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Author Topic: Ritual Attire?  (Read 3496 times)

candlemagic

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Ritual Attire?
« on: April 25, 2013, 03:21:18 pm »
I'm attending public rituals with a group and they asked us to wear attire that's just for the rituals we do with them, something that isn't street clothing. While there are many websites that sell clothing like this my problem is that a. I don't have loads of cash sitting around for this and b. I'm plus sized and pregnant so getting clothing off of a website would be difficult.

So what I'm asking really is where did you get your cloths, what do you consider ritual wear, and what suggestions/advice do you have to give?

ccam

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Re: Ritual Attire?
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2013, 03:53:29 pm »
Quote from: candlemagic;106702
I'm attending public rituals with a group and they asked us to wear attire that's just for the rituals we do with them, something that isn't street clothing. While there are many websites that sell clothing like this my problem is that a. I don't have loads of cash sitting around for this and b. I'm plus sized and pregnant so getting clothing off of a website would be difficult.

So what I'm asking really is where did you get your cloths, what do you consider ritual wear, and what suggestions/advice do you have to give?

 
I would classify ritual wear as any clothing you reserve specifically for ritual.  I usually do my rituals at night after a shower, so I just put on clean "everyday" clothing and that works for me.  I think if I were going to a public ritual I'd probably wear black exercise attire.  It's usually loose enough to move around in and it's usually pretty plain styling.

Breeze

Re: Ritual Attire?
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2013, 05:04:11 pm »
Quote from: candlemagic;106702
I'm attending public rituals with a group and they asked us to wear attire that's just for the rituals we do with them, something that isn't street clothing. While there are many websites that sell clothing like this my problem is that a. I don't have loads of cash sitting around for this and b. I'm plus sized and pregnant so getting clothing off of a website would be difficult.

So what I'm asking really is where did you get your cloths, what do you consider ritual wear, and what suggestions/advice do you have to give?


I'm not sure if this would count as ritual wear or not, I'm guessing your group is fairly formal because of the garb requirement.  Would a sarong and a shirt that you reserve only for ritual count?  You can get numerous different colors and designs.  Most of mine came from http://www.turtleislandimports.com.  You can get one for about $20, and some are available for about $9.  Since you are pregnant, the size would be completely customizable and you wouldn't have to spend loads of money to get one.  If you buy one that is large enough there are even ways to tie them to look like a dress.

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Re: Ritual Attire?
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2013, 06:17:33 pm »
Quote from: candlemagic;106702
I'm attending public rituals with a group and they asked us to wear attire that's just for the rituals we do with them, something that isn't street clothing. While there are many websites that sell clothing like this my problem is that a. I don't have loads of cash sitting around for this and b. I'm plus sized and pregnant so getting clothing off of a website would be difficult.

So what I'm asking really is where did you get your cloths, what do you consider ritual wear, and what suggestions/advice do you have to give?


There's a couple of things to consider here:
- Material (I strongly prefer natural fibers for ritual work: cotton, linen, wool. Silk is considered a magical insulator, some people like it for ritual robes, other people don't. I generally stretch as far as rayon, which starts as wood pulp, just because it gives you some more options)

- Sleeves: long sleeves can catch on candles. Or objects. This is not good. You may also find sleeves get a little too warm in some cast circles.

- Length: Long skirts (i.e. ankle length: calf length is usually just fine) are a problem if you're moving, unless you're very used to living in them. (I am. Most people aren't. If you're not wearing longish skirts a couple of days a week, consider something shorter for ritual wear.) It's really easy to trip someone else up or trip yourself.

- Adaptability: if you want something you can wear for lots of rituals, I've found that black with a selection of shawls in different colors over goes a long way. (You can generally pick up cotton sarong style shawls very inexpensively at thrift stores or various import stores.)

- A pocket or something that can double for one (a pouch that can slide on a belt) is an *immensely* useful thing. Group rituals may produce lyric sheets, objects you've charged in ritual, things you want to make notes about, etc. and having a place to store those is very handy.

My usual group ritual dress for a long time was a black chiton-style robe: these are very easy to make. Take a rectangle of cloth as wide as your armspan and as long as you want the robe to be. (I'm 60" tall, so I use 45" fabric: if you're taller you probably want to use 60" wide fabric)

Sew the two sides together, hemming the top 12" or so instead of sewing them together. Hem the top and bottom if you need to. (This is all straight sewing, so if you're willing to hand sew, it doesn't take terribly long or a lot of skill to do. If you have a friend with a sewing machine, it's about a 10 minute job.)

Sew ribbon ties across the top (leave space for your head, and pin them until you sort out the placing) down your arms. Or sew the top closed (again, with space for your head.) I prefer the ribbon. You can also pin at the shoulders with a larger cloak pin type thing. (Those big sorta-blunt kilt safety pin things do very nicely, and even a decorative diaper pin might do.) If you search on 'chiton' online, you should find some easy patterns.

