Review: Custom Pirate Eyepatch

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Rating: ★★★½☆
Pyrate Leatherworx

*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.

This may come as a surprise to you Jack Sparrow lookalikes out there, but part of the excitement of being a pirate is getting to dress in a fun and unique manner. Sometimes this means choosing the right slops and jacket, other times it means sporting a fine hat or funky facial hair. But other times it means we get to ACCESSORIZE!

Eyepatches are a longstanding staple of the pirate look. For the healthy-bodied individual they’re more comfortable than peglegs, and less dangerous than hooks (remember not to pick your nose!). Continue reading

Review: Pirate Frock Coat

Rating: ★★★★½

The internet is swarming with folks seeking to emulate their favorite Pirates of the Caribbean character – almost daily, droves of Jack Sparrow look-alikes swarm our good ranks. Think of that what you will, but the sad fact is that bloody few of these Sparrow clones look much like him at all. Some of this is due to the simple truth that so few of us look anything like Johnny Depp, but more of it is due to the difficulties of capturing “the look.” For wearing a fairly basic pirate ensemble, it would seem that Captain Jack is actually quite difficult to recreate from a needle-and-thread perspective.

Perfect Pirate is one of the few businesses to get it right, and may well be the pinnacle of their craft. I’ve reviewed their shirt and vest previously, and found them to be exceptional in every respect. But now it’s time to check out the big dog itself – Perfect Pirate’s recreation of Jack Sparrow’s frock coat. Continue reading

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: “Jack Sparrow” Inspired Tricorn

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Pyrate Leatherworx

*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.

It’s one of my pet peeves – seeing a hat listed as an “exact replica” of Jack Sparrow’s from Pirates of the Caribbean, when even the most casual glance is enough to see they’re nothing alike (this happens a lot on Ebay.) Sorry folks, a brown leather tricorn does not a Jack Sparrow make – it takes a properly weathered look, a nice wide brim, and a rolled back. And even then, it’s not necessarily safe to boast your hat as an exact duplicate. Continue reading

Review: Pirate Buckle Shoes

Rating: ★★★½☆
Flying Canoe Traders

No matter how great your pirate attire, the entire image can be instantly spoilt by a pair of chuck taylor sneakers. That’s only one reason why choosing the right footwear is so important. Comfort and durability rank right up towards the top as well.

When thinking pirate, many folks instantly picture a glorious pair of bucket boots. But the benefits of a simple buckle-shoe should not be forgotten; they can be more affordable and comfortable, and their understated Continue reading

Review: Buccaneer Hat

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

Until recently, quality pirate hats seemed to come in only two styles – the stylish working class pirate, and that of the pirate king. Capain Jack’s, who has handily redifined the market for the working class hat, has now gone one step better and created a third style – the pirate tradesman, perhaps?

Jack refers to it as his “18th Century Cocked Hat” series – quality cashmere hats with fine metal buttons, softer and in a wider range of colors than his original series. And where his original series of hats is perfect for the rough’n’tumble variety of pirate, these new 18th century hats would seem the ideal choice for the slightly more educated scalliwagg – the navigators and surgeons, for instance.

The 18th Century series is a mix of old and new, featuring some styles from his original series, and a couple unique to this new line. Continue reading

Review: Sailor Slop Breeches

Rating: ★★★★☆
Flying Canoe Traders

Never before have I tried a piece of pirate clothing that seemed more “ready for duty” than the pirate slops from Flying Canoe Traders. It’s easy to imagine these heavyweight canvas breeches serving aboard a sailing vessel hundreds of years ago, and they could surely perform just as admirably today. A row of seven metal buttons adorn the crotch, while a piece of cord in the back can be used to fine-tune the size – just like the old days. The extra wide legs will allow plenty of summertime ventilation while maintaining that swabbylike appearance that only a good pair of slops can provide.

Straight from the box these slops seem durable and ready for action – the only thing they lack is a good bit of scruff to give them that “broken in” feel. I’m looking forward to remedying this come summer, when they’re sure to be worn aplenty!

Review: Plumed Tricorn Hat

Rating: ★★★★★
Center Stage Costumes

I’ve stated before my belief that a pirate needs a hat – it’s just a matter of which kind. Some hats, such as the red knit cap, were meant for cabin boys – simple and plain. And other hats are meant for rough’n’tumble, working-class pirates who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, a ‘la Jack Sparrow’s crumpled tricorn. But that’s not you – you’re a SUCCESSFUL pirate, lounging about your galleon oozing contempt for Spaniard and commoner alike. And you’d never even think of ruining your manicure by working – if treasure needs to be buried, well, that’s what crewmen are for (you can always slaughter them afterwards, aye?) Continue reading