Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>neo-traditional pirate
Subject: pirate
Culture: American
Setting: North America

Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)


* Konstam/Rickman/Rava 2011 p18
 "If a modern-day movie pirate or re-enactor were somehow transported back to the Golden Age of Piracy, he would no doubt draw some very curious looks.  Today's ideas of 'pirate dress' -- including headscarves, hoop earrings and long, dangling sashes -- are myths inspired by authors and illustrators who needed to create a recognizable pirate archetype in order to tell their stories.  Real pirates were sailors who had turned outlaw and there is simply no evidence that they ever dressed as anything other than seamen.  But even our ideas of late-17th- and early 18th-century seamen are obscured by legend."

​* Turnbull 2017 p15-16
"[T]he popular image of the pirate derives almost entirely from the American author and illustrator Howard Pyle (1853-1911).  Pyle regarded the look of ordinary eighteenth-century sailors as too dull for these romantic figures, so he added elements drawn from the Spanish folk costume of his day -- headscarves knotted behind the head, large hooped earrings and wide trailing sashes -- to a somewhat mistaken notion of authentic seafaring dress."

* Konstam 1999 p184
"The modern image of a pirate from the "Golden Age of Piracy" is based on the archetypal Hollywood model.  Bicorn hats adorned with a skull and crossbones plus a splendidly decorated long-tailed captain's coat are the standard attire for any pirate leader.  The crew tend toward head scarves, plain white shirts, and seamen's baggy trousers, adding ear-rings and tattoos for extra effect.  Although the portrayal of the crewmen is almost accurate, much of the image is carried to extremes, and the figure of Captain Hook with his wig, ruffed sleeves, and trimmed beard would have been laughed out of the Caribbean."