The other option is something that's usually referred to as a T-tunic (basically, a very large t-shaped robe.) There's all sorts of variations out there. I find they tend to bind under the arms unless I get rather more fancy with sewing than I generally like.

These days, my ritual robes run to a black dress from Lotus Traders (searching on their site is really sorta painful, but if you type things like "black dress" into the search box and wait for a bit, it will pull things up. Holy Clothing (http://holyclothing.com/) also has some useful dresses that hold up well, though some of them are more fitted than might do in pregnancy. (They do tailor usefully for plus sizes, though.) Both tend to run $30-50, so making your own is likely cheaper, but they're not amazingly expensive options.

Dharma Trading Company may also be an option: they do clothing blanks for dyeing. Dye can be sort of a production, but you can also do a lot with solar paints (which they sell) even if you don't use the solar function of them (i.e. blocking the light reaching them). They do sell some black blanks, though the plus size options are a bit limited.
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Re: Ritual Attire?
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2013, 09:00:18 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;106726
(I'm 60" tall, so I use 45" fabric: if you're taller you probably want to use 60" wide fabric)


 
For some reason I always pictured you as way taller than that.
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Re: Ritual Attire?
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2013, 09:38:27 pm »
Quote from: Fireof9;106736
For some reason I always pictured you as way taller than that.

 
I am very very short. I blame my mother. (To be precise, I'm actually 5' and a half inch. But y'know, 60" does nicely for fabric.)

I got my mother's height and my father's bone structure. My father, who grew up in the UK, was required in school to play rugby because he was built for it.

Plus side: I have been in one building my life where someone said "Watch your head" and I actually had to. (It was descending a 14th century Italian tower.)
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Re: Ritual Attire?
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2013, 11:50:53 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;106739
I am very very short. I blame my mother. (To be precise, I'm actually 5' and a half inch. But y'know, 60" does nicely for fabric.)

I got my mother's height and my father's bone structure. My father, who grew up in the UK, was required in school to play rugby because he was built for it.

Plus side: I have been in one building my life where someone said "Watch your head" and I actually had to. (It was descending a 14th century Italian tower.)

 
Well a Hobbit would think you are tall ;)

I have no idea why I thought that, after thinking about it I remember you mentioning your height before. Not that it matters at all either, I just tend to visualize and picture everything and its amazing how often I am wrong LOL


Since I derailed this, I will bring it back as well.

The need for specific ritual clothing has always fascinated me. Is it a matter of creating a specific mind set or is it a matter of respect, kind of like wearing a suit or nice dress to church?
Really?  So, hey, want to go fishing?  I\'ve got a telescope, and it\'s going to be a dark night, so we should see the fish really well.
...what, I\'m not talking about fishing?  That\'s stargazing?  It\'s all doing-stuff, so it\'s the same thing, right?
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MadZealot

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Re: Ritual Attire?
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2013, 12:00:24 am »
Quote from: Fireof9;106749
Is it a matter of creating a specific mind set or is it a matter of respect, kind of like wearing a suit or nice dress to church?


Can be both, but for me it's mostly the former.  Putting on garb helps 'trigger' the mind-set.  Same with that fist whiff of incense or that first sip of libation (which you must sample for quality before you begin ;))
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Re: Ritual Attire?
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2013, 12:10:03 am »
Quote from: Fireof9;106749

The need for specific ritual clothing has always fascinated me. Is it a matter of creating a specific mind set or is it a matter of respect, kind of like wearing a suit or nice dress to church?

 
There's a couple of different ways to look at it. Some of the ones that apply to what I do:

I don't do formal ritual robes for every ritual, but ...

- Yes, there's an element of "you put on nice clothes for people you're inviting to a nice thing". Respect. Special occasion. Chance to dress up.

- When you're doing group work, having everyone in something other than street clothes definitely helps set mood and helps remind you that you are not in everyday space and time. (This doesn't have to be elaborate, but it's one of the reasons groups sometimes have specific clothing requirements: everyone in black, say, creates a different impression than everyone in bright colours, or everyone in street clothes.)

- Putting on ritual clothing is also a way to help one shift from everyday mindset into ritual mindset. If you look at the whole of the circle casting process as a way to help you do that, changing clothing (and, if you can make the logistics work, bathing before ritual) is a way to build even more of that time in.

Every time I get formally dressed for ritual, and put on the robes I keep just for ritual, and then put on my jewelry, and then do my hair (I usually have loose hair for ritual, or at least partly loose and I almost never do otherwise) - all those things help reinforce that I'm getting ready for ritual. Deciding exactly what shawl I'm wearing, or which pieces of jewelry does that too.

