In essence, we’d love everybody to do the best they can to embody the period based on their means and abilities. This doesn’t mean we expect everybody in perfect reenactment quality costumes.

The Tudors TV Series obviously had some incredible costumes but also a budget beyond the range of most larpers for one weekend. But check out Reign, which went for a potentially much easier take on Tudor fashion by restyling more modern clothing, particularly dresses, to fit the aesthetic if not exactly the history – that would be fine here too.


Here’s our Pinterest board with costuming images and ideas.

Good tv show inspiration includes:

The Tudors TV Series had some incredible costumes,  but also a budget beyond the range of most larpers for one weekend.

Reign went for a potentially easier take on Tudor fashion by restyling more modern clothing – this would be fine here too.

Key costume elements

These are some suggestions of key elements which would be excellent to see in costumes.

Female characters


Female characters should wear some kind of dress. Anybody in a dress will be assumed to be a female character. There is no requirement to change or disguise your body shape. Male characters should not wear dresses.

Headgear, covered hair

Women wore their hair up and covered in most social situations. Hair worn down, loose and uncovered is scandalous. This page has some excellent resources for Tudor headgear.

Two iconic items of the period are French hoods and Spanish hoods.

French hoods

The French hood is more modern and ‘racy’, particularly when worn further back with more hair on show. It could be popular with people who want to distance themselves from older ideas. It’s quite easy to make a French hood with some some fabric, some cardboard and a velvet Alice band, you can also buy them on places like etsy. Here’s a tutorial

Spanish hoods

The Spanish hood is considered quite conservative in style and is associated with Catholics like Catherine of Aragon.

A Spanish hood is a more complex project to make, but still possible with a tutorial like this.

An easier, but similar looking alternative is the transitional hood.

Other headwear

Fancy hats are later in period and tend to be Elizabethan in reality, but they’ll be fine for our purposes, especially for fashionable people. This resource has some good Tudor hat ideas for women.

Elements of uniformity

The appearance of women in a court would be heavily influenced by their Queen. Obviously everybody is different and will have access to different levels of costume. It would be good to see the female characters of a court create some uniformity of costume that helps people quickly associate them with their queen. For example all pick a matching accessory such as a coloured sash that matches the Queen’s dress, or match their headgear or hairstyle as much as possible.

Male characters

Legwear: don’t wear a dress

Male characters should wear some kind of hose or trousers. Anybody not wearing a dress will be a clearly male character. There is no requirement to change or disguise your body shape.

Doublets, jackets and capes

Male characters can get a long way with some kind of doublet or jacket over a white cotton or linen shirt. You can’t go wrong with a half-cape either.

Clergy wear robes and hats

Clergy should wear some kind of robe and ideally a hat. This could be anything from a Bishop’s mitre to a Cardinal’s biretta to a simple skullcap. In history, colours of priest robes had significant implications to their rank in their church, but that is not important for the game.



Jewelry was huge statement of wealth and status – consider rings, necklaces, livery collars, brooches, etc.
Hats can add a lot to a character.
Male clothing didn’t have pockets, pouches are a good option.

Dress for the character

At the risk of stating the obvious, look at your character and have a think about what kind of person they are and how you might easily bring that into their costume. Here are some examples:

  • Lutherans usually dress very plainly and in dour colours. Catholics may show off their wealth more and wear gaudy religious jewelry. 
  • English noblemen might display a coat of arms, livery, or personal colours.
  • ‘New Men’ risen up from the middle classes might dress and accessorise as garishly as possible to show their newfound status.
  • Old noblemen from ancient lines might wear sumptuous but understated fabrics, relying more on their family name to convey their status.
  • Men in the Privy Council might wear a livery collar.
  • Female Catholics might favour Spanish hoods or conservative hairstyles with no hair on show, but wear rich fabrics. 
  • Female characters with a more modern and progressive outlook may favour French hoods and show a little more hair.Younger, flirtatious or scandalous female characters might show even more hair, to the possible disapproval of older members of the court.