German Costume Capsule Wardrobe

German Renaissance Cranach gown costume

German Renaissance Cranach gown costume with gown, chemise, gollar, cap, sleeves, and hat.

A fairly poor contender for my capsule wardrobe collections is my German costume – namely because I only have one gown with a few accessories at the moment – it’s not a layering costume where pieces can be interchanged to create that “capsule” impact. As much as I utterly adore that gown – I don’t really foresee myself making another.

My existing costume is a Cranach style gown, but I also want to make a Landsknechte style costume as well. Since I have a lot of fabric ready for that outfit… and lots of other fabrics I need to weed out – I figured that it would be a good idea to at least brainstorm colour schemes for that outfit as well.

Cranach Gown

I have:

For this “Capsule Costume Collection” I don’t actually think there’s anything else I want to make.  I really like this the way it is.

I used to make a colour palette – though it’s a bit difficult because the source photo is too dark to tell the teal hat is teal… and instead the pallete turned it into grey.

Photo of me in my German costume, with a colour palette generated beside it

Photo of me in my German costume, with a colour palette

Landsknechte / Kampfrau colour way options

Since the Landsknechte were late 15th and early 16th century mercenaries, they weren’t necessarily having beautiful period portraits painted. I wasn’t able to find any depictions of women (Kampfrau) from this time frame during a quick image search in colour portraiture. Of course, I was able to find woodcuts – but no colour there! However, from what I remember (I’m not doing any real research here) their clothes were often pieced together from the clothing of their victims, and so lots of colour, and lots of colours in one outfit were fashionable.

I’m pretty sure my blue tellerbarre, and gollars will be usable for a Landsknechte / Kampfrau costume, so that might be one good place to start to build a colour story. I looked at for inspiration using black and teal as a starting place.

I also took a look at my Pinterest board for inspiration, and thought that the most successful/attractive costumes tended to use two main colours, with a third as an accent or neutral.

Teal and red German Ren gown directly linked from Pinterest

Teal and red German Ren gown directly linked from Pinterest

Some I liked included:

Also, previously I pulled some navy blue and chocolate brown wool for a Kampfrau costume. While I haven’t seen examples of this through Pinterest, I think it’s a combination that will be nice.

While I don’t have a lot of burgundy wool (that I can remember?) I do have some small pieces of red that I’ve recently acquired which would team well with some teal I recently got as well – if there’s enough of it. I feel like at this point having a large enough piece for the main colour will be the best way to start.

So, two options I pulled for colourways for a Kampfrau – depending on which fabrics I have the right quantities of, are:

These palettes were created using

Final thoughts

Picking out the colours for future costumes is going to help me sort my fabrics, though it will be a while until I get it all sorted away – and can finally access my cutting table to start MAKING them! I’ll also still need to do a good amount of research to finalize the colours, shapes, etc.

If you’re interested to see what other costume wardrobes I’ve looked at to incorporate the “Capsule Costume Collection” idea – click the tag.

You can also follow my page on Facebook, where I’ll share updates from this project, as well as interesting stories I find online around costuming, sewing, and crafting… along with lots of Viking Age stories too!

One comment on “German Costume Capsule Wardrobe

  1. […] fabrics in my stash, pretty much anything using those would work.  Most of the fabrics in my German capsule bin are in that category, along with most of my Finnish bin […]

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