Thrift Store Piracy

Or, how to be your own pirate for about fifty bucks (less if you already have some wardrobe essentials)

So, we decided to attend the Portland Pirate Festival so we could take part in the attempt to reclaim the Guinness record for most costumed people talking like pirates or something.  We claimed the record last year, then some people in California bested us, then there was a British contingent that stole it.  Or something.  Who cares.  The point is, we needed pirate costumes, stat.

Stat is fancy nurse talk for RIGHT NOW OMG.

So we headed for the local Charity Thrift Store.  Now, I’m not a size 6 and I have Foot Issues, so I generally don’t shop for clothes or shoes at thrift stores, but I have bought a few things for the kids here and there (mostly coats and jeans) as well as books and other odds and ends.  But I wasn’t really thinking we’d find a lot, especially not at the first store we went to.  I was so pleasantly wrong!  (Ugh, that was almost perky.  Somebody stop me.)

But the question is, what does a basic, no-frills beginner pirate wear?

For starters, and because it was the closest section to the books, they wear something on their feet.  Usually boots.  Usually brown or black.  Again: Foot Issues.  Not really holding out much hope.  Plus, I have a pair of black lace-up boots in storage if I really felt like I had to go dig them out.  Across town.  In a friend’s basement.  Not near here.  But still.

But then there they were:

Ex. A: Black Pirate-y Boots.

And a mere twelve bucks or so.  Chuh!  How could I pass that up!  (The Lovely Rhonda found some suitable shoes as well.)

Moving on.  What else does a bargain hunting pirate wear?  Well, probably a white, flowing or frilly shirt, and maybe a vest.  We headed over to the shirts/blouses/things you wear on your torso department.  We picked through the racks, and the thrift store gods smiled on us once again with this one-two punch of piratey awesomeness:

Ex. B: Pirate-y Torso Ensemble.

In case you can’t see it up close, here is some detail.  The vest is truly ghastly taken as something one might wear to work, but as pirate garb it is spot-on.

Ex. B: Detail.

So, the next question becomes, what does a pirate wear to cover its buttocks?   The simplest answer is something black, and truly I had both trousers and a skirt that would work, but both are a bit dressy and not something I would want to get mud on (it did rain yesterday and I suspected there would be mud, and I was correct in this assumption) or in some other way risk ruining.  Plus we hit pay dirt once again with this swingy little number:

Ex. C: A Pirate-y Skirt.

This left just headwear and accessories.  For the Guinness record we’d need a hat or kerchief and an eyepatch.  The hat is a simple prefab affair that had a skull and crossbones sticker on it that I found to be a bit overkill so I peeled it off.  It’s made to look like a sort of kerchief anyway.  And the eyepatch was purchased at a party store for a couple of dollars.  The hat would have been ten dollars at the party store, but at the thrift store it was three bucks.  Cha-ching!

Ex. D: Hat and Eyepatch.

So, a few jewelry-type accessories and off we go.

Ex. E: Pirate Bling.

Then of course once we were there we found the perfect addition:  the spangled bellydancer’s scarf.  We each bought one.  Yay!

Ex. F: The Spangled Bellydancer's Scarf.

Let’s see how it all goes together, shall we?

Ex. G: The Finished Pirate.

Hiding behind me is my Coach purse, which isn’t all that piratey but I did have to carry around Girlish Essentials like a wallet and camera and sunglasses and lip balm and stuff.

So there it is.  About fifty bucks.  My Halloween costume for years to come.


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