There is only one rule for costume in our buccaneer ranks. Please don’t buy or wear a fancy dress pirate costume. Not only does it look naff, but it’s a fire hazard! Opt for clothing made of natural materials – think wool, cotton, silk, linen. These will see you through some fiery times and will go in the washing machine. Remember you need to liberally douse your clothes and hat in fire retardant spray which you should be able to get locally in Lewes from places like Bunces in Cliffe High Street.
As someone who alternates her pioneer costume – from Cluniac monk/nun to buccaneer – whenever the fancy takes me, I am sharing what I have learned about putting together a buccaneer costume with very little budget.
I also advocate you take a quick look online at some stills from Pirates of the Caribbean movies (while we really don’t need any more Jack Sparrow lookalikes in bonfire, there are some great and authentic looking costumes to inspire you).
Contrary to popular belief, the buccaneer pioneer costume for Southover Bonfire Society is an easy and relatively cheap one to pull off as long as you use a bit of creativity and don’t mind shopping in charity shops or online on eBay. There is a Facebook bonfire costume group for people to sell or swap their costume bits as well as the Southover Bonfire Society Facebook group where people can do the same thing.
There are also some local companies who can help you if you want to buy a bit of quality for some items and go the charity shop route for the rest of your outfit. An example is Lewes-based Darcy Clothing which has lots of period shirts and tricorn hats.