Is it historically accurate? No. Does the person wearing it care? No! Is it an amazing piece of work that looks spot on with the character (an alliance knight in World of Warcraft)? YES!
So why then do we have this divide within our community, like that between Star Wars fans and Trekkies? (Star Wars is CLEARLY superior by the way lol)
All joking aside, it is truly depressing to see someone put that much hard work, dedication, and money into a costume to hear snide remarks from people in what they believe is an "academic circle".
I have heard it all. From going to Ren-Fests in Texas, to seeing it all over online. Someone will post a photo of their costume, be it a true cosplay of a character or their own creation of their own design, and lo and behold, the trolls come out from under their bridges and begin tearing it apart and calling names and so forth.
I have even heard this from people hosting events speaking about the very people coming out to see them.
It has to stop.
Regardless of what brings someone to the medieval table; be it cosplaying their favorite video game character or movie, to wanting to be a real historical knight, just be glad that they have come to the table, and offer them a plate of knowledge and greeting. Don't throw their plate on the floor and tell them to eat it like a dog, because that is how you are perceived.
When you offer knowledge about the historical facts of their outfit, keep in mind that they may not care. Do not get offended and become pompous! It is their choice to wear the costume as they see fit. They are not their for your entertainment. They do not have to "pass your test".
If, however, you are a truly historical group, and have rules and regulations about peoples showing up to events in historical garb, please try to do a better job of explaining why someone may not meet the standards rather than simply bashing them for not knowing. They WANT to be there, so don't push them away.
Our community is small enough as it is, lets grow it rather than make people feel unwelcome in a new group.