[Bartitsu Workshop with Mark Donnelly - July 28-29, 2012 in NYC]
What to Wear

Historic attire is not required; you may wear anything you like, but since Bartitsu is a Victorian martial art, period attire is encouraged Men and women at the turn of the century trained in their corsets, waistcoats, top hats, and all the typical attire of the era. Starting around 1900, instructors discouraged women from wearing corsets during exercise. While we would not recommend training in delicate, irreplaceable clothing like your great-grandmother's wedding dress, durable nineteenth-century clothing or reproductions are perfectly appropriate, including corsets, bustles, long skirts, waistcoats, trousers, and other characteristic Victorian or Edwardian attire.

Gymnastic or physical culture attire of the Victorian and Edwardian eras is appropriate, and may be more comfortable given that New York City in July is often hot and muggy. Tee-shirts, tank tops, and light-colored trousers or knee breeches were commonly worn by men in 19th-century gymnasiums, and bloomers, blousy tops, or gym-dresses were worn by women for gymnastic exercises. Any of the aforementioned clothing is appropriate, and unlike our 19th-century counterparts, gender need not determine attire.

The material presented is chosen to reflect the fact that Victorian ladies would be restricted with corsetry. If you are frequently accustomed to wearing corsetry, then you may not find it too restrictive, but only you can say. If you choose to train in a corset, we'd suggest you be prepared to remove it if it proves too constricting. The training facility is equipped with floor fans, a ceiling fan, and a small air-conditioner, but July in New York City can be hot and humid. Check the weather forecast and dress accordingly. You may be more comfortable in uncorseted or masculine Victorian exercise attire such as bloomers, knee breeches, a cotton chemise, striped undershirt, and so forth.

Nineteenth-century women fenced in high-heeled lace-up boots, but they wore soft flat shoes for other types of physical training. We recommend flats rather than heels, for safety reasons. Comfortable street shoes or boots are perfectly fine, as sneakers, Chinese cotton Mary Janes, or kung-fu slippers.

What to Bring

Bartitsu incorporates self-defense with a walking stick, parasol, or umbrella, so we recommend you bring one to the seminar. The instructor has limited practice sticks to loan to students if you do not have your own. We do not recommend training with fragile antique parasols that are irreplaceable. A contemporary parasol, such as those made of Batenburg lace, would be more suitable, although a stick umbrella may be sturdier. The latter can be purchased from inexpensive luggage and gift shops.

If you will be joining us at Delmonico's for the Saturday evening social, you may wish to bring a change of clothing or a few accessories to spruce up your training attire for the evening event. The training facility has changing rooms and showers for your covenience; towels are available for rental or you may bring your own.

[exericise attire]
Click for examples of women's Victorian and Edwardian exericise attire
  [exericise attire]
Click for examples of men's Victorian and Edwardian exericise attire