Looking to have my Kit Critiqued

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Glaenry
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Looking to have my Kit Critiqued

Postby Glaenry » Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:45 am

Tonight is my night off, as such, I have dressed in my garb, because that is the way for me. I figured it was as good a time as any to get some photos (I've been told we like photos here. I certainly do!) of what I have already, to see what people think can be improved, added, discarded, etc. I took inspiration from the character costume test photos we find from the movies. Very much looking for any feedback, thanks in advance. My heart rate quickens with excitement everytime I see a new notification haha.

This is what I have, and as I already have it, my aim is to pick a persona that will fit what I have, since I am comfortable in the garb already. I am quite torn between a Ranger (Dunedain or Ithilien) or a Barding, so let me know what you all think this works best for.

*Not pictured, because I forgot, is a fur mantle/capelet that attaches over the shoulders via two straps, would be used only in the coldest weather.

The format for the rest of the post will be picture, then description.

Basic Garb 1.jpg
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Pictured above is what I imagine everyday wear to be. Embroidery actually came apart tonight so that will have to be fixed. Material is faux suede. I also have a green woolen tunic with detachable sleeves on the way, about 6 inches longer with a point in the front and back somewhat like the Ithilien rangers, this new tunic will likely replace this older one accept for special occasions like feasts. Shirt is a linen Henley style shirt I'm using as a tunic and I think it works very well. I also have some band collar flannels in muted Green and Wine that would work nicely.

Add Cloak 2.jpg
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Here is my grey woolen cloak and the various ways I can wear it. Hair covers the brooch, but it is fastened on the left shoulder. For the first iteration, I can slip that "tail" on the left arm into a belt for easier movement. Like this, it keeps me warm and dry. Hides a sword on the left hip well too.

Half Fold Cloak 3.jpg
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This is just the right arm exposed for better arm movement around camp or in a fight.

Full Fold Cloak 4.jpg
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I can then fold everything back and it looks just like a regular cloak. What's nice is that because of the way it is designed, even folded all the way back, the weight of the cloak is still draped over my shoulders so it won't slip back and choke me. But wait. There are more ways to wear this garment.

Cloak Belted Over 5.jpg
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Might be hard to even tell in this picture, but I am still wearing the cloak. I have folded it around my body and belted it and it becomes a heavy woolen tunic. The design is simply a long length of rectangular fabric with a slit cut starting from the middle of one of the shorter sides going to the center of the piece and then it just drapes over your shoulders. It is so simple but as you can see, so, so versatile.

Cloak Belted Under 6.jpg
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This is how I would actually wear it: under the cowl. This is best in super cold weather because...

Great Cloak 7.jpg
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I am free now, to wear a second, bigger cloak. This one is faux suede like the tunic and just a visual stand in for now. I will be purchasing a wool blanket to use a cloak/sleeping bag as soon as I decide on a good color, and one that has good reviews and doesn't seem like it will fall apart. Recommendations for Great Cloak materials, welcome. I will also most likely be copying the rectangular design from my small cloak for my great cloak. The order of pictures also makes it seem as if the hood is attached to the cloak. Rest assured, the hood is from the cowl, and while this particular cloak does also have a hood, I have folded it in, to represent a cloak with no hood.


Gloves 8.jpg
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A closer look at my gloves, they are knitted rayon, incredibly warm. Keep dry fairly well, not as good as wool. I like these because they don't get in the way of archery. I can also fold my fingers int the palm if it's really cold, which I couldn't do with regular of fingerless gloves.

Boots 9.jpg
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On my legs I have a (cotton) pair of hose (yes two, one for each leg, I made them from hoodie sleeves), winningas (leg wraps), and then suede boots. The boots fit me well and are comfortable but NEED to be weather proofed. I prefer flat footed boots I find, as it is harder to twist and ankle in them. I do have some (modern) leather boots that have a nice patina that would do fine this winter though.

If you made it to the end of this post, then thanks for your time!
If you are so inclined, I have a (single) picture of my hard kit so far, in the designated section, and would love advice, add-ons etc for that as well!
Cheers!
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Darnokthemage
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Re: Looking to have my Kit Critiqued

Postby Darnokthemage » Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:06 am

Well you have a great base! I think you could make it become a great barding!

The main "critique" is of course materials, but wool is expensive and youve done good so far. Would love too see the green wool tunic, and could easily come with some suggestions if your going for a more barding route.

Because both the cape and hood fit perfectly with a Barding kit, id really think you should go that way. Some things to put on the sewing list if wanting to go the barding route:

-Trousers, Thorsberg style with either attached soles or not. Colours would likely be woad, look if you can find wool that has the same colour range as it.

