The REAL Danger of Synthetics in Period Costume

A Napoleonic reenactor has suffered what could have been a serious incident were it not for her use of historically-accurate natural fibres. Liz Webb recalled that she and her friend Vicki were attending the first Napoleonic weekend at Canada’s Fort George historical site when Vicki was cooking dinner over an open fire and the wind … Read more

First Glimpse of Poldark’s New Costume (And Without It…)

Poldark series 4 first look image reveals Aidan Turner’s smart new costume

Ross Poldark has smartened up as the famously-rugged star of the late 18th Century has opted for a buttoned-up coat with wide lapels and the addition of a waistcoat draped over the top. The look is sealed by a resplendent white cravat and classic bicorn. Nevertheless the opening of series four will see Poldark stepping out of … Read more

Diplomat Captured Costumes of Diverse Classes and Cultures in 1797

bohemian prague dress

The King of Tahiti, Venetian nobles, French artists and the favourite of the King of Persia – all were fair game for the diplomat and illustrator Jacques Grasset de Saint-Sauveur (1757-1810) who captured the clothing of all manner of classes and cultures at the very end of the 18th Century. Born in Montreal, Saint-Sauveur followed a … Read more

Silk Flowers and Feathers: Reimagining a Regency Bonnet

how to make a regency bonnet

My regency headpiece was a university project under the mentoring of the milliner Claire Strickland. I based my research on a visit to Sands Films library at Rotherhithe in London which is an incredibly valuable resource. One could spend days going through all of the fashion plates they have! Eventually I decided to construct the bonnet … Read more

Stylish Success of Dandy Drinking Club Launch

Dandy drinking club beau brummell

A group of some 20 resplendently-dressed individuals filled a Victorian-themed London pub for the inaugural social of the Dandy Drinking Club on Friday, April 14. The event was held at Mr Fogg’s Tavern in Covent Garden, a venue styled in homage to the famous – if fictitious – gentleman explorer. The society was formed with … Read more

We Asked You For Your Worst Uses of Sewing Scissors…

you used my sewing scissors for what?

It seems a cliche and yet still no one knows that sewing scissors are for sewing and nothing else. After posting this meme on our social media feeds we couldn’t help but marvel at some of the responses. Some were very relatable, proving its not a problem confined to just a handful of households. Others … Read more

The “False Adornments” of 18th Century Women’s Dress

The false adornemnts of 18th century women's dress

Late-18th Century fashion was so elaborate that a law was proposed to prevent men being taken in by a pretty face. The 1770 an amendment against “false adornments” was proposed to the Witchcraft act “to protect men from being beguiled into marriage by false adornments,” it said. “All women, of whatever rank, age, profession or … Read more

Five Reasons Costume is a Curse

costume is a curse

Don’t you ever wish, just sometimes, that you did not have such an intensive, wonderful and expensive hobby? After a long day or a sleepless night, don’t you just detest the piles of fabric you have to clear before bingeing on your favourite box set and filling your head with fantasy? Normal people, you have … Read more

Does Historical Accuracy Really Matter at Events?

regency reenactment dress

Trigger warning: this could get messy. Many costumers view historical accuracy as a sacred principle to be upheld at all times, and very often imposed upon other people. Others happily run riot in mass-produced synethics or mismatched ensembles in the vague manner of some era or another. Even a passing casual remark can cut deeply … Read more

Nelson Wore the Sweetest Promise Ring at Trafalgar

Fede promise ring of Horatio Nelson and Emma Hamilton

If you thought promise rings and pre-engagement tokens were a new fad for Millennials unwilling to commit, think again. Shortly before Horatio Nelson embarked on his final and fatal campaign he had an informal wedding ceremony with his mistress Emma Hamilton in which they exchanged this fede ring that seems uncannily modern. The gold band … Read more