Greetings! This is Sir Thomas Sully, Lady Sully’s husband. My wife has graciously allowed me to use her blog to say this.
Life is a funny thing in many ways. I would like to expound upon one of those ways…standards. Standards, when set high, are the means to greatness. One cannot achieve good things with out high standards. If there are no standards, if there is nothing better to shoot for then why do anything? Regarding costuming there are two camps: Costuming or Historical Reenacting. Either of them are fine as long as you understand each of their own standards and expectations. Some people just want to dress up and “feel pretty”, that’s great! But please don’t call yourself a reenactor. A reenactor strives to meet the standards of the time they are trying to portray. This is basic common sense, if you want to reenact then you must do extensive research so you know how they dressed, spoke and carried themselves. You must (and I cannot emphasize this enough) use fabrics that they used. One cannot use synthetic fabrics and then expect those with standards not to criticize you for it. I understand cost can be an issue, but if you want silk but cannot afford it do what they did in the time you are trying to portray…don't get silk! Use other natural fibers. I could continue with each individual item i.e. hair, buttons, skin art etc., but I will refrain.
Yes, we all just want to have fun, but do not be offended when some of us have the most fun only when things are be most accurate we can be. With out standards nothing would get better, there would be no goal to shoot for, there would be no excellence. And sorry to say where there is excellence there must be the poorest quality. Just like there cannot be good without evil and there cannot be light without darkness.
Standards give us all something to strive for and if you want to be better, more accurate, honor our ancestors, and help the world understand history then shoot for the high standards, do your research. Reach, strive, achieve, you will feel much more fulfilled and proud of what you have accomplished when you reach for those standards.