Regalia & Sumptuary Laws, or "Who Gets to Wear What?"
Historically, sumptuary laws limited expenditure, especially with the goal of limiting spending on luxury items such as jewelry or dress.
In the context of the SCA, sumptuary laws define particular items of jewelry or dress which indicate rank. Only the holder of a specific rank may wear the item(s) associated with that rank.
The Society as a whole observes certain conventions:
- Kings and Queens wear Crowns.
- The heirs to the Throne and the royalty of principalities wear Coronets.
- Dukes and Duchesses wear circlets embellished with strawberry leaves.
- Counts, Countesses wear circlets which are crenelated.
- Viscounts and Viscountesses wear circlets Which have a Point
- Landed Barons and Baronesses wear the circlets of their Barony.
- Court Barons and Baronesses wear circlets embellished with pearls.
- Members of the Order of Chivalry who are Knights wear white belts and heavy unadorned chains of precious metal. Members who are Masters at Arms wear a white baldric. Both Knights and Masters may wear spurs with rowels.
- Members of the Order of the Laurel wear the badge of their order, often as a medallion on a necklace.
- Members of the Order of the Pelican wear the badge of their order, often as a medallion on a necklace.
- Members of the Order of Defense wear a badge of (tinctureless) three rapiers in pall inverted tips crossed, on a white livery collar.
Note that many kingdoms have additional Sumptuary Laws, which are sometimes defined in the published Laws of those Kingdoms. Avacal does not for either case. If you are briefly visiting another kingdom, you may abide by the customs of your home kingdom. If you move to, or make frequent or long-term visits to another kingdom, it's best to become familiar with and adopt the local laws and customs so as not to offend.
The following is customary within Avacal:
- Members of the Order of the Pelican and of the Laurel may wear a circlet which bears the badge of their orders.
- Members of the Order of the White Scarf wear a white scarf and their Cadets wear a red scarf.
- Members of the Order of the Grey Goose Shaft by custom wear a white bracer and their students Arcuarius wear a red bracer (often emblazoned with the heraldry of their mentoring OGGS).
- Many squires throughout the Known World wear a red belt to indicate their relationship with a member of the Order of Chivalry.
- Many provosts throughout the Known World wear a red Livery Collar to indicate their relationship with a member of the Order of Defense.
- Some apprentices and protégés in our and other kingdoms wear belts of certain colours (apprentice > green; protégé > yellow) to indicate their relationship with members of the Order of the Laurel or the Pelican. This tradition is not firmly entrenched in Avacal, but the custom of Giving an item of that colour in on the increase.
- Any subject of Avacal may wear, bear, or display:
- the badge of Avacal:Quarterly argent and Or, a gryphon's head erased gules.
- Any subject of a Barony or Shire in Avacal may wear, bear, or display:
- the populace badge of that group, if that Branch has a registered populace badge..
It is considered extremely poor manners to wear jewelry, headgear, or any other articles which might lead others to think you hold a higher rank than you actually do.