A practical guide to GoT-themed costumes, to survive in the frozen lands that lie Beyond the Wall!
Written by Federico Barcella
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You have to wear a layered outfit
. A typical winter fantasy costume will work fine as a base (as long as it is not too warm and bulky), just take care of three important points:
❄ under the costume, wear full-body, warm and breathable thermal underwear (woollen socks and tights, long sleeved shirt and/or a sweater, handkerchief or scarf around the neck; everything strictly made of wool or microfibre)
❄ on top of the costume, bring a woollen cloak with a hood, that you can put on and remove at will
❄ the costume itself needs to be reasonably resistant to water, or at least not too easily soaked (wool or leather are fine, raw cotton is not); in particular, feet and ankles must be completely waterproofed. Wrapping parts of your body in plastic bags under the costume as a cheap waterproofing trick is not acceptable because the resulting frozen sweat would cool your body very, very quickly.
Considering it is very difficult to find warm and waterproof boots that also look medieval, we will be very forgiving
in regard to the look of the footwear. I.e., we basically invite you to wear normal mountain or ski boots
, just make sure to disguise them as much as possible with gaiters of leather or fur, cloth wrappings (puttees) and the like. All we ask is to avoid garish coloured Moon Boots: the '80s are long over!
All in all, bear in mind that by walking uphill in the snow you will generate considerable body heat: on a sunny day, even with 5°C it will be easy to sweat. Hence, the base thermal underwear should not be too thick, and layering is you friend: you want to be able to easily remove some pieces of clothing in the mildest hours (and still look in-game) and put them back on as the need arises.
By now it should be clear that going Beyond the Wall
) calls for a proper outfit.
We want you to stay warm and dry, but we do not give up on you looking cool as well. Thanks to the natural scenery, and to amazing photographers, you'll get pictures worth a thousand "likes" out of this larp; it would be a pity to ruin them by wearing '90s style ski garments.
TECHNICAL CLOTHING: A SUM-UP:
Your outfit shall be worn on top of good thermal underwear, and waterproof shoes.
, thermal shirt
and gloves. A warm fleece or wool
sweater, and a pair of trousers.
Please keep in mind that what you wear below the belt should be as waterproof as possible, or your trousers will soak up a lot of water from the snow. Also wear very warm winter socks, and consider having a spare pair with you.
are ideal to walk in the snow. And make sure you avoid cotton: wool or synthetic fibers are better, since they will stay drier, and keep you warm even when wet.
A couple of useful links: thermal underwear
and undergloves on Decathlon website
: fleece/pile 1
Now that you're all set for the "thermal" part of your outfit, it's time to think about the "looking cool" part of it!
WHAT ABOUT GLOVES?
You can either wear period-appropriate gloves or mittens that are both warm and water-resistant (e.g. fur/leather), or you could wear warm fleece undergloves and a pair of leather gloves; or possibly, ski gloves, covered by dark wool stretch gloves.
LINKS: Stretch gloves
(or cheaper ones
); fur gloves
, or more fur gloves
, orfur mittens
WHAT ABOUT SHOES?
Our advice is to wear a pair of snow boots: they're warm, waterproof, ankle-high, and really cheap. Mask them with cloth/fur/leather, and either tie or sew them to your boots.
Please do NOT wear your usual "medieval boots", they have awful thermal performance and they are rarely waterproof (even if you wear warm socks, and put a waterproofing spray
on them. We'd rather not have to deal with frozen toes!
: Decathlon snow boots, 40€
; or these other boots, just 26€ and they seem to be good for walking
; or also, these really cheap (13€) boots
that require a little bit more effort to mask them so they don't look too modern.
Black is the new black!
Your typical fantasy larp costume will be perfect, as long as it's black (or dark leather).
The identifying mark for a Night's Watch outfit is the combination of black fur + a black cloak. It would be really cool if every Crow had such clothes, and we encourage you to help each other to find them at a good price.arne).
Please make sure that your cloak / mantle includes a hood, and consider bringing some black wool to wear as a scarf, or to cover your face if it's windy.
Never underestimate how important this piece is. It has a strong impact on your overall look, and it can be embellished with purses, sheats and waterskins.
"Fur, bones and shells"
To prepare your outfit you'll need some work and time, but no significant tailoring skills.
Fur is the main part of your costume, but it can be expensive (or look horrible if it's too cheap).
For Free Folk extras in the TV series, they used IKEA sheepskins
and you can do the same.
A cheap way to have a similar effect is using a long-haired, dark woolen (or fleece) sweater, and add just a little bit of white paint (or fake snow spray
) to get a "frozen" effect.
Make sure that your outer costume is a bit larger than usual, to allow for warm undergarments, and to look like you are wearing a heavy, thick fur. Especially if you wear a tight belt on top (in this case, the "belt" would ideally be just a rope, or fur straps, rather than a proper leather belt).
Once you're happy with the basic part of your outfit, feel free to decorate with fur (also to mask seams, or other details that look too modern). An Inuit-style hood is very warm and comfortable, and it looks cool - if possible, have one!
The final touch will be add some more animal/wilderness-themed decorations: small bones can be found for free (if you eat chicken, rabbit, pork). You can easily make a necklace or pendant with them, or just have them hanging from your belt. The same goes for seashells, as shown for some characters in the TV series.
Do not forget you have a ton of reference material to take inspiration from: just have a look at photos from the TV series!