Whether you're genuinely missing your weekly dose of Game of Thrones, or simply looking for a way to enjoy the novelty of dressing like you're from Westeros (or Essos), mimicking GoT style is a fun way to pay tribute to your love of the show (and period piece costumes). Of course, dedicated cos-players will likely spend months preparing custom made ensembles, paying special attention to details such as authentic fabric choice, episode specific jewelry pairing, and hand sewn embellishments. Or, they may enlist their trusty seamstress to tackle the creation of their traditional GoT garb.
However, for those of us looking to flaunt some Westeros style in real life without an additional investment, or going to Comic-Con, the hunt is bound to take place in our own closets and dresser drawers. Luckily, depending on your personal style, you can usually get pretty close to something that at least pays subtle homage to Westeros and Essos fashion with what you have on hand.
To demonstrate the dance you'll have to master if you've chosen to piece together a Westeros/Essos inspired look from your current wardrobe, I've styled seven unique looks that are by no means exact replicas, but utilize some of the basic fashion elements that make up GoT looks. They're ensembles that will vary from closet to closet, but most of us will have the building blocks to pull them together in ways that reflect our own unique style. Below, we'll go over what makes each look work, where you might want to wear it, and how it hails back to Westeros/Essos.
1. Scarves And Skirts
Since Daenerys and Missandei have such similarly iconic styles, I'll begin with some Essos inspired garb in order to pay tribute to the Mother of Dragons and her most trusted adviser. Since the beginning, Daenerys and Missandei have favored cool colors and blue hues, so choosing garments in these ranges will get you started in the right direction. From there, you'll want to incorporate lightweight fabric with lots of movement that can be easily twisted and draped.
For this look, I've created a base of dark color (to add some visual interest) with a simple, flowing handkerchief skirt. On top, I've layered a single scarf, twisted around a silver choker (which in this case, happens to accent the silver embellishments of the scarf), and secured around the waist with a simple belt. The belt is exposed in the back, but in front, the top fold of the scarf is tucked back under the belt to create a seamless appearance.
Light and airy, this look works well for casual summer gatherings, fairs, and days spent on the beach. You could easily work this over a bathing suit, or take advantage of the open back to show off your tattoos.
2. Neutral Layers
As Arya Stark continues on her journey of self discovery (toward the eventual death of her ego, philosophically speaking), we can only assume her style will continue to undergo some pretty great changes. At this point in the series, however, she's adapting to life in Braavos, and has taken on a persona featuring slightly more relaxed fashion. Her clothes are lighter weight, and earth toned, so to mimic her look, I began with cotton basics in fairly neutral colors.
On top of a blue skirt and white tunic, I layered a taupe vest. While not as intricate as Arya's style, or that which we commonly find in Braavos, the basic effect remains in tact, and the final product is a look versatile enough to wear in just about any common setting.
3. Shades Of Sand
Although wearing intricate leather armor on a daily basis might elevate my personal style rating to pure badass, I don't currently have any leather breast plates or the like laying about in my closet. So, while I'm quite taken with HBO's adaptation of Dornish fashion, especially when it comes to the Sand Snakes, I've had to improvise a bit in order to imitate something akin to Obara Sand's style.
Of course, when it comes to paying homage to the Sand Snakes, color is key. Anything in the brown, taupe, or yellow spectrum is suitable, so that's where I began. In place of leather, I chose a taupe vest, hiked up to show a little midriff (since I associate Dornish fashion with ample amounts of skin). The vest has been paired with a lighter taupe wrap skirt, featuring some delicate embroidery, similar to what can be seen in various Dornish ensembles.
This look is lightweight, casual, and a bit funky, so it would work well at a concert, festival, or casual summer get together.
4. Delicately Deadly
Since we're on the topic of the infamous Sand Snakes, I'll take a moment to give a quick nod to Tyene Sand, the eldest of Ellaria Sand's daughters, and according to some, the most beautiful woman in the world.
Of course, my humble handkerchief dress is a bit dated, and you may have something a bit more suitable in your closet with which to tribute Tyene's delicately deadly style, but in the meantime, the flowing folds of the handkerchief would work well in Dornish heat. The look is feminine, yet fierce, in an earthy sort of way, and works at the beach, poolside, or around the house on sweltering summer days.
5. Peek-A-Boo Patterns
You'll have to bare with me here, as my interpretation of this style is much more conceptual than direct. But, you can use what you have on hand to create whatever variation of this look you deem fitting. The idea is simple: Much of Medieval fashion, and the basis of GoT fashion, incorporates rich texture, layering, and a combination of base colors and highlights/secondary colors. Everything is very thematic, and often, repetitive.
What I've created here is an ensemble that features black as a primary color, with blocks of red peeking out beneath intricate lace. In order to achieve this effect, I layered a short, modern, semi-formal dress on top of a floor length, formal black skirt. To blend the two, I pinned a sheer black scarf around the hem of the dress' embellishment layer, allowing the folds of the scarf to drape naturally over the skirt.
The final result is something slightly more formal than the original dress, and thus could be used for an event that calls for a bit more modesty or refinement. Of course, you'll want to ensure the pieces you combine compliment each other, and layer well. Were I to use something of this effect for an actual event, I would probably modify the original dress to allow for slightly better layering over the floor length skirt.
6. Don Your Chiffon
Whether you're looking to go Dornish, or just channel a more whimsical GoT vibe, chiffon is a lovely, airy choice for Westeros/Essos style. The flowing fabric drapes beautifully — perfect for formal affairs and evening wear.
Granted, my color scheme speaks more to Cersei Lannister than Myrcella inspired fashion, or even that of Shae (as featured above), and your closet may hold another hue entirely, but the spirit of the garb remains intact.
7. Go Regal
If there's one thing Cersei, Margeary Tyrell, and all of the other women at court have in common, it's their finery. Adorned in silks and linens, and almost always sporting intricately embroidered bodices or surcoats, the high born women of Westeros know how to do regal right.
Seeing as we've yet to make use of corsets, now seems the right time to bust one out. If you've got a collection of these intricate intimates, combine them with understated sleeves, scooping necklines, scarves, and skirts to create lovely, Westeros inspired outfits. Incorporating a detailed corset is a unique way of adding a touch of unexpected intrigue and elegance to a simple, semi-formal standard, like the little black dress.
Images: Jen Schildgen (8); Helen Sloan (3), Macall B. Polay (4)/HBO