Once in town, a gentrywoman would have had many options for shopping. As mentioned in another post, she probably would have brought a servant with her to help with the shopping and carrying packages. In this conversation, the lady is looking for cloth for a new dress. She comes upon a mercer, or textile merchant, who has a stall set up at the market
Mistress: “Good morrow, Master”
Stallholder: “Good day to you Mistress”
Mistress: “I wish to purchase some tawny wool stuff, please”
Stallholder: “You are in luck, mistress. I hath just got some in. Tis of a fine quality”
Mistress: “It will serve very well. I needeth enough for a new gown.”
Stallholder: ”Can I get ye anything else?”
Mistress: ”Ay, some ribbon and thread, if you please.”
Stallholder: “Thankee, Mistress. Please call again.”
This conversation shows an easy transaction. As a stallholder, the Mercer would likely have had a permanent set up at the market. He would also have been familiar with the market’s regular customers. Mistress Dauntesey could purchase her cloth, and then take it to a tailor to have a dress made. Even a gentry woman who lived in the country would have had access to the best fabrics and latest fashions due to the extensive system of markets in England.
Source: Liz Smith, editor. The King’s English: 17th Century Words and Phrases.