News - Everyday ArmStreet
by Mads Colvin
“Historybounding” is a term used to describe the marriage of historical and modern clothing. It’s a movement that asks “why not?”, and looks at how historical concepts and design can be incorporated into everyday outfits in a way that is not just costume. When you seriously love historical clothing and medieval costumes, it’s pretty natural that it starts creeping into your real-life wardrobe.
Getting started is a little bit different for everyone: some people start with little things, like brooches and jewelry, and slowly build up the confidence to experiment with more medieval pieces. For others, they’re comfortable wearing medieval dresses in a modern context, and start big! It’s a personal journey that’s very dependant on your own sense of style and what kind of clothing makes you feel good.
I’ve worked in medieval fashion for 5 years but have had a lifelong love of historical costume and modern fashion, and absolutely love incorporating medieval touches into my everyday looks. I love ArmStreet because they take historical concepts and push them further into the realms of fantasy, asking a lot of “what if?” questions and subsequently create beautiful things that are historically inspired, but informed by modern design. This makes a lot of their items incredibly easy to fit into modern fashion!
Here are some of my favorite types of items to mix into my modern wardrobe:
1. Handbags and pouches
I think that medieval bags are one of the easiest things to mix into your modern wardrobe. They’re small enough that they’re not the main event of your whole outfit, but they still make a statement and add to your overall look. Medieval bags are usually made from quality leather, not unlike a lot of high-end big brand purses, so they always bring a beautiful, luxe touch to any outfit. I’ve used the Dark Star Diamonds bag in a few different photoshoots, and found that it goes really well with simple, clean lines and dark clothing, and always works great as a clutch for evening-wear!
Who doesn’t love a pair of great lace-up boots? They can be styled with a ton of different modern items, from jeans to dresses, and can really elevate an outfit and tie it together. Though I’ve traditionally styled black Forest Boots in a modern context, the colors of the new women’s Forest Boots are fantastic and can really take your outfit up a level. You can also take the plain laces out of your boots and put in a contrasting color to match your modern outfit.
3. Capes and Cloaks
Capes keep trying to weasel their way into modern fashion, and hopefully, this is the year where they really take off! Our Princess Velvet Cape is made from a gorgeous, lush velvet that brings an instant bit of class to any outfit, with its lovely texture and flattering quilted cut. Cloaks aren’t to be overlooked, either - there’s nothing more comfortable than a nicely fitted black wool cloak, which will block out the wind and keep you warm. I find that cloaks are best used with a more formal outfit (opposed to jeans and a t-shirt), or they begin to look a bit too much like a costume.
Corsets are currently in fashion! Look to any fashion magazine and you’ll find corsets all over the place, used to cinch waists and bring drama to otherwise average outfits. They can go with a billowy shirt and jeans, dresses, and all sorts of other outfits - you just need to find the right color combination. We recommend not getting a corset that’s too constricting for everyday life, though - you still want to be able to bend over if you have to pick anything up!
Bracelets are a non-committal way to bring medieval style with you wherever you go - if you decide halfway through the day that they don't suit your style, you can just take them off. Leather and brass are both beautiful materials that go with a ton of modern clothing and don’t look out of place at all. For extra points, you can match the leather of your bracelet to the same color as your shoes, handbag, belt, and other leather accessories.
Don’t forget about your home! Personally, I love the ArmStreet Patchwork Blanket (as do my cats!). It brings a burst of color to the room, and also makes a great picnic blanket, cloak, or other make-shift cover. I take it with me to cover my bedspread at medieval events, and then display it in my home when I’m not on the road.
Much like bracelets, necklaces are a good place to start if you just want a single statement piece and not too much costume in your outfit. Most medieval necklaces are classy but different and really pull an outfit together. My personal favorites are the labyrinth necklace, and the German Rose Collection enameled necklace, which has a very opulent look to it.
Medieval dresses are often ignored when it comes to historybounding because of the length. Well, with some simple adjustments such as taking the hem up, you can turn your old medieval dress into a fashionable midi dress, which happen to be very on-trend this season. I took up my kirtle dress and now it blends in really well with my modern outfits!
Just like other jewelry, they’re a super-easy way to give your outfit a medieval touch. All of ArmStreet’s earrings are inspired by historical patterns and shapes but aren’t historical replicas, which makes them very fashionable and applicable to any modern outfit.
Belts! Don’t forget about them, they’re a very easy way to put a medieval spin to an otherwise classy modern outfit. An enameled medieval belt would look gorgeous with a modern dress, or you could just use any of our embossed leather belts to hold up your pants. It’s up to you how fabulous you decide to go with it.
How do you use medieval clothing to enhance your modern wardrobe? We’d love to see the cool outfits that you’ve put together!