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VVelvet Noir Costuming Guide

The Basics

Everything in this document is just advice based on the roughly 20-30 year period around the game’s inspiration days in actual history. Feel free to do your own research and tailor things to your comfort and character’s style. Player before character, always. Wear clothes you are comfortable moving in, are comfortable moving in, and affordable for your larp budget. 

 

  • Rule of Thumb: Try to aim for roughly 1920’s—1940’s. Anywhere from checked suits and gamine sheath dresses, to zoot suits and snappy pencil skirts. If you have a Titanic era party frock or a 1940s velvet tux that you feel great in, a little wiggle room is fine.

  • Think Noir. The smoky back rooms of nightclubs, muggy nights, hazy woods, drizzle soaked alleys and shadowed streets. Even the glitter of the swankiest ball can tarnish in a second. Don’t be afraid to be dark and moody or garish/desperately bright. 

  • Dress for the gender presentation that makes you most comfortable. No matter your body shape, if you would rather wear a suit, a skirt, or a mix of the two, you’ll have more fun dressed for yourself than anything.

  • Avoid Neon Colors and obviously modern materials (polar fleece, etc.) unless needed as under layers in winter months. 

 

Pants-Preferred

  • Suits were pretty typical in all but the working class. A three piece suit, or a combination of jacket, button down shirt and trousers. Hats and ties were common, unless you were working too hard to bother. Baggy/Zoot suits were seen as rebellious and daring.

  • Sportswear was often either hardwearing (tweed plus-fours [trousers cropped 4” below the knee], button down shirt and either tweed jacket and vest or sweater) or lightweight (khaki suits, cotton knits)

  • Workwear is much closer to the casual attire we wear today. Jeans and overalls were worn for hard labor and could even *gasp* be worn with just an undershirt or no shirt at all.

  • Tip for shopping: Button Down Shirts > T-shirts. No logos. Long-sleeves preferable (can be rolled up).

  • For the game’s aesthetic, and to make modern suits look immediately vintage, getting pants that ride high, suspenders, and tying the tie short will immediately sell that vintage look. 

 

Skirts-Preferred

  • Hemlines don’t tend to rise more than an inch or so above the knee (unless you’re VERY daring). Ankle to shin length was more common for daytime. Any length could be worn in the evening, depending on the formality and the wearer. Only rebels, bohemians and paupers went out without hat and gloves. (Fortunately, we happen to be a lot of those things!) 

  • Bare shoulders are a bit saucy and fashion-forward during the day, but unlike the menswear of the time, sleeve-length was more varied.

  • Sportswear for this style was pretty new, still, and still menswear inspired.

  • Workwear was often either the same as the pants styles or simplified and tougher versions of other daywear.

  • Tip for shopping: Aim for a tailored look over something too tight or too loose. Clothing of the age might have fit closely or draped over the body, but it was almost never skin tight or oversized.