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History Wardrobe

History has never been better dressed!

Scroll down to view all our fabulous presentations, each lasting up to 1¼ hours and featuring beautiful displays of original fashions and accessories. We explore a wide range of fascinating topics - fashion, history, politics, art and literature. Words can't quite describe... Come and see us in action!

Click here for details on current fees and expenses.


*New for 2024*

The Two Lucys take you on a journey into historical motherhood, from maternity clothes to baby layettes. With one Lucy in the family way (only acting, don’t worry) the other Lucy plays Expert, giving sound advice from bygone times on what to wear with a bun in the oven and how to dress your little darlings. The stage is set for a brilliant array of smocks, baby frocks and toddler gear, not to mention nappies boiling on the hob...

Mary Quant

Lucy Ridley presents MARY QUANT – FASHION ICON

*New for 2024*

Mini, maxi, plastic fantastic! Mary Quant was one of the most dynamic and influential designers of the 1960s. Her bold, bright styles made Haute Couture look to the High Street for inspiration. Lucy Ridley browses the rails of History Wardrobe's Quant collection, exploring key trends of the era and showcasing fabulous fashions, including frocks