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54624Re: [Authentic_SCA] Re: Fencing garb for women

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  • Sarah Michele Ford
    Oct 31 9:44 AM
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      On 10/31/06, Marioun <djmccreary@...> wrote:


      > But, I would really like to pick a persona where I dont have to flop
      > back and forth for different activities, and I'm really into
      > equestrian and am starting to get into Fencing and would really like
      > to go farther with it. Anyone have any suggestions? Im kind of a
      > history and research buff (thats what happens when your mom has
      > masters degrees in history and library sciences...and she works as the
      > head librarian for a major university).

      Well, there are a couple of things you have to consider. There *is*
      evidence of women engaging in swordplay, but not much as early as the
      13th century (I do 13th century English). So the question is, do you
      want to work to develop a persona where it's plausible for a woman to
      be fencing & riding. For me, I have decided that Alianor fences
      because Sarah likes to. If you decide to go this route, there is
      PLENTY of 13th century fashion that you can easily adapt for both
      equestrian and rapier.

      The short version of how to make "regular" clothes work as armor is to
      somehow make them pass a drop test - see the handout (which I've
      uploaded to the group's files) for more detail. My preferred way of
      doing this is to be careful in my fabric selections such that when I
      wear the appropriate number of layers, my clothing puncture- and
      abrasion-resistant in the appropriate places. Right now, that means I
      wear a two-layer linen tunic with a fustian fashion layer and a
      double-layer hood. Since I dress as a boy to fence, I wear braies and
      hosen. When I wore long skirts, I wore modern long underwear and
      socks underneath.

      > What type of footwear do you wear under your dresses to fence in?

      I wear either Land's End Walkmocs (I actually prefer the Payless
      version of these) or Birkenstock shoes. Neither really mimics a
      turnshoe, but they're fairly unobtrusive. My husband fences in his
      ankle boots from Revival Clothing and hasn't had any problems with
      them; I opted to purchase turnshoe slippers and I haven't tried to
      fence in them yet (and I don't know if I will - they're made from a
      fairly thin leather and I don't think they'd stand up to fencing very

      > I can also
      > > upload the handout from our class to the files if you'd like.
      > >
      > That would be great!

      Done - it's in the folder "Alianor's Files". This is really a
      skeleton of the class, and kind of Aethelmearc specific (in terms of
      armor requirements, etc.). Feel free to ask me further questions
      either on or offlist.

      > > And yes, it is entirely possible to fence in long skirts - I did for
      > > several years, though I recently did switch to "boy clothes".
      > Do you practice in them also? I would think it would change your style
      > a bit? Do you shorted them hem any? Ive seen one woman fence while
      > holding her skirts up with the other hand, I think that would affect
      > my balance...

      I made my "long" skirts ankle-length - I could do a full lunge without
      stepping on them. I practiced in them for several weeks before I
      debuted them on the list field, but after that didn't practice in them
      - once I got used to how they moved they didn't affect my style all
      that much. I almost never fence without a second weapon, so holding
      my skirts in my off-hand is not an option.

      Hope this helps, and do feel free to poke me (ha! fencing pun!) if
      you have further questions.

      Alianor de R.
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