Ask A Wench – Men in Boots, and other favorite historical clothing!

Baron HerbertNicola here, introducing this month’s Ask A Wench feature. Recently on my Facebook page I’ve started to post an item called Saturday Swagger, sharing some of the gorgeous historical portraits I’ve seen and love. One of them was this 17th century miniature of Sir Edward Herbert reclining in a come-hither pose. When she saw it, fellow author and Word Wench friend Sophie Weston of the Liberta Blog  commented: “The Boots! The Boots!” Happily, this set us all thinking about those aspects of historical costume that we particularly enjoy, and the result is this blog piece in which we ask: “What is your favourite item of historical clothing, to wear, to make or simply to appreciate?” So here are the Wenches' thoughts on this topic of sartorial splendour and we would love to hear yours!

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Judging a Gentleman by his Boots

BootsNicola here, musing on the appeal of boots. One of the things I like most about autumn is that I can get my boots out and wear them again after their summer break. I think in an ideal world I would wear boots all the time. I love them. Comfortable, stylish, practical, sexy, they cover just about every option. I was slightly shocked when I discovered I had seven pairs (that said I can’t wear the ones in the photo these days – they are just too high!) It would have been eight pairs but last year I very grudgingly threw away my all time favourite pair of wedge boots which I had worn until they literally fell apart.

A few weeks ago I went to an exhibition at the Victorian and Albert Museum in London called “Shoes, Pleasure and Pain.” The exhibition was stunning with examples of shoes and boots from different cultures going back over 600 years. The power of the shoe or boot is very strong in persuading us that we can be transformed into someone who is seductive and glamorous. It feels as though they have almost magical properties.

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