Do you have a plus size wench dress in your wardrobe? You really should. There are so many situations when dressing like a tavern wench is super fun and will get you noticed.
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First of all, curvy women like us look fantastic in clothing that's styled to look like anything from the 19th Century and older. Back then, women with hefty curves were sought after. Having a voluptuous figured called to mind fertile goddesses. And having a little more flesh on your bones meant that you were well-to-do. So dressing in skirts and petticoats, corsets and blouses, is very flattering for the plus size nerd.
When to Wear
A tavern wench looks appropriate in a variety of settings. A plus size wench dress is timeless enough to look like it belongs in the 17th, 18th or 19th Century. You can wear it to the Renaissance Faire, a LARP (live-action role-playing), a historical reenactment, a steampunk event, fairy festivals and plain ol' Halloween parties.
No matter who makes it, a plus size wench dress has the same components: a billowy skirt, sometimes with petticoats; a muslin chemise or a white blouse; a corset. The style of each component can vary. For example, some corsets cut straight across the waist, while others form a point at the bottom, like a V. Some have more fabric than others, giving a fuller or ruched appearance.
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When in Scotland
One night of my Outlander tour of Scotland was a dress-up night. We were encouraged to wear some kind of period dress. Some of the women threw together a few items, like a shawl and a skirt, while others actually sewed an entire costume, from top to bottom.
I have zero sewing skills, so I asked my dear friend Emily Bowman, of Tomboy Togs, if she had any suggestions. Lo and behold, she had a dress I could borrow! It was the neatest thing, because it was only two pieces, but looked like so much more. There was the muslin dress, that looked like a blouse and underskirt. Then there was a second layer that looked like a corset and skirt, but really just went on over the muslin dress.
My boobs were way, way too big, so most of them ended up behind the corset. However, I think the finished look was still pretty cute, especially after you consider I had to pack it in a suitcase and lug it around for several days. Presto chango! 18th Century plus size wench.
Where to Buy
Before you spend a lot of money on a plus size wench dress, check your local thrift stores. Someone might have donated a costume that you can buy on the cheap.
Etsy is full of absolutely gorgeous period dresses. When I did a search for a plus size wench dress, several great options came up. I pulled just a few to give you an idea of what's out there.
Dungeon Duds N Jewels has a slightly fancier plus size wench dress. They look a little more fitted and come with a bit more embellishment. This red and black wench dress looks like something Harley Quinn would have worn a couple hundred years ago.
This one, also from DDNJ, has skulls printed into the fabric! I didn't notice them at first. Sneaky and cool!
Shimmy Boutique has a rose-pink plus size wench dress with a vegan leather corset.
She also has a teal dress with a tiered skirt and hand-crocheted trim.
I especially like this black and turquoise number. Very saucy!
Dungeon Duds N JewelsI'd love to see what your plus size wench dress looks like. If you've got pics, share 'em! Use #plussizenerd so I can share them.