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Dressing up like a pirate is probably the most fun a girl can have. What’s better: being a princess or being a tough chick with a sword and your own boat? Think about it: you can drink rum, you can swordfight foes, and OH YEAH YOU GET TO PRETEND YOU HAVE A PIRATE SHIP. We’re over shiny dresses and glass slippers; let’s assemble a pirate costume for women.
Step One: Make A Solid Base
A pirate costume for women comes down to two basic parts: a top and a bottom. For the top, get something fluffy and old. Find something that looked like it was formal at one time but then got left at the bottom of the ocean. Try getting one of our Grace O’Malley Shirts and roughing it up a bit. Put some coffee stains on it and tears around the edges. Who cares? You’re a pirate now.
On top of your top, throw on some color. Red, browns, and dark greys are appropriate and fashionable. Put on a vest, like our Mary Read Pirate Vest, or wrap a sash around your waist to show off your dramatic flair. Then swing on a rope across your ship and demand more rum.
Now to the legs. A pirate costume for women can incorporate either a raggedy skirt or pirate pants. The Ashaki Skirt is perfect for this, as it already looks used up. Plus it’s red, which is the pirate’s all-time second favorite color. Their first favorite color being, of course, rum. If a skirt’s not your thing, then go for some red, gray, or brown pants. The John Silver Striped Pants are a great choice because they’re big and fluffy but also striped, which is a pirate’s second favorite pattern type. Their first favorite pattern type being, of course, rum.
BONUS: For a pirate costume for women, you can get literally neither of the above things and just go with a super cool long blouse, like the McGreedy Blouse. Long pirate blouses are a fantastic way to look good and keep control over your crew. Both of those things are extremely important if you want to rule the high seas.
Step Two: Gotta Put Something On Those Feet
One of the coolest parts about a pirate costume for women is epic footwear. A pirate lady can wear anything she wants on her feet, as long as their comfortable and look good. Some pirates will go for a great pair of high heels, asserting their dominance and standing tall above their crew. Others will get a nice pair of leather boots, like the Jolly Rogers, and stand toe-to-toe with friend and foe alike.
Either way, your color choices for a pirate costume for women are pretty basic: dark brown or black. Both colors go great with the other classic pirate colors of grey, red, and white. That being said, you’re a pirate, and you can do whatever you want.
Step Three: Head Fixin’s
Your hair says a lot about who you are. If you’re a princess, it’s nice and brushed and shiny. It’s probably clean. People probably write stories about it and men come from far away lands to tell you how pretty your hair is.
Pirate hair is the opposite of that. It’s unbrushed, unwashed, and all over the place. When you’re dressing up like a pirate, don’t comb your hair. Put it in a sloppy braid or ponytail and just let it hang. Add different colored and textured beads to the braids to make it stand out. To capture the real pirate hair look, you should look like you’ve been on a boat drinking rum for no less than 3 months.
You can also go above and beyond just throwing your hair in a braid. The best of the best lady pirates wore bandanas and hats upon their noggins. Put your hair in a ponytail, and then wrap a bandana around your head. To add even more authenticity to a pirate costume for women, plop a hat on top of that bandana. Use a leather tri-corner hat like the Jack Sparrow Leather Pirate Hat. You are now ready to command a crew of smelly people into uncertain waters to obtain glory on the high seas.
To give yourself a real pirate look, add some dark makeup to your face. A lot of eyeshadow and dark blotches on your skin make it look like you’ve been on the seas for quite some time, and will add to your pirate mystique.
Step Four: Accessorize
There are literally tons of pirate accessories. A great looking pirate costume is often defined by the quality and quantity of its accessories. The thing that made the Jack Sparrow costume so amazing were the beads in his hair, the sword he carried, the belts he had on, and the sashes around his waist. With a pirate costume for women, you can almost never stop accessorizing.
Great pirates have great belts. Get a big thick belt to wrap around your waist. Better yet, get two that are different colors and put them both on. You’ll have more room to hang the rest of your accessories and look better than everyone that just put on only one belt. The best belt colors are usually black and any kind of brown, with a large, show-off belt buckle.
Pirates love jewelry. Sure you already have big hoop earrings in your ears, but don’t stop there. Throw a brown leather wristband or a thick gold bracelet around one of your wrists. Both of these things will show off your pirate style and let everyone know you’re the girl that owns the place. Add a gold chain around your neck and a few gold rings on your fingers for a rich lady-pirate look.
