One of my fantasies for some day when I have money is to own a set of armor. Has been for years, really. Back in junior high and high school, a suit of Imperial Stormtrooper armor topped the list–though these days it’s pretty far down there. Lately, historical armor takes up the highest places for kinds of armor I’d go for. Granted, I don’t know what I’d do with a set of armor–it’s not the most pragmatic of investments–but it’d be cool to have.
If I had to pick a set of armor I’d like best, I’d go with Roman Legionary armor. Preferably a set of lorica segmentata from the Trajan and Hadrian eras, but any style Roman armor would do, honestly. A set of hoplite armor could be similarly cool, but I’d rank it a bit lower just because I’d get really tired of morons shouting ‘This is SPARTA!’ when they see me. I think I’d be a bit fussier with hoplite armor, though. While bronze muscle-armor is the popular style for armor recreations, I like the linen cuirass much better. The only downside I find is that I’d have to wear sandals as part of the Greek and Roman costumes, and I don’t really care much for sandals.
Armor from Medieval or Renaissance Europe could be cool as well. If I had to pick an order to go with, I’d say Teutonic Knight, seconded by Knights Hospitaller, and Knights Templar. Chainmail in general is neat–I wore a colleague’s chain shirt in a couple of Medieval drama productions a few years ago and would wear it again given the opportunity, despite it being heavy and uncomfortable. (I found the best way to carry the stuff is to just wear it.) Full or partial plate armor would also be fun. Scale armor is similarly durable and flexible and looks cool. And, to be honest, leather and padded armors were also very common, and offered better protection than most people realize. And I could see any of it being neat to collect and wear or even mix and match.
Perhaps the most practical method, given my limited budget, might be to buy a simple half-sleeve, chainmail shirt and wear it with whatever costume I want. It could go with a tunic and pair of Medieval trousers (or even just a shirt and khakis). Or it could work with a swashbuckler or highwayman ensemble, or some manner of pirate or corsair. Though it might also be hilarious to wear it with a top hat and brass goggles and call it ‘steampunk.’ Or I could wear it with my kilt just as easily.