Home > Short Pirate Vests vs. Long Pirate Vests

Short Pirate Vests vs. Long Pirate Vests

Understanding when to wear a short vest vs a long pirate vest is an important part of creating a historically accurate pirate costume for Halloween or the stage. Read on to find out when each length of pirate vest is most appropriate.

When to wear short pirate vests

The detailing of a pirate ensemble said a lot about the rank of the pirate wearing it. For that reason, shorter styles of clothing were often favored by lower ranking members of a crew. Short vests were made with hard work in mind. They provided warmth as well as another place to stow necessities like guns, a knife or a flask, without interfering with the every day labor of the wearer. These vests are best worn with other rugged pirate pieces like skullcaps, plain tunics and short pants.

When to wear long pirate vests

Long pirate vests were typically worn under long coats, or alone over an equally long shirt when the weather dictated that a pirate go without his coat. This style of vest was popular among captains and other high-ranking members of the crew. The long vest was not practical for menial labor nor hand-to-hand combat and as a result was largely worn as a status symbol. When tied at the waist with a sash or belt, the vest was more efficient and controlled. To get a truly impressive pirate costume, wear your long vest over a ruffled shirt and under a tailored long coat.

Enhance your costume without confusing the point of each piece by choosing the right vest length for the type of pirate you are recreating, whether you are playing a deck hand or the captain himself.

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