Best Dressed: 16 October

With the return of the Northern California Renaissance Faire for the 2016 season, there’s not exactly a shortage of things to look forward to. From the turkey legs to the jousting, the handmade goods, and the games, there’s plenty of opportunities to get in the spirit of the 14th to 17th centuries.

But when it comes to taking a step back in time, there’s no better way to embrace the renaissance lifestyle than with your outfit. That’s right—with the Bay Area’s premiere renaissance faire, Halloween isn’t the only time to dress up this fall.

Opulent coats reminiscent of Game of Thrones, fairy wings and elf ears, and sword-wielding pirates—the opportunities for costuming creativity are virtually endless at the NorCal Ren Faire. Anything goes, except street clothes; there’s nothing worth dueling over quite like a lack of dedication to the costume cause.

While the law of the land might operate a bit differently in Willington, the NorCal Ren Faire’s own makeshift town, there is one governing body that still reigns supreme on these grounds: the Fashion Police. To ensure that your next renaissance faire outfit impresses, check out the best-dressed list from past seasons below —and get ready to channel your inner Daenerys or King Arthur come September 17 through October 16.

Good Morrow Goblin Hunters! We hope today's hunt is both plentiful and rewarding. ✨🐲

A post shared by The Galway Goblin (@thegalwaygoblin) on

We love this goblin hunter’s take on Renaissance style—nothing goes with leather boots and a peasant blouse quite like a sword.

Bodice and hosen by the @thegalwaygoblin a bit of tailor finery. Hosen by @littlemandar bodice and hat by meself

A post shared by Mickey 'Two Chainz' Garbsmith (@galwaygarbsmith) on

Extra points to this faire-goer for her attention to detail. We love the functionality of the over-the-shoulder belt strap, and that she made the hat herself!

This performer brings Renaissance gypsy style to the 21st century with her intricate plating, metalwork, and patterning.

The fairest coat in all the land💫#norcalrenfaire

A post shared by Kristie Liddie (@kliddie) on

This. Coat. Seriously, need we say more? Joan Rivers would be proud.

Elven archer meets Renaissance Faire #ootd #norcalrenfaire #ncrf2015 #borninthewrongcentury #elvesofinstagram

A post shared by Adrienne C (@msadriennec) on

Many Ren Faire attendees choose to channel their inner elf for the festival, but this elven archer’s bodice and layered skirt are truly something else.

First time going to Ren Fair!! I had such a great fucking time and can't wait to do it again! 💚💚💚 #renaissance #renfaire #renfaire2015 #darkfairy #costume #forestfairy #redheads #somanyselfies #babybat #selfie #selflove #glasses #beautiful #modelstatus #somanyhashtags #dayoffwork #itssaturday #imdonenow #norcalrenfaire

A post shared by Tinja Bassman (@princessfartbiscuits) on

The magic of the Renaissance comes to life with this costume. Part bat, part furry woodland creature, this costume proves that no stretch of the imagination is too far for the NorCal Ren Faire.

#MCM My dashing buccaneer with the deep voice. Can u say "Bear Glove Old Spice?"! LOL 😍😍 (Swoon) – Lola #Cosplay #mancandy #piratecosplay #NorCalRenFaire

A post shared by Dynamic Dyad (@dynamic_dyad) on

Jack Sparrow ain’t got nothing on this buccaneer.

#norcalrenfaire #norcalrenaissancefaire #renaissance #renfaire #renaissancefaire #ncrf2015 #renaissancefestival

A post shared by Melanie (@melaniemonsterr) on

This dashing couple are nothing short of faire perfection—from her gladiator sandals to his leather arm cuff.

Look out for ready-to-wear garments and costumes. Leave #NorCalRenFaire looking fabulous!

A post shared by NorCal Renaissance Faire (@norcal_renfaire) on

It’s not all bodices and boots at the NorCal Ren Faire—there’s also plenty of opportunity to channel your inner dark side. This stunning piece is one of many that will be sold at the faire this year.

🍃🍄🌾🔮 #woodlandelf #norcalrenfaire #renfaire #diycosplay

A post shared by Emilee Adair (@emadair04) on

This woodland elf-inspired look is ideal for warmer days in Willington. Her leaf purse and opulent headpiece only elevate her stunning dress and corset.

Stepping back into the past for NorCal Ren Faire 🙂 #norcalrenfaire #norcalrenfaire2015 #renfaire #renaissancefaire

A post shared by Astral Kat (@astral.kat) on

That leather belted hip bag is like, way cooler than a fanny pack.

A question for all our lovely friends and customers! : What do you think of a new design + collaboration idea: Hand-painted chiffon (silk) veils incorporated into/with our structured garments for a new *Specialty* line? We met Heidi this past weekend at Faire: her work is very inspiring to me 🙂 #OpalMoonDesigns #renfaire #norcalrenfaire #NCRF2015

A post shared by Opal Moon Designs (@opalmoondesigns) on

An outfit made almost completely of hand-painted chiffon? Yeah, count us in.

Inspired by Lady Tyrell, this Renaissance woman made this costume in just two days—proving it’s never too late to get inspired, or get on the best-dressed list.

Gorgeous photo of me by Lawrence Whitcomb :3 #costume #dragon #horns #dress #renaissancefaire #renfaire #norcalrenfaire #renaissance #blonde #girl #dragonhorns #dragongirl

A post shared by 🌟✨Jamie✨🌟 (@alpinehell) on

It’s not just the costuming that makes this faire attendee stand out from the rest—it’s also her accessorizing. Her under-eye makeup detail and authentic necklaces bring this outfit to the next level.

Renaissance Dragon #norcalrenfaire #fantasyweekend #dragon

A post shared by Ginger (@jinjarella) on

Why dress up as the Queen of Dragons when you can dress up as the dragon itself? This attendee brought some serious fire to last year’s fantasy weekend.

A performer walks in the queens #parade with a child @norcal_renfaire this weekend #rennaissancefaire #cosplay #costume #garb #photography #California #art #rennaissance #acting

A post shared by Katherine Tibedo (@ktibedo) on

This darling duo went all-out with their coordinated outfits. We’re especially big fans of her hat, which provides maximum shade for the hotter days at the faire.

Don’t have your costume ready? Don’t worry—Belrose Costumes will be renting and selling costumes on site.

The NorCal Ren Faire returns September 17, 2016, in Hollister, California. Find full details—including ticketing information, driving directions, and vendor lists—at

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