Tag Archive: silhouettes

Review: Pirate Coat

Rating: ★★★★½
Silhouettes
www.topnotchcostumes.com

Jack Sparrow did much to open up the world of pirate merchandise. Prior to Jack, finding online retailers of quality pirate clothing was tricky at best. Since Jack, a little online research reveals dozens, if not hundreds, of sources for pirate clothing. But Jack was a double-edged sword – his commandeering of many pirate “staple” items (bucket boots, tricorn hat, dropfront breeches) has led many people to associate these items with pieces of a Jack costume, no matter what the color or who’s wearing them.

This truth is perhaps most starkly apparent with the common frock coat. Be it blue, grey, brown, or black, it seems that most any knee-length coat with cuffs carries a bit of a Jack Sparrow flavor about it. But what are we to do if our goal is to NOT look like Jack? Perfect Pirate may have the answer… (more…)

Review: Pirate Frock Coat

Rating: ★★★★½
Silhouettes
www.topnotchcostumes.com

The internet is swarming with folks seeking to emulate their favorite Pirates of the Caribbean character – almost daily, droves of Jack Sparrow look-alikes swarm our good ranks. Think of that what you will, but the sad fact is that bloody few of these Sparrow clones look much like him at all. Some of this is due to the simple truth that so few of us look anything like Johnny Depp, but more of it is due to the difficulties of capturing “the look.” For wearing a fairly basic pirate ensemble, it would seem that Captain Jack is actually quite difficult to recreate from a needle-and-thread perspective.

Perfect Pirate is one of the few businesses to get it right, and may well be the pinnacle of their craft. I’ve reviewed their shirt and vest previously, and found them to be exceptional in every respect. But now it’s time to check out the big dog itself – Perfect Pirate’s recreation of Jack Sparrow’s frock coat. (more…)

Review: Anne Bonney Outfit

Rating: ★★★★☆
Silhouettes
www.topnotchcostumes.com

Those who’ve seen the Pirates of the Caribbean 2 preview will likely remember Jack Sparrow’s comments to Elizabeth Swann, “Elizabeth, this outfit doesn’t suit you at all. In my opinion it should be a dress or nothing. I happen to have ‘no dress’ in my cabin.” And while many blokes will agree with the sentiment behind Jack’s words, the practicality of wearing a dress into armed combat is highly questionable (and wearing nothing at all leads to no end of trouble.)

Female pirates remain an underserved segment of our community, with “tavern wench” and “girl in guys clothing” remaining the two most frequent options for dress (“sexy pirate tramp in polyester costume-from-a-bag” is a close third). There are few vendors breaking this mould, but Silhouettes has bravely taken the helm on this unfortunate issue. With their new “Anne Bonney” outfit, they’ve taken the standard seafarer’s attire, sized it to feminine proportions, dyed it lovely lady-like colors, and yet left the practical functionality in place for climbing rigging and – yes – skewering spaniards. (more…)

Review: Hair Beads

Rating: ★★★★☆
Silhuettes Clothing Co.
www.topnotchcostumes.com

Buy all the clothing you want – buy the $500 jacket, the $200 hat, the $300 boots. Honestly, do it 🙂

BUT – major clothing items only get you so far. In the pirate world, as in our own, accessories make the outfit. Earrings, finger rings, necklaces – the devil is in the details, and it’s these very details that turn a “person in a pirate costume” into a “PIRATE.”

Enter Silhouttes’ hair beads. Jack Sparrow certainly wasn’t the first pirate to dangle beads from his dreads, but he’s easily the most memorable. And with one or two Silhouttes’ bead strands hanging from your head, you too can add some significant zest to your pirate ensamble.

I inspected and test-drove two of these offerings, and found them surprisingly comfortable, once I got the hang of it (the trick is to clip them to a significant chunk of hair, so as to better distribute the weight.) As I’ve come to expect from Silhouttes, the materials are all of the best quality – not a single plastic bead was to be seen. Instead, each strand was a mixture of glass, metal, rock, wood, and even one that appeared to be bone. The string itself is metal wire, and while the clip is hardly period, it’s sturdy, effective, and shouldn’t be seen anyways. At the end of each strand is a coin – one from Denmark, and the other appears to be pakistani. The truly picky reenactor will note they’re a bit too well formed to be period (indeed, the Denmark coin clearly states it was minted in 1967.) But both appear quite old at a glance, and if you meet anyone critical enough to notice that they’re not “period,” you’d best throw the loper to the sharks before they cause any real trouble.

A wonderfully effective, and wonderfully affordable, way to add that extra “punch” to your outfit.

Review: Pirate Shirt and Vest

Rating: ★★★★½
Silhouettes
www.topnotchcostumes.com

The internet is full of Jack Sparrow costumes, many of which do a fine job at capturing the basic shape and colors of his outfit. But quite often one thing is missing (besides Johnny Depp, that is.) One of the genius elements of the Jack Sparrow look is its bedraggled simplicity. The clothes looked period and well-worn. On the surface this is an obvious thing to do when designing a pirate captain, but it’s amazing how often it’s overlooked. And obvious though it may be, it’s also surprisingly hard to recreate. To make an outfit appear “period” while remaining visually interesting requires more than drab colors and old patterns – even little details such as hand-sewing, or utilizing course-woven fabric, can make a world of difference. (more…)