The Healer and the Pirate.” Since Julie likes clothes and Maggie can redraw Julie’s sketches into something nice to look at, we’ll highlight a few outfits she wears over the next few weeks. That will give a pretty good overview of what women (and female elves, Asri, and the like) wear.
This is Nessa's linen traveling dress, the dress she's wearing when Aridin first lays eyes on her. (Read it here!) The bodice is lightly boned for support and laces up the front. It is not purposely constructed to hide curves, nor does it accent them.
The sleeves are sewn into the bodice. The sleeves’ edging--darker green fabric--constitutes the only decoration on the dress. It is overall a simple design, suitable for everyday wear.
The calf-length skirt attaches to the bodice as well. Calf-length is the shortest a "good" woman might wear her skirts, and a good, practical length for farm work. (However, in some places--particularly port towns--a certain type of woman might wear skirts knee-length, or even higher.) The medium-weight material and fullness of Nessa’s skirt allow her maximum mobility. She could even ride astride a horse in it!
Beneath the dress peeks out a long-sleeved tan shift, or chemise, edged with matching fabric ruffles at the neck. Shifts are considered undergarments and are washed more often than overdresses. No woman’s ensemble would be complete without one. This shift is fairly close-fitting, with dark-trimmed cuffs. With Nessa’s ice-white skin, a bleached white shift would be rather unbecoming.
Not pictured are Nessa's brown ankle boots, which lace up the front. Like most villagers, Nessa only has one pair of shoes, and they were created with an eye to utility, not beauty. Wealthier women may have slippers for wearing to special occasions. In a small village like Nessa’s, however, such a thing would be considered ostentatious.
For practicality, Nessa ties back her silver-blue, waist-length hair in a thick braid while she travels.