Pirates also usually wore big hoop earrings made of gold and silver. If your ears are pierced, find big hoops earrings and throw them in there. If they’re not pierced, you can get costume jewelry that just clips on to gain that authentic pirate look. While you’re at it, pop in a nose ring! Pirates loved to show off, so any added jewelry is just added fun.
Pouches and Things
Go crazy with this. Anything you add past this point is just more fun for you. A pirate costume for women doesn’t stop at the clothing and jewelry. Hang several leather pouches and velvet bags from one of your two belts and fill them with pirate goodies. A Nautical Pocket Telescope, a Pirate Doubloon Set, or a Compass In A Leather Pouch. Make it a surprise for anyone who comes in contact with you. What could you possibly pull out of that pouch? Why not a Small Glass Potion Bottle full of rum? Anything you can think that would be fun for a pirate to play around with, put it in a pouch.
Let’s run down some safety issues here. If you’re scared that there’s a possibility that someone could get hurt with a real sword, get a fake sword. No one will look at your any differently or think that you’re not a sea-worthy pirate. A pirate is defined by her character, not by how real her sword is.
If you’re going to get a real metal sword, go with a Pirate Cutlass. The pirate cutlass was the sword favored by many, many pirates in the golden age of pirating. The gold handle and leather scabbard will blend extremely well with the rest of your costume, bringing the whole thing together. When getting a sword, you can tuck it into your belt, or get a frog that attaches to your belt. A great frog for a pirate costume for women is the black LARP Kings Sword Frog. It’s black leather and will match your outfit perfectly.
If you’re not going to get a real sword, try to get one that at least looks like the real thing. Just remember: shiny and plastic is a lot safer than hard and sharp.
Pirates didn’t just carry swords though. They had a hefty arsenal. Most pirates kept a loaded pistol tucked into their belt. For a pirate costume for women, try out the Pirate Replica Brass Flintlock Non-Firing Gun. This gun is a replica of the same ones used in pirate warfare, and as an added bonus, cannot possibly harm someone. This is no way this gun can fire, so it just sits there and looks great.
A pirate also carried small daggers in case they lost their main weapon. A great dagger for your pirate costume for women is the Damascus Boarding Dagger. Boarding daggers were used when pirates would attack other ships and steal from them. Hopefully you won’t be doing that, but by sporting a nice looking dagger, you’ll let everyone know that you totally could.
This is a little over the top, but you could also get a stuffed bird that perches on your shoulder. These are great for making you feel like a real pirate. There are even some battery powered ones that talk too! These birds will drive the point home that you are in fact a real pirate, and should be respected and given copious amounts of rum.
Step Five: Act Like A Pirate
The key to tying any pirate costume for women together is to actually act like a pirate. Pirates are loud, cocky, confident, brash creatures. Pirates aren’t afraid of anything, and now neither are you. Pirates face danger every day of their lives chasing the fame and fortune of life on the high seas.
Walk with your back straight, your chin up, and your chest out. This will present to the rest of the crew that you are confident and can take anything anyone can throw at you. The rest of your crew will follow you into any situation as long as you walk with confidence.
When pirates talk, they’re very particular about using their hands. When on the high seas, cannon fire and rough waters can create a lot of noise, so pirates developed hand signals to communicate with their crewmates. Come up with a few of your own to use with your crew!
Not only do they use their hands, pirates also like to tell large, outlandish stories. It was never just a “run-in with a whale.” It was a “near death experience with a whale of a whale, the mother of all whales, a sea monster of epic strength!”
Pirates also have a very particular language. First, they never refer to themselves as “I,” only “me.” Second, they “ye” instead of “you,” and “yer” instead of “you’re.” Pirates use a lot of pirate slang, just Dave Jones’ locker, meaning the bottom of the ocean, or booty, meaning gold or treasure. Combine these words with a rough attitude and little gusto and you’ll fool everyone into thinking you’re a real pirate.
For fun on their down time, pirates loved to sing sea shanties. Pirates would make up great songs about living on the water, lost loves, and fantastic creatures living in the deep ocean. Write down a few songs with your crew and memorize them, and sing them on your next adventure.
Step 6: Have Fun
Most pirates made their livings by stealing for other ships. We don’t do that anymore. So when you’re designing a pirate costume for women, leave the competition and violence out of it. Dressing like a pirate means accessorizing yourself until you can’t move and generally doing whatever you want.
Have fun with it!
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