Costuming: Why it isn’t as complicated as you think

Hey, y’all!  I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you guys about this.  I’m working on finding a date in June.  In the meantime, I decided to do a post about simple costume ideas.  Because they’re really not that hard.

Stories teach better than anything, so I thought I would simply share a few costumes I’ve made, starting with this one:

Spencer happened to have the three-cornered hat laying around, my grandma gave me the shirt, and I happened to already own a simple skirt.  So I just randomly ended up with the pieces for a simple costume, without even really trying.  Not hard.  (If you don’t have an older brother to get hats for you, I’m very sorry.)

Next, what Spencer and I wore to a Lord of the Rings themed English country dance*:

*Yes, that’s a thing.  And in case you were wondering, it was super fun!

Can you tell who we are?  Most people at the dance recognized us. 🙂

The idea of finding a Middle Earth costume for both of us was daunting at first, but it wasn’t actually that hard.  Both our shoes and most of our clothes are just carefully selected from our closets.  My cardigan was borrowed from Becca, the elf-ears were borrowed from a friend, I happened to have Spencer’s necklace already but you can buy one on, and my crown (the only piece we bought specifically for the dance) is just a plastic one we ordered, probably also from Amazon.  It was rather expensive for a plastic crown, but it was the only money we had to spend and we could have gotten a cheaper one if we had gotten on it sooner. 😉

Spencer’s cloak might be a bit of an elephant in the room, and yes, that part was complicated.  That cloak is one of my favorite creations, and the result of a summer-long project, almost a hundred dollars spent on fabric, and lots of help from Mom (and I mean lots, because I have almost no experience sewing).  If you’re not a seamstress or don’t want to buy that much fabric, etc., (back to Amazon) I know there are plenty of hooded cloaks available there too if you look.  Most of them looked thinner and not super high quality, but they weren’t expensive and would work fine for a costume.  We bought one for Lucy for under $20 dollars, and it’s worked well for her and is quite lovely.

Sure, people could probably tell Spencer was in brown dress shoes, and I had a T-shirt on under the cardigan.  But you know what?  It doesn’t have to be perfect.  Like I said earlier, most of the people at the dance knew who we were, and we had fun.  There’s no right or wrong answer.

This is a simpler example (I’m sorry the picture’s poor quality):

Once again, just random things from my closet, but it reminded me of one of Sleeping Beauty’s first costumes in the Disney movie:

I’ve thought about adding my cloak to it, but you could really just use any nice piece of fabric and wear it like a shawl.  And a black headband wouldn’t be hard to find.  It doesn’t look exactly like the movie, but I’d say it’s close enough for me. 😉

In one of her blog posts about building characters, Savannah Grace talked about certain characters having “trademarks”.  She was talking about writing, but when you’re making a costume for a certain character, it can be helpful to think about what “physical trademarks” that character has.  Savannah’s example of Princess Leia’s hair was a good one.  Elsa’s hair is another: all you need is something blue and sparkly and a braid pulled over your shoulder and everyone will know who you’re trying to be.  Arwen/Aragorn’s Evenstar necklace is another example.  So is Jyn Erso’s necklace.

All you really need is a good “trademark” or one quality piece of fan-gear, and it’s easy to go from there.  Or (like in the Sleeping Beauty case) sometimes you don’t even need that.  Like I said, it’s not complicated.

What are simple costumes you’ve made?  What other neat character trademarks did I miss?

Aragorn: The Reluctant Hero (A Detour Through the Movies)

Our pastor recently mentioned Aragorn in one of his sermons.  Needless to say, I was thrilled.

(listen to it here–the recording is from the first service, not the second, so you can’t hear me whooping the first time he says Aragorn’s name. 🙂 )

His sermon was based on the movies, which ruffled this purist just a tiny bit, but it was still very thought-provoking.  One of the biggest differences between book-Aragorn and movie-Aragorn is his attitude towards inheriting the throne of Gondor:

In the books, he is 100% on board with the idea at the time of The Lord of the Rings–in fact, it’s pretty much his goal in life.  Like I talked about in my post Aragorn: The Servant Leader, he knows he is a king and he knows he can lead.  He isn’t afraid of who he is.  And as far as I’ve seen digging through appendices, he always was on board, since he figured out who he was at the age of 20.

However, in the movies, Aragorn isn’t sure he trusts himself to rule.  After his ancestor, Isildur, failed pretty miserably and left a terrible mess for others to fix, Aragorn doesn’t have faith he can do any better.  It takes nearly half the movies for him to finally embrace his ancestry.

Like I talked about in my last Aragorn post, I’ve always focused on the way the king of Middle Earth represented Jesus–and I believe he does, to a certain extent.  But Aragorn is still human, he isn’t perfect.  Hearing Pastor Matthew’s sermon made me realize he can be an allegory of us as well.

The sermon was part of a series about being heirs of Christ.  I began to realize that we are heirs of the King now.  We are sons and daughters of the world’s Creator, and heirs of the universe.

People focus on salvation being access to heaven, and I get that.  But there’s more.  God isn’t just giving saving us from hell, He’s giving us access to Himself, His power.  His Spirit lives in our hearts.

The power and dignity of kings is in us.  In me.  In you.  Will we take it to war with us?  Will we take it to the pain?

We’ll mess up, yes.  People will misunderstand us, scorn us.  They’ll fight us, hurt us, betray us, fail us.

But God will never, ever, ever fail us.

Middle Earth needed Aragorn to return, the world was in chaos without a king.

Our world needs the King to return and win the war as well, and it needs the heirs of the King to move.  We can’t do it in our own strength, but we are the hands and feet of God.

We are heirs of the King.

The victory is ours.