Don't .......

Wear 1950's/1960's style clothes and think it's appropriate for WW2 reenactment. If you want to wear a costume or dress up for a day out that's fine, nothing wrong with a bit of dressy-upsy - just don't believe you are a reenactor cos you aren't. Not yet. There are Lots of online places that do 'vintage inspired' clothes, and they are beautiful, but they are not suitable for reenactment. We've been there done that.

Buy the first thing you see that 'looks the part' because it probably isn't, despite what the trader says. Not all traders are experts in the era we portray, lots are simply traders of vintage or vintage inspired garments. Some traders are fab and do their own historical research (Vintage Stitches 1940's ARE fab for example), others are just after a trade. If you're not sure, walk away.

Ladies, please, no light summer dresses with a fur wrap! Think about it - would you wear a thick warm wooly wrap with a light summer dress these days? Probably not, so why would they do so in the 1940's? Fur is definitely dress-up-for-the-glamorous-evening with a posh frock, or winter wear with a suit or coat, and looks very odd with a light summer frock. Oh and incidentally, big polka dots are more 50's than 40's.

Spoil a perfectly accurate reenactment outfit with clearly modern accessories. At one event we saw a chap dressed as an air raid warden, and his outfit was excellent, except for the very modern bag he had slung over his shoulders. Spoiled the look. Better to get a more suitable bag, or use pockets and leave the bag at home.

Have a pop at other reenactors, they may only be beginning their journey and have only got a few bits just yet. We all do this hobby for fun after all. Despite what I said in my previous point, we may have thought the warden looked a bit odd with his modern bag but we would never have said anything to him about it, that would have been rude. If he'd asked us about it we would have told him, but we would never give unsolicited advice. We are still new to this and we wouldn't want to be criticised, especially as we are trying hard to get the details right.

Think we're perfect. We're not, we've got better over time but we have a long way to go yet.

Rush into joining a reenactment group - unless you want to of course. We did our first season as just promenaders, and really enjoyed it. For our second season we joined the Royal Warwicks, we are still with the group enjoying ourselves.




Things you might want to avoid, if you can.