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"Elf-like" clothes that would work in real life...?


Apr 14 2016, 6:51am

Post #1 of 10 (1979 views)
"Elf-like" clothes that would work in real life...? Can't Post

For some reason I have always liked the ways that the Elves seem to dress, even though I cannot quite put my finger on it.
But basically, my impression is that the Elves wore clothes of a very light and loose-fitting material.
This excellent drawing by Jenny Dolfen of FŽanor and some of his family members is a pretty good indication of what I consider "Elvish clothes:


Of course, I am chiefly interested in the clothes that FŽanor and his sons wear, since I am a man. Wink
Do you know of anything like this that would work in real life, and that would have a slight "Elvish" vibe to it, without looking too excessive? Tongue
It should look like a shirt and a couple trousers, basically, but still have that soft-looking and pretty style to it.

(This post was edited by Laurelindo on Apr 14 2016, 6:59am)


Apr 15 2016, 1:51pm

Post #2 of 10 (1895 views)
Try "collarless" [In reply to] Can't Post

If you search for "collarless" shirts online or on Amazon you might find something you like. The rigid modern Western collar and cuffs seem to be the most obvious style difference between modern men's shirts and shirts from other times or places. Another thing that might work is the "vintage hippie" category - those shirts tend to be loose and without the modern collar, although be prepared to get a lot of tie-dyed T-shirts in that category. Smile


Gold is the strife of kinsmen,
and fire of the flood-tide,
and the path of the serpent.


Apr 15 2016, 2:50pm

Post #3 of 10 (1886 views)
Thanks for your reply [In reply to] Can't Post

The only small problem I have right now is that it seems that most "elf-like clothes" that I can find are made for women, and I am a man;
this might be ideal if I ever decide to be a crossdresser or whatever, but in everyday life I would prefer male clothes. Tongue

I found a bunch of cool stuff on this site as well though, but they also seem to be made for women, and indeed the site itself has a generally feminine feel to it:


It would be nice if there existed some sort of male clothes that were as close to this as possible, but still looked like they were made for males.

(This post was edited by Laurelindo on Apr 15 2016, 2:59pm)


Apr 15 2016, 3:30pm

Post #4 of 10 (1874 views)
sites [In reply to] Can't Post

Have you tried the medieval attire sites, or the Renaissance Festival type sites? Also, if you search "drawstring shirt" for men, or "granddad collar", "peasant", "pirate" and so on, you find a variety of styles. You're right, though - finding these in-between slightly elvish styles is much easier for women, so good luck! Smile


Gold is the strife of kinsmen,
and fire of the flood-tide,
and the path of the serpent.

Fantastic Four

Apr 15 2016, 4:45pm

Post #5 of 10 (1866 views)
Try SE Asian or South Pacific styles [In reply to] Can't Post

It seems to me that you would like styles from SE Asia and the South Pacific, particularly if they are collarless.

Something like this but collarless?

or maybe this with long sleeves?

River Island has a line of collarless shirts that seem to be what you're looking for:

Add batik to your search for collarless shirts ... I think you'll find something


Apr 15 2016, 6:10pm

Post #6 of 10 (1857 views)
There's another style that Legolas wears also [In reply to] Can't Post

When I think of Elf clothing I also think of the streamlined style that Legolas wore in the film trilogy, for instance in Lothlorien and at the coronation. These remind me of nehru jackets, slim fitting with a modified 'mandarin' collar and buttons or clasps down the front.

Good luck with your clothing search, Laurelindo! I hope you find the right style that feels natural and brings out your inner Elf lord :)!

Fantastic Four

Apr 16 2016, 4:40am

Post #7 of 10 (1833 views)
kurta [In reply to] Can't Post

"Kurta" could be another fruitful search term. You'll get lots of results for men's shirts in the South Asian tradition. They are collarless and often in very nice colours, often with a bit of embroidery too. Some are knee-length but you can also find them shirt-length.


Apr 17 2016, 7:23am

Post #8 of 10 (1791 views)
How about... [In reply to] Can't Post

You could go for the barong, the Philippine national costume. Some are very elf like especially if you go with the mandarin collar, although most tend to be see-through so you'd have to think about what to wear underneath also.

'And I name you elf-friend and blessed. May your shadow never grow less (or stealing would be too easy)!'

(This post was edited by Aranaes on Apr 17 2016, 7:26am)


Apr 17 2016, 1:58pm

Post #9 of 10 (1782 views)
Don't let your quest be over-influenced by Tolkien's Elves [In reply to] Can't Post

The 'Elves' of today's fantasy genres were not solely created by Tolkien, and most illustrations of 'his' Elves are by artists and designers who have their own ideas and feelings about what Elves should be and what they should wear.

Tolkien himself almost never addresses his peoples' clothing, and famously he did not like to draw human figures as it was his greatest artistic weakness.

The only illustration I know of where Tolkien drew his Elves is this one:

Note that both Elves are wearing tight-fitting jackets, knickers, hose, and shoes of some kind. In other words, typical medieval clothing for commoners or wayfarers. "Light and loose-fitting material" is not very practical for living in the woods of Northern Europe, and the ethereal nature of Tolkien's Elves comes from who they are, not what they wear.

However, all the sources you've been referred to do allow you dress in whatever you decide your "Elvish" style is. The only caveat I would offer is not to claim that these sub-tropical styles are "the clothes that Feanor and his sons wear" - if by Feanor, you mean the heroic Germanic Elf that Tolkien wrote about.

squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary

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(This post was edited by squire on Apr 17 2016, 2:05pm)

Fantastic Four

Apr 20 2016, 3:11pm

Post #10 of 10 (1688 views)
You might try designing your own [In reply to] Can't Post

You don't have to sew, sometimes it's even less expensive to pay someone who sews to make something for you.

Think of what you'd like to see yourself in, and modify it slightly to make it street-wear acceptable (for example making a tunic shirt-length instead). You can also check out patterns offered by companies that specialize in historical costuming if you don't think your own skills are up to it. Then take the pattern to an experienced sewer.

The advantage of this is that you can have your own choice in such things as fabric, color and fastenings.

Or you could even learn to sew yourself if you don't know how already. It's lots of fun (and lots of men sew).

Some people call it fanfiction. I call it story-internal literary criticism.


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