: What look do I want to achieve? How historically accurate is this look? Is it appropriate for the character I want to portray? Do I want to be someone who is large and in charge, or do I want to be a lowly sailor? What year am I drawn to?

2) Analyze the research

Oh, you say, that's easy! Actually, this is the hard part for me. This is where I have to decide whether it really is appropriate for the character I want to create to wear mad bling or if I should lay off putting a metric ton of pearls on my dress. This is also where you make a list of what items of clothing, accessories, and other sundries you need.

Questions to ask: What is appropriate for me to wear? What is daily life like for the character Iím drawn to? What items of clothing would I wear at a bare minimum? Would it be appropriate for me to appear in only a shirt and a pair of pantaloons or would I need more clothing? Would I wear a hat? How is the clothing un/suited to life I lead?

3) Start pricing your options, AKA Big Decision Time

This step is where you decide whether you can feasible make all this yourself or if youíre willing to shell out the money to purchase the garments or have someone make them for you. A lot of people do a combination of the two and purchase some items while making others. For example, most costumers arenít very good cobblers, so they buy their shoes and make the rest. Or they may make just their underwear (thatís generally easy) and buy the more tailored outer itemsócoat, pantaloons, etc. If youíre going to hire someone to make something for you, ask for references. Ask to see a portfolio of past work. There are seriously disreputable and just plain bad tailors/seamstresses out there. Donít be afraid to report bad experiences to the Better Business Bureau in your area.

Questions to ask here: What, exactly, is my budget? What am I able to make myself? What is outside my skillset? Do I have time to make anything at all? What will I have to buy? How dedicated to historical accuracy am I? Is buying all the fabric and associated accoutrements and then building the costume worth the money and effort? Would I be more willing to pay to have it made? Are there acceptable modern items that could do in a pinch, e.g. wearing dance tights for stockings instead of knitting your own or purchasing period ones? Is there anything that Iím willing to sacrifice?

</end instruction>

If the look you want is more Francis Drake (sixteenth century) than William Kidd (seventeenth century) then I can help you more than just the blather Iíve given you. I would recommend Janet Arnold for any time period. She was the queen of extant clothing. Her Patterns of Fashion books are especially wonderful, as they offer patterns take from extant clothing and drawn to scale.

If you end up doing sixteenth century, then The Tudor Tailor is amazing. Ninya Mikhaila is a simply fantastic historical costumer. Possibly the best there is. Margo Anderson has a lovely line of patterns, as well. Pricey, but totally worth it.

And gussets generally are in places that only someone you knew very well would be seeing closely enough to critique. Like the armpit of your shirt and the crotch of your smallclothes (boxer shorts, basically) and pantaloons. So no worries there!
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  #24  
Old 06-14-2006, 10:05 AM
Lissla Lissar Lissla Lissar is offline
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I bow to the excellence of Miss Pearl's writing and research.


Oh, dear. Now I want a copy of The Tudor Tailor, and I don't even like Tudor that much!
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  #25  
Old 06-14-2006, 03:34 PM
Terrifel Terrifel is offline
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Miss Purl McKnittington: Thank you very very much for your extremely informative and helpful reply. You've given me a lot to think about, and some new books to track down, which is never a bad thing. $400 eh? On my budget it's not something that I'd be able to put together all at once, but at least it gives me a goal to work toward anyway. No wonder pirates needed all that gold.

I'd sort of been leaning toward a larger-than-life type swashbuckler's getup, with the lace, cutlass, brace of pistols, etc; an outfit made up largely of plundered finery, albeit faded and weatherstained from long wear. But now I'm having second thoughts, as I doubt I have the body type to carry it off. I'd probably better focus on a pirate ensemble better suited to weedy guys. Although I fear this means that I'll have to learn how to play a hornpipe or concertina or some such.
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Old 06-14-2006, 03:41 PM
Lissla Lissar Lissla Lissar is offline
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'Swashbuckling' to me always says 17th century, which does look good on skinny guys. The Cavalier look- more Barbossa than Jack. And you get to wear a nifty hat.
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  #27  
Old 06-14-2006, 10:55 PM
Miss Purl McKnittington Miss Purl McKnittington is offline
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Yep, yep. Ditto Lissla Lissar. Something like this get-up, I suppose? You'll notice that the whole outfit is available for $1300 . . . really. That much. Extremely high quality, though. I meant it when I said $400 was cheap.
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  #28  
Old 06-15-2006, 03:38 AM
MrDibble MrDibble is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Purl McKnittington
I actually don't have more than a passing familiarity with the time period. My favorite period is the sixteenth century
[Hijack] Tudor, Elizabethan, Flemish or Italian? Somehow, I see you as an Elizabethan girl, but I've been wrong before. [/hijack]
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  #29  
Old 06-15-2006, 12:58 PM
Miss Purl McKnittington Miss Purl McKnittington is offline
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You're very astute, [b]MrDibble[/i]. I love English middle class Elizabethan. The nobility can get a bit nauseauting at times, with all the bling. I also have a thing for Venetian dress of the later 16th century. Very elegant and extremely flirty and daring for being draped in ten yards of fabric.
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