Social Classes of the Renaissance - Get Your Costume Right in San Jose

The Renaissance had a complex social structure and, with it, fashion; be sure to follow fashion etiquette for your character in order to get your costume just right!


Noble Woman


The nobles of the Renaissance wore fine materials such as satin, velvet, and silk. Women always wore floor-length gowns cinched at the waist with loose sleeves. Most all women of the Renaissance wore their hair long, but nobles typically adorned their do with sashes, hats, and jewels. Noble men wore knee-high boots with silk stockings. They wore lush doublets over satin shirts and adorned their own heads with a feather in their cap at times.


Middle Class Woman


There is very little difference between a noble costume and a middle-class costume with regard to Renaissance attire except for the material used and accessories worn. Cheaper, more sturdy material was typically used for middle-class men and women, especially wool. Their heads were typically unadorned with hats and jewels in every-day life, perhaps only for special occasions.


Peasant Woman


Peasants, or lower class citizens, wore mainly clothes that were durable, sturdy, and could be worn comfortably during a day of hard work. Women wore aprons and short sleeves that wouldn't get in the way of their tasks. Men wore wool tunics and pants that could withstand significant wear and tear, no fancy embroidery or intricate tailoring for them.

Come by San Jose Dancewear and we'll help you pick out the costume that will match your character for the Northern California Renaissance Faire perfectly!


Women's Costumes for the Northern California Renaissance Faire

Good morrow to all of our readers and customers who are headed to the Northern California Renaissance Faire this September! To celebrate the upcoming festival, we wanted to let you know that we have everything you need to create a legitimate Renaissance costume for women.


Woman's Renaissance Costume


With only a few costume necessities, you can confidently blend in among your fellow faire-goers with a simple stop at San Jose Dancewear.

Women from the Renaissance typically wore long dresses. This was a period of literal "re-birth," and that included fashion. This was the first time in history that common people, those outside of royalty or aristocracy were able to justify owning items and clothing of luxury. This is why the period clothing is made of fine silks, satin, and velvet.

A long dual colored dress with a cinched waist and loose, flowing sleeves is just what you need to get into character. It was also the style of the time for women to wear their hair long, so a wig with waist to hip length hair will add to your beautiful creation. And don't forget the headband and statement necklace! Bold but simple jewelry is the perfect finishing touch!

Don't wait until the last minute, if you're planning on renting or buying a costume for the Northern California Renaissance Faire, come see what San Jose Dancewear has on hand and start counting the days to the event of a lifetime!


Get Men's Costumes for the Northern California Renaissance Faire!

Men, don't show up to the Northern California Renaissance Faire in anything less than the best and funnest costume from San Jose Dancewear. Men have a choice of costumes from gallant knight, to court jester, and everything in between!


Men's Renaissance Costume


Men's clothing in the Renaissance age reflected their social standing to a tee. Laborers and lower class working men were known to wear hardy tunics of wool and other rough linen that could stand up to the normal stress of their jobs. Lords and aristocrats were known to wear fine shirts made of satin, silk, and velvet to indicate their standing and wealth.

A necessity for every man's Renaissance costume is a pair of tall leather boots and tights. To round out your character, choose a top to suit your class, from a fine velvet doublet with a pristine and loose under shirt, to a plain wool tunic cinched at the waist with a leather belt. At San Jose Dancewear, we have all of the various accessories to make your costume come to life, including gold jewelry, capes, hats, feathers, wigs, and much more!

So fare thee well our readers and patrons, and we hope to see you at one of our locations in Marin, Santa Cruz, or San Jose to pick up everything you need for your Renaissance costume.


Halloween Makeup Tutorials That Are Too Cute To Handle This Season!

There are many tutorials for scary makeup, sexy makeup, and even artistic makeup, but we wanted to share with you some ideas that are adorable and will have you gushing this Halloween!


In celebration of the new minions movie coming out, many people are raving about the cute little guys that stole the show in Despicable Me. All you need is two or three paint brushes ranging in thickness and five colors of standard face paint: yellow, white, black, gray, and brown. Now all you have to do is practice your minion impression!


Little boys (and girls!) will be excited to go as their favorite, pizza-eating, mutant reptiles this Halloween with just a quick paint job. Simply pick up some thick and thin face paint brushes and some red, green, yellow, white, and black face paint (swap out the red for whatever color your favorite TMNT wears!). This is also a great opportunity for parents to coordinate costumes with their little ones, or for siblings to go as a group costume.

