Ontario Re-Visited ~ The Ten-Foot Rule

Do You Pass the Ten Foot Rule?

by Judi ‘Scoop’ McWilliams

Beyond the actual re-enacting, I became aware of just how important being true to the Period Clothing was. Period Clothing now means, to us modern folk, that something is “old fashioned, junkie or, just outdated”! Ask someone … “where’d you get that outfit … back in the 70’s?” and see what they say! Even the popular T.V. show “What Not to Wear” challenges people on “outdated” clothing. However, Period Clothing to a re-enactor is clothing belonging to a very specific historical period and it needs to be is Period Correct in its accuracy! Apparently the “educated spectator” can be quite the “judgmental”! There are even terms used to demonstrate just how serious these “judgments” can be.

The funniest term I found was “the ten-foot rule”. This is a measurement from ten feet away. If it looks period from that distance, you just might pass! Who knows, from afar, if it’s “leather or vinyl”, has “too many threads per inch in the weave” or is “hand-made or factory made in Taiwan”? Apparently, these “judgmental” spectators have disparaging remarks and names given to them from the re-enactors. Names such as “thread counters” and “garb snarks”. It’s a nasty game that I choose to stay out of! For us, we choose to enjoy all the extreme efforts put forth by the re-enactors and take pleasure being “transformed in time”!

Original historic “Art Sketch” by Susan ‘Shadow’ Caron

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