What would Falstaff wear? (and how about the Tavern Tarts?)

Sir John Falstaff is a boozer, a braggart, and a womanizing slob. He claims he can fight 50 men at a time, but flees from any hint of danger. He says his waistline was once as slender as an eagle’s talon. Now his stomach threatens to pop out of his shirt. Still, he’s very fond of himself.

Falstaff is one of Shakespeare’s richest characters, but the great playwright had surprisingly little to say about his costume, or the clothes of any other character.

How would such a vain and dissipated man dress himself? What would those clothes say about Falstaff’s past, his view of himself, and how he wants others to see him?

Such questions drive costume designer B. Modern as she puts together the clothes for Shakespeare Santa Cruz’s upcoming production of Henry IV, Part One, which opens August 5 at the Mainstage Theater on campus.

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