Stay tuned for some more adorable makeup ideas, and don't forget to stop by any of our locations in San Jose, Marin, or Santa Cruz to pick out professional grade makeup and face paint from brands such as Ben Nye & Kryolan and everything else you need to complete your new look.


Get Your Gladiator and Roman Costumes at San Jose Dancewear!

Sometimes it can be hard to get men to put on a costume, but even they will feel cool in the gladiator and roman costumes we have at SJ Dancewear!

Superhero costumes are great, but a lot of adult men feel too young in them, gladiator costumes are the perfect alternative for a great outfit. Men can sport these costumes in Halloween parties, wear the outfits as uniforms for special events and companies, attend Renaissance Faires, or even sparring events. Don't forget that our policy is to make life easier for you, which is why we rent our costumes as well as sell them.

Roman Costume

Gladiator Costume

Roman costumes include floor length togas with sashes, a crown of leaves a la Julius Caesar, and thin sandals. It is a simple costume, but very impressive. Gladiator costumes include strappy sandals with knee-high leather, leather cuffs, a pleated leather ensemble, a full cape, and a helmet adorned with classic gladiator bristles.

Don't forget the accessories! San Jose Dancewear has costume swords, belts, and wigs to complete your outfit. Add props such as a book to the roman costume to top it all off. Check out our Facebook page or come see us for more costume tips!



Poodle Skirts & Saddle Shoes - Jump back to the 50s with SJ Dancewear!

You can time travel when you buy or rent costumes with San Jose Dancewear and a poodle skirt will have you twirling all the way back to the 1950s!

Poodle Skirt Costume


Poodle skirts don't just have to be a cute Halloween costume, they are great outfits for themed parties, dance recitals, school plays, and uniforms for era-specific restaurants. Think Grease and put all your friends in it! If you don't have a long-term need for a poodle skirt, no problem! We rent costumes too for your convenience.

A poodle skirt doesn't make the costume, however, details are the key! Look the part with a button up sweater or collared shirt, saddle shoes, white ankle socks, and a ribbon in your hair.  Accent the look with some pink blush, light eye shadow, and a little gloss over the lips for a young, natural, and innocent look.

Don't forget that at any of our locations in San Jose, Marin, and Santa Cruz carry all the costumes, accessories, and makeup that you could want to complete your look. Stay tuned for more posts on other costumes if poodle skirts aren't your fancy. We have every super hero, character, and era of costumes you could think of!


Booty Shorts and Other Fun Dance Attire at San Josethroughout the year Dancewear

Dancers put in a lot of hard work in classes, rehearsals, and recitals throughout the year so it is important that they are comfortable, confident, and secure.

Booty Shorts


Booty shorts are made from light, breathable fabric which allows dancers to move in comfort, stay cool, and focus on the moves rather than the clothes. The design of the shorts is perfect for girls to feel confident and be able to really see the way their bodies move without the veiling of costumes and outfits so they can nail each and every step.

We carry many types of booty shorts for dancers at SJ Dancewear. We have a variety of sizes, designs, cuts, and colors so each dancer can express herself and her personality with unique-to-her booty shorts. Animal print, neon colors, slimming black, and polka dots are just a few of the many unique designs we carry.

As with all of our dancewear, we carry only the best brands including SoDanca, Danskin, and much more. Be sure to stop by before dance season begins and check out our racks of booty shorts to choose from in any of our locations in San Jose, Marin, and Santa Cruz.


Comfort, Support, and Everything You Want to Know About Dance Sneakers

Dancing barefoot can result in stubbed toes, other dance shoes can result in blisters, but dance sneakers are comfortable and supportive (and then some!).

Dance Sneakers


These shoes are perfect for jazz dance routines. The flexible sole allows the foot to move naturally, the rounded toe allows for a variation of moves including being "en pointe," and the support of the shoe allows dancers to give routines their all without worrying about hurting their feet.

These dance sneakers are also especially great for hip-hop routines with a lot of stomping and jumping, the sole limits impact on dancers' knees and ankles.

At SJ Dancewear, we stock the best brands of dance sneakers, including: Bloch, Bloch Kids, Capezio, and Capezio Kids. The shoes come in a variety of sizes and colors so you can be sure your dancer gets exactly what they need.

The lightweight material of the shoe, the fitted high-arch support for dancers' feet, and a high density P.U. pivot point allows flexibility, support, and ease of movement.

Don't wait to pick up your dance sneakers today, stop in to one of our locations in San Jose, Marin, or Santa Cruz for more information or for any questions you may have.

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