- And though this doesn't necessarily apply all that often, for people leading ritual, clothing can be a really useful way to mark people with specific roles, or with specific tasks, or help them get into the right frame of mind. (When I put on my priestess crown, a bunch of things are very different than if I'm just me in front of the computer. Same person, but it's very much akin to being backstage adn then being onstage, in a lot of ways.)
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Ritual Attire?
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2013, 03:04:54 am »
Quote from: candlemagic;106702
I'm attending public rituals with a group and they asked us to wear attire that's just for the rituals we do with them, something that isn't street clothing. While there are many websites that sell clothing like this my problem is that a. I don't have loads of cash sitting around for this and b. I'm plus sized and pregnant so getting clothing off of a website would be difficult.

So what I'm asking really is where did you get your cloths, what do you consider ritual wear, and what suggestions/advice do you have to give?

I've bought all my ritual wear at charity shops (which I think Americans call thrift stores). Saves a fortune! I have a vintage cloak that makes me look a bit like a hobbit (to stay on the theme of this thread), but which is warm (lined wool), mostly keeps me dry, and looks just about acceptable in a druid circle. I think I'm officially supposed to wear white robes, but I object to that, so I don't. I just wear ordinary clothes under the cloak. For home rituals I have a long black dress that does fine for indoor stuff, although would be a bit light for anything outdoors. You'll be really surprised at what you can get second hand.
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Re: Ritual Attire?
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2013, 07:56:31 am »
Quote from: candlemagic;106702
I'm attending public rituals with a group and they asked us to wear attire that's just for the rituals we do with them, something that isn't street clothing. While there are many websites that sell clothing like this my problem is that a. I don't have loads of cash sitting around for this and b. I'm plus sized and pregnant so getting clothing off of a website would be difficult.

So what I'm asking really is where did you get your cloths, what do you consider ritual wear, and what suggestions/advice do you have to give?

I have a red robe that I wear for Wiccan outdoor and public rites, and a black&white one specifically for OTO stuff. I had to hand make the red one myself, and decided to do the same for the white one because I really didn't have any other means. I don't own a sewing machine so they were kind of painstaking, and I had to mess up two before I got it down. Getting the right amount of fabric, and correct measurements can be tricky.

My HPS was kind enough to make my black one for me, and I must say it's my favourite one. She obviously owns a sewing machine and damn well on it, and I don't even think I could have ordered one as well as it.

We have however decided to have our white robes 'uniformed' for Gnostic Masses. Even when you follow guidelines everyone's turns out in their own 'unique' way, so there's a site that sells an Islamic one that is very similar, except it has a funky collar I don't like, but everyone else seems to be pleased with them......

Unless you're a good sewer it looks like the best option would be ordering one. I know how it goes not having the spare cash, there's quite a lot of things I need to order that are 'on hold,' but you should be able to find some pretty cheap ones. Given your situation, it would be kind of a shame as it's like you're ordering a temporary one just for "this" rite. I guess the best alternative option would be asking if anyone has a spare one of suiting size that you could borrow for it. Some people do carry spares. We have a few that do it for the skyclad ones that turn up, "I didn't know we were working outside!"
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Re: Ritual Attire?
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2013, 02:04:55 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;106726
My usual group ritual dress for a long time was a black chiton-style robe: these are very easy to make. Take a rectangle of cloth as wide as your armspan and as long as you want the robe to be. (I'm 60" tall, so I use 45" fabric: if you're taller you probably want to use 60" wide fabric)

Sew the two sides together, hemming the top 12" or so instead of sewing them together. Hem the top and bottom if you need to. (This is all straight sewing, so if you're willing to hand sew, it doesn't take terribly long or a lot of skill to do. If you have a friend with a sewing machine, it's about a 10 minute job.

 
Thank you all for your suggestions and advice. I'm either going to try to do the chiton styled dress or I'm going to try and get a black summer dress and jazz it up with scarves and other colourful knitted shawls.

I'm used to wearing what I'm comfortable with which a lot of the time is some of my street clothing but I want to honor what the group wants to do and not be disrespectful.

Again, thank you all for your suggestions! They were very helpful.

Pagan_Pixie

Re: Ritual Attire?
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2013, 10:48:30 am »
Quote from: candlemagic;106702
I'm attending public rituals with a group and they asked us to wear attire that's just for the rituals we do with them, something that isn't street clothing. While there are many websites that sell clothing like this my problem is that a. I don't have loads of cash sitting around for this and b. I'm plus sized and pregnant so getting clothing off of a website would be difficult.

So what I'm asking really is where did you get your cloths, what do you consider ritual wear, and what suggestions/advice do you have to give?

 
I do a lot of shopping for ritual clothes at thrift stores. I always find wonderful skirts, tops, and scarves, and have even bought quite a few items that I use as altar cloths. I don't consider these clothes to be "street cloths" because, once I take them home and wash them, they are strictly used for rituals. One thing I do try to do is pick colors that are complimentary to the ritual. For example, for Beltane I would wear a flowing red skirt with a white top; for Samhain I have a burnt orange and black dress.

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