-A cap, maybe one of the pointed ones i have drawn? Would serve as good weather protection, and look great. Ill try and find some patterns if you want? preferable wool, could be blue like the trousers if you want to use the scraps.
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Greg
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Re: Looking to have my Kit Critiqued

Postby Greg » Thu Nov 21, 2019 1:08 pm

You're off to a fantastic start! There are some elements that read as Anglo-Saxon, which I really like and align with the professor's leanings towards that period.

Your short cloak and its versatility is absolutely fascinating, and is just the sort of thing I'd expect to see, particularly belted, worn by any of several northern cultures, particularly around Dale, Wilderland, and perhaps Dwarven as well. Not based on any particular sources, mind you...but there are a lot of holes we have to fill ourselves and that garment really does it well.

Welcome!

As for good cloak materials, I can do no more than just recommend these two:

https://www.wooltrade.cz/en/home/
And
http://www.militaryheritage.com/wool.htm

There are other vendors out there that carry quality broadcloth or Melton wool, but these are my favorites for cloak and blanket-weight wools. Most others are lighter, and perfect for garments but would result in a disappointing blanket/cloak. You can find lots of other sources for goods that are used and loved by members here in the "Getting Started" forum, under the Vendor List. I'm going to go add these two myself, as I'd forgotten!
Now the sword shall come from under the cloak.
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Darnokthemage
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Re: Looking to have my Kit Critiqued

Postby Darnokthemage » Thu Nov 21, 2019 1:38 pm

The short cape looks quite like the one the professor drew for Oarsman #3 in the lakeman drawing.
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Elleth
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Re: Looking to have my Kit Critiqued

Postby Elleth » Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:50 pm

Awesome - I LOVE LOVE LOVE the lines! :mrgreen:

I've a couple thoughts, but there's so little information to go by that this is just my own vague aesthetic guesses, so please feel free to ignore it. I could be so wrong.

Biggest thing - since you're redoing the trim on the wool tunic anyhow - do you have any thoughts on what direction you're going?
There's sadly little information to go by.... but I think for the Bardings I'd look for something tablet woven on etsy, and for Dunedain either leave it off entirely (if a Ranger) or replace with embroidery (if it's more dressy).
Alternately I could see a Ranger having some embroidery on those hems, but I'd stick to using the same color as the fabric itself. That adds a nice touch of regal-ness up close, but doesn't stand out at all in a dark forest.


Likewise the large diamond-fronted hem on the hood reads to my eye as more northern/norse/early period while the somewhat pointed tunic hem reads as more Gondorian/later period.
I think I'd be inclined to push farther in one direction or the other, depending on where you see the persona going. (this part is TOTALLY by subjective opinion though, I can't support it all other than with a vague wave to period fashion choices generally)


Finally, materials:
The Professor has said in one of his letters that cotton isn't known in M-e. It's my impression there's a bit of rethinking of men's trousers generally on the board at the moment, but I don't think anyone's yet hit on the definative answer. (Maybe you will! :mrgreen: ) Regardless, wool, linen or maybe even a soft leather is probably the M-e way to go. ( I've been eyeing Crazy Crow's "German Tan" deerhide for ages - I don't think I'll be the one to give those soft leather britches a try, but I'd love to see it done. I think the connection to the Germanic hunting tradition generally potentially fits the Dunedain quite well, and if I recall correctly Tolkien himself took some inspiration from the American frontier "Leatherstocking Tales" for Strider. )

Also, Udwin makes fantastic braintan buckskin if you're in the market for soft "suededlike" leathers.
I believe Udwin crafted the braintan leather Greg used in his jerkin, and it looks fantastic:
viewtopic.php?f=25&t=3643
I don't know if he has any stock at the moment, but for breathable garment leather, you can't do better.
If memory serves braintan wasn't big in our real life medieval period, but was known in Europe in prehistoric times and is perfectly suited to the vast wildernesses of Eriador.
(And besides, it looks like the "German Tan" process that was done in early modern times is basically the same thing, just with fish oils rather than brain oils)


Last thing regarding leather: it's my understanding that in the real world suede is a comparatively recent innovation - HOWEVER that's not necessarily a big deal in one goes by the old "ten foot rule"
it's a known thing at least in later periods to make boots roughside out though - I believe because the rougher leather held weatherproofing better. Likewise the look of suede isn't *too* different from traditionally finished buckskin, though the feel on the hand is different of course. Anyhow, I think I'd eventually swap out the boots for a set made from dubbined vegtan leather, but as boots are expensive it's by no reason something I'd hurry if what you have works well enough.

