And so I do. My little brother Kyle has informed me that I look incredibly like a guy when in my Viking fighting gear, especially while wearing a helmet and chain mail, but that also, unfortunately the skirt of my tunic is too long. Bummer. However, in his words: “When you are fighting, the only way you can tell you’re a girl is if you look right into your eyes. Other than that, you look like a guy.” I’d like to think I have a few more curves than that, but, whatever.
This all came about when Kyle and I and some of the other members of Skjaldborg went down to Missouri to Ravensborg, a Viking fortress in the process of being built. The mead hall, cook hall, and a shelter for the forge are already built, as well as a really nice modern bathhouse, and it was all wonderful! The people was great, it was a great weekend with friends, and the food was really good! It was also a fun experience to live in a big communal room, if only for a couple of days, as opposed to sleeping in individual tents. And of course, there was time to be girly and work on the gambeson.
(And to feast.)
But I digress. What I really want to talk about is fighting clothes.
My fighting kit consists of a pair of lightweight grey wool pants, a white undertunic, and a medium blue tunic. (Neither of the tunics are linen, but soon I will fix that. I just needed to make something quickly and couldn’t find linen on such short notice.) Flaws in the costume: wrong fabric for the tunics, pants are about an inch too short, and the tunics are about three inches too long. I can fix the tunic lengths easily, but the other problems. . . Well, we’ll see when I get to things. Good things about the costume: colors are right, pants are wool, and my accessories are not too bad– gillie brogues that lace up the legs to negate the need for leg bands for shoes, and a really nice leather belt that I found out was made by one of the guys in the group.
Kyle’s fighting kit consisted of his normal Viking clothes, minus his blue tunic, because we were afraid the chain mail would wreck the embroidery. We substituted an old tunic of one of the other guys, and it worked just fine. He also acquired a six-panel hat to wear as a helmet lining and for everyday. I also finally finished his legbands, and he finally had real shoes, so he was a proud little Viking!
All in all, I believe our fighting kits turned out well, and I can’t wait until we get to wear them again!