Familiar faces

Renaissance enthusiast shares outlook on attire

Story by Anne Sandell, News Editor

While most students spend winter bundled up in long down jackets and winter caps, Luke Jarocki has no trouble keeping warm in his own unique getup.

“The cold is a bit of a non-issue, in the winter it’s very cozy,” Jarocki said.

A senior physics student, Jarocki can be seen on campus each day in full renaissance gear, from his signature hat and plume to his emerald green cape – which manages to keep him warm throughout the colder months.

Jarocki said he doesn’t dress up for cosplay or to emulate any character, unsure of any kind of anime or character who wears the same stuff, he just thinks renaissance clothing is cool.

It all started when he transferred from UW-Marshfield to UW-Eau Claire two years earlier. Jarocki said he knew no one at Eau Claire and expected it to stay that way, not being a very social person.

Homeschooled his whole life, Marshfield was Jarocki’s first actual experience going to school. Alongside his twin brother, he spent two years at Marshfield to figure out what he wanted to do.

“Neither of us had been to school,” Jarocki said. “So it was like, ‘I have no idea what’s out there.’”

He took the fresh start in a new place as a way to wear the things he liked and not worry about what other people thought about him. As he said, if you have it and it’s cool, “What’s the point in having it if you don’t wear it?”

Jarocki said no one has criticized his outfit; instead he has received mostly positive comments from others, including the chair of the physics department, Dr. Lyle Ford, who told him he liked his boots.

“I’ve had people talk to me and be like, ‘You know that really brightens my day,’ and what have you or, ‘I wish I was as brave as you to be who you want to be and dress the way you want to,’” Jarock said. “So that’s also played into why I continue to wear stuff like this.”

Kendall Ruchti

Originally from Withee, Wisconsin, a town of about 500 people, Jarocki said when he was younger he would get sticks from the woods and carve them into swords. This carried over as he grew up and brought him to go to renaissance festivals, where he got ideas for the outfits he wears now.

His family helped him build his wardrobe from there, his sister sewed his cape, a renaissance-style shirt and a scarf, while his mother gave him the signature hat and boots for Christmas.

Apart from his love of swords and the Renaissance, Jarocki enjoys physics and computer science. After he graduates next December he plans to combine the two and is looking to go into robotics.

However, for the rest of his time in Eau Claire, he has no intentions of changing his attire. Unless of course it’s for Halloween. This past year he dressed like a normal person and sported a full suit.

Jarocki said he thinks it would be cool if more people had hats like his and wore more interesting clothing.

“It does stand out, but it’s not with the intention to be like, ‘Oh man this guy’s amazing!’ it’s just I have cool stuff and I wear it,” Jarocki said. “I think it would be much more interesting if more people wore more interesting stuff … because when I look around, everyone’s wearing basically the same thing even though it’s completely different.”