Review: Captain Kidd Pirate Hat

Rating: ★★★★★

jackshats_kiddReviewing a Captain Jack’s Pirate Hat is always a treat. For one, it’s a safe bet I’ll be able to write a favorable review (certainly more fun than the alternative.) But also, it’s always a treat to bask in the details of the new hat in question. While nearly every hat by Captain Jack starts its life as a near identical round felt blank, and the initial structuring and weatherproofing (optional) remains reassuringly consistent; the variations in color, style, and accessories make for a mind-bogglingly diverse range of end-products. Continue reading

Review: Pirate Coat

Rating: ★★★★½

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… Continue reading

Review: Caribbean Shirt

Rating: ★★★★☆
Sea Wolf Clothing

Dressing like a pirate is the easy part. Well, not really. But intuitively speaking, if you’re attending a costumed event, then you already know – more or less – several ways to go about expressing your inner pirate. The tricky bit is how to go about indulging your swashbuckling id when cavorting amongst polite society – neighborhood barbeques, work parties, and timeshare presentations. Of course, some folks will just say, “bullocks” and dress like a pirate anyways. But most of us would seek a more sophisticated merger of our inner pirate and outer reality.

For years, t-shirts have been the mainstay for wearing your love of piracy on your sleeve (or more generally, your chest), while also dressing in acceptably modern fashion. But Seawolf Clothing has now taken a different tack with their run of “Caribbean Shirts.” And just what is a Caribbean Shirt? Think Hawiian shirt, but for (you guessed it) Pirates! Continue reading

Review: Custom Pirate Hat

The Bilgemunky Logo is a trademark of Bilgemunky Enterprises, LLC

Rating: ★★★★★
Pyrate Leatheworx

*note: I adore and endorse the craftsmanship of Pyrate Leatherworx. However, I’ve received many reports of late from dissatisfied customer regarding poor communication and long overdue orders. Prior to placing an order based on this review, I strongly urge you to first read these comments from concerned readers.

The time had come.

Too many times I’ve attended pirate events, had a fantastic time, and then come home to grumpy emails from readers saying, “I didn’t know you were at [Pirate Festival]! I was there too – I’d have bought you a rum!” Now, I’m not the sort to walk up to everyone and say, “Greetings, I am Bilgemunky – perhaps you’ve heard of me.” (Actually, I’d gladly do this, except for the fear of them saying, “No – now please leave me alone.”) But I’m also not the type to pass up the opportunity for readers to buy me rum. What to do? Continue reading

Review: Singapore Pirate Hat

Rating: ★★★½☆
Captain Jack’s Pirate Hats

The debate is never ending: Who’s better, pirates or ninjas?

Obviously I fall wholeheartedly into the pirate camp, and the reasons are many. I won’t bore you with the full list, but one of the key points is that as pirates, we get to customize our look to fit our own personal prefences. Where ninjas wear black pajamas, pirates can choose from a multitude of colors and styles with regards to their wardrobe. In this respect, Captain Jack’s Pirate Hats has been a longtime friend of pirates everywhere with their wide assortment of pirate hats in many cuts and styles, and in a seemingly endless variety of colors.

But should you be on the fence between pirates and ninjas, Captain Jack’s now has your back as well. Their new “Singapore Pirate Hat” boasts a strong asian influence that’s sure to turn heads in pirate and ninja circles alike. Continue reading

Review: (Early 18th Century) Colonial Buckle Shoe

Rating: ★★★★☆
C&D Jarnagin Company

When it comes to period clothing, shoes are one of the biggest hangups around. For a true pirate reenactor (which I am not), the first challenge is just getting into the “shoes, not boots” mindset – boots would rarely have been worn by pirates, if we’re to be perfectly accurate. But even then, the trouble is just starting – historical shoes should be straight-lasted (meaning no left or right), have relatively large tongues and small buckles, be butt stitched, etc. etc. The sad truth is, there’s really no perfectly accurate shoe on the market for the golden age of piracy. There are many close-enough shoes for the casual pirate – some of very high quality. But almost none that would meet the standards of a true, dyed-in-the-linen historical reenactor. Continue reading

Review: Custom Sailor’s Short Jacket

Rating: ★★★★☆
Reconstructing History

In the winter of 2007, I had my first opportunity to visit Pirates in Paradise in Key West. Not only was it my first time visiting this pirate festival – one that enjoys a reputation bordering on the legendary – but it was also to be my first amongst true pirate reenactors in their element. As such, I wanted to try my best to look the part of a historical pirate. Being as the bulk of my pirate work involves modern and pop cultural elements, the lion’s share of my pirate garb has greater or lesser degrees of Hollywood flair, which usually suits me fine. But for Pirates in Paradise, I wanted something a bit more down-to-earth. Continue reading

Review: Cotton Pirate Waistcoat

Rating: ★★★½☆
Flying Canoe Traders

To date, I’ve had the great pleasure of reviewing several Flying Canoe products – a shirt, some slops, buckle shoes, and even sailor’s bags. If I were to select one over-riding feature that they all share it would without question be durability. To a product, each has been made from heavy duty materials, and the stitching is amongst the strongest I’ve ever seen – wear points are even pre-patched and multi-seamed, just to make sure. I’ve reviewed many fine articles of pirate clothing from several manufacturers, and Flying Canoe remains the hands down winner when it comes to rugged tailoring.

The Flying Canoe sleeveless cotton waistcoat carries on in this fine tradition. Being made from a heavy canvas material, it does bear some notable stiffness when fresh off the rack – a few washings and wearings softened it up a bit. It then remains on the stiff end of the spectrum, but not overly so. Continue reading

Review: Ashaki Skirt, Barbarossa Blouse

Rating: ★★½☆☆
To Be A

Always on the lookout for more clothing options for the pirate ladies (still the underserved segment of our population), I was excited to check out this blouse and skirt combo from To Be A The skirt is their Ashaki, being a basic skirt with a jagged hem and widely adjustable waist (via drawstring.) To enhance the classy roughness of the bottom, it’s actually a double-layered skirt, allowing for a flowing, random look. The top is the Barbarossa blouse, with plunging, ruffled neckline and elastic cuffs.

Both items are made of a crinkly, flowy rayon – not the ideal choice for sailors or reenactors, but more than suited for pirate partiers or fashionistas. With some creative accessorization, this skirt/blouse combination can make for an excellent entry level outfit – decent quality, and very affordably priced. The key, of course, is finding a way to make it your own (with the further assistance of To Be A, perhaps, who offer belts, jewlry, and more skirts for additional layering.)

Review: Skallywagg Pirate Hat

Rating: ★★★★☆
Captain Jack’s Pirate Hats

I’ve reviewed Captain Jack’s Pirate Hats before, and now I do so again. This may seem odd, in that most of his hats are essentially similar – all that usually changes is the shape, the color, and options regarding waterproof treatment. Being as these are matters of taste rather than quality (which is always exceptional in my experience with Jack’s Hats), it’s of little point for me to review each and every hat he makes. But there are a few styles and lines that bear particular mention, and the Skallywagg Limited Edition is one such hat.

The Skallywagg is an extra-thick hat with an extra-wide brim. Formed into a traditionalish tricorn fashion with a rolled back, it is then beat up and (yes) shot with a musket – and this makes the Scalliwagg special. Most of Captain Jack’s Pirate Hats are essentially infants – crisp and new, ready to grow, wear, and age with their new owner. Continue reading