So...you've joined the Fools and are looking forward to the Feast of Fools & March to celebrate Twelfth Night. A question that we can almost guarantee you're asking yourself is, "What do I wear???" If this is you, then you're in the right place!
The St. John Fools of Misrule is a Carnival organization with roots deep in the Renaissance period of European history. This was a period of time marked by very different styles of dress, depending on one's social status. As the photo below demonstrates, many different styles of costume are permissible at our Twelfth Night March, but several rules must be followed.
1. The fIrst, and most obvious rule, is that it must be a costume that might have appeared during the Renaissance period.
This could be as simple as a friars frock or as extravagant as a royal doublet or a full set of knight's armor. As you can see, most members opt for costumes that afford the wearer some insulation from the usually cool-to-cold temperatures, but that still appear stylish and true to the period.
We're often asked where one can go to buy this level of costume attire. Well, dear Fool, you've again come to the right place. There are a few local places that have items appropriate for our march,
starting with a small shop on Decatur St. named Road Kill. Be careful to stay away from their steampunk stuff, though (see #2 below). See below for some web links to other good costume vendors.
2. A very important rule is that steampunk attire is NOT permitted for the Fools march.
While some of the materials are similar to the costumes we wear, and some pieces might appear to come close, the rule of thumb with steampunk is just to stay away.
3. You MUST have a mask, and you MUST wear your mask during the entirety of the March.
In fact, this is such an important rule that it is spelled out in our membership form, in fairly large letters, that you sign when you become a member. You can be asked to re-mask or leave the March if you are found not wearing one.
4. What about online costume vendors?
Absolutely, there a several excellent options for shopping online. Here are some that we've found on the googler. Please note that we don't necessarily have experience buying from all these vendors. Caveat Emptor!