Review: Anne Bonney Outfit

Rating: ★★★★☆

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. Continue reading

Review: French&Indian War Shirt

Rating: ★★★½☆
Flying Canoe Traders

I firmly believe that the hardest historical clothing item to find is the “basic” garment. You’ll find the perfect billowy shirt, only to see that it has ruffles you don’t like. Or you’ll find a nice pair of slops, and they’ll have an elastic waistband.

Well, if it’s a basic baggy pirate shirt you want, you need look no further than Flying Canoe Traders’ “French & Indian War Shirt.” It’s loose fitting, 100% cotton, and cut to period standards – what else need be said? Continue reading

Review: Highlander Shirt

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

All Things Renaissance

A basic pirate shirt is a rare find – a proper cotton, elastic-free garment shouldn’t seem a tall order, but it is harder to find than one might expect. All Things Renaissance offers a small variety of such shirts, though, and while they may not QUITE be Golden Age of Piracy authentic (the tied collars is a bit early), they are pretty darn close.

I ordered the Highlander style shirt, figuring the the standard collar a bit more fitting for my needs than the banded collar (and steering clear of the “musketeer” style, as I wasn’t in the market for frilly.) The shirt arrived a good fit – the material is a bit heavy and rough, but in time it should break in nicely. It’s a very well-made, durable shirt – the seams are all double-stitched, and the shoulder is double-layered for extra durability. The sleeves have the unusual feature of being able to be buttoned or tied, although both options leave the sleeves a little too loose at the wrist for my own hands. I had originally believed the buttons to be plastic, but on closer inspection they did appear to be organic. I eventually learned they were in fact made from “Palm Ivory,” being a nut from New Greneda (an appropriately piratey touch, methinks.) Continue reading

Review: Indian Grog Box

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Dress Like a Pirate

It never fails – you’re heading to a family picnic with a fresh bottle of rum when some young barnacle throws a frisbee right in your face. You, in a fit of blind rage, throw your rum at the scalliwagg in piratey retaliation, only to see it shatter against the pavement. The brat runs off scot-free, leaving you crouched down and sobbing like a schoolgirl – but it’s not the shards of broken glass pressing into your kneecaps that make you weep – nay – it’s that your rum is rapidly soaking into the ground. Some ants and earthworms days have been made, but your own is forever ruined.

The way I see it, there are two ways you could have prevented this catastrophe. The first is to enroll in an anger management program. This frequently involves time, money, and sitting in a circle with strangers while you talk about “feelings” and perhaps even hug. Bullocks to that, says I. Continue reading

Review: Pirate Scented Oils

Rating: ★★★★☆
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

Some folks think smelling like a pirate is something that just happens – go someplace hot, engage in some sort of manual labor (like gutting spaniards), and let the sweat do the rest. And to be honest, this method is highly effective. But it also explains why so many pirates had to pay for their female companionship.

So what does a pirate do if he wishes to emit a manly scent – one that bespeaketh of robust skullduggery, and yet still makes the ladies’ toes curl? That’s where Black Phoenix comes in. Black Phoenix carries an enourmous variety of scented oils, many of them aimed at the graveyard crowd. But if you’re willing to do some digging, as with John Hawkins, there’s treasure to be found. They in fact offer several pirate-specific oils, reviewed here, and also several pirate-friendly oils (with names like Voodoo and Port Royal,) which I’ve not had opportunity to review, but probably smell perfectly piratey as well. Continue reading