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Several years ago, I went on a date that I wasn’t exactly excited about. The guy was a nice guy though, and what he suggested as a date intrigued me a little. He said he was going to take me out to a bow and arrow shooting range, where I could learn to shoot a bow. As a kid, I had learned to shoot a small rifle at summer camp. I figured shooting a bow wouldn’t be too far of a stretch, so I took him up on his offer. This is how my interest in the Renaissance era began, and how I got involved with dressing up in Renaissance clothing.
During our date, I was having a great time. I was shooting a bow that looked like it came straight out of Robin Hood’s hand. It was a simple bow, nothing fancy. But the effort it took to shoot an arrow on that bow was extensive, and I gained a lot of respect for the hobby. The people at the shooting range were extremely nice and welcoming as well, and the whole environment around me was interesting enough; something I was enjoying. I was invited to join as staff at an upcoming Renaissance fair in my area, and I excitedly committed myself. I was told about the manner of dress that was required and what I’d have to do while I was there, so after I went home that day I immediately began thinking of the clothes I’d like to wear to the fair. I didn’t know anything about it before I began my research, but what I found was pretty interesting.
I was shopping online for female renaissance costumes, and what I found myself attracted to in a costume surprised me. The dresses–typical of the time for young women–really left nothing to the imagination. The chance to wear something like that for a while excited me. I also loved the colors and long flow of the dresses I saw, so I picked something. Four hundred dollars later (!) from an online renaissance store, I had a wench costume that pushed my girls up to the sky, with a dress that bared my shoulders and part of my back. The bottom of the dress was long and flowing, but even with a good lining underneath the dress hugged my body seductively as I moved. The dress came with a substantial cloak, but I didn’t pay much attention to it. I had never, ever worn anything like this before, and after trying it on and seeing myself in this dress, it felt sexy and a little liberating. I was taken far back in time, and I looked amazing doing it.
At this time in my life, I was young and attractive. The dress accentuated this fact. The renaissance fair was a lot of fun because I got to look like someone I didn’t look like normally, and I enjoyed myself thoroughly. Everyone at the fair looked great and was having a great time. Even the worst pirate costume looked like a lot of fun! As one of the best looking wenches at the fair, I can felt like I stole the show!
Ye Old Renaissance Shop