(For what it's worth, most of the time I'm out in our woods while I take my MERF baggage I wear regular old modern clothes, unless it's a special outing. Getting out at all is far better than worrying over every little scrap of clothes :) )
Persona: Aerlinneth, Dúnedain of Amon Lendel c. TA 3010.
Glaenry
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Re: Looking to have my Kit Critiqued

Postby Glaenry » Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:08 pm

Elleth wrote: Likewise the large diamond-fronted hem on the hood reads to my eye as more northern/norse/early period while the somewhat pointed tunic hem reads as more Gondorian/later period.
I think I'd be inclined to push farther in one direction or the other, depending on where you see the persona going. (this part is TOTALLY by subjective opinion though, I can't support it all other than with a vague wave to period fashion choices generally)


I am inclined to agree, though I may change my mind once the new tunic arrives and I wear it all together. It might end up looking quite dwarvish. I know the movies aren't the same as Tolkien's own words, probably not even considered a second hand source in most cases, but the Ithilien Rangers do seem to have both pointed tunics and pointed cowls.

I also think it's a nice little bridge between the real world and "in world". The norse style cowl I made was the easiest template I could find and since I sewed it in real life, I'll assume my persona did as well, where as the tunic, is a more complicated item that I am having a more experienced person make for me, which I would also do "in world" if I needed a tunic but couldn't make one. Storywise maybe it lends to that post apocalyptic world if some of my kit is very old technology and some of it is very new? Curious on your thoughts. Might be something that needs to be seen before I know for sure.

Thanks for all your insight on both threads!
Lots of stuff to sift through, I'm doing multiple reads and taking notes on (everyone's) advice!
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Iodo
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Re: Looking to have my Kit Critiqued

Postby Iodo » Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:40 pm

Amazing kit so far :P that red hood and mantle combined with the decoration strip around the tunic look very like they would belong in lake-town
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Aragorn: It's the beards.
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SierraStrider
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Re: Looking to have my Kit Critiqued

Postby SierraStrider » Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:54 am

It's always kind of cool when you see a kit as a series of photos and it goes like:
Costume--costume--costume--pretty nice costume--perilous-looking individual.

That hood goes up and suddenly I don't want to get on your bad side. It really makes the look come to life.
Glaenry
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Re: Looking to have my Kit Critiqued

Postby Glaenry » Sat Nov 30, 2019 4:00 am

Update: Here is the new green tunic I had made. I originally wanted it to be longer, but that might have been impractical.

Very curious how people think this style works for a Barding (or not). I've added it to the original post as well, in case other new people want kit ideas.

You might notice, that the sleeves are not fully attached all the way around the arm hole, this is because the sleeves are actually laced on and are fully detachable, allowing for summer or winter use. The space also works to ventilate the torso as to not overheat.

New Tunic.jpg
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Iodo
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Re: Looking to have my Kit Critiqued

Postby Iodo » Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:36 am

That looks so awesome, and lacing the sleeves is a clever move :P

Given that it's a plain color I think it would work well with a kit for any culture, if you wanted to make it look more Barding you could sew some kind of pattern strip around the edge, there are some interesting pattern ideas in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=39&t=4337 but you'd have to tone it down a bit and stick to neural colors so you don't compromise camouflage to much, greys, greens, browns etc... usually work well

is there any practical reason why you have a V shape on the lower hem or is it just for looks?
Gimli: It's true you don't see many Dwarf-women. And in fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance, that they are often mistaken for Dwarf-men.
Aragorn: It's the beards.
Glaenry
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Re: Looking to have my Kit Critiqued

Postby Glaenry » Sat Nov 30, 2019 4:40 pm

Originally, it was just a design style I liked, but as I continued experimenting with my other tunic which was flat, I learned that the point is a nice way to get more length and more leg movement without having to cut a vent anywhere. I wanted this to be a very warm garment, and I felt having vents would sacrifice both body heat and the structure of the heavy wool. I am also learning that the way it ends just around the knee keeps it from getting caught when I kneel or crouch and the point sort of drapes between the legs, so I don't lose body heat that way either.

So in short, it was just a design I liked but then I learned that it was functional too through wearing it.
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Iodo
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Re: Looking to have my Kit Critiqued

Postby Iodo » Sat Nov 30, 2019 7:49 pm

Glaenry wrote:So in short, it was just a design I liked but then I learned that it was functional too through wearing it.

Nice, it does look good, thanks for the info :P
Gimli: It's true you don't see many Dwarf-women. And in fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance, that they are often mistaken for Dwarf-men.
Aragorn: It's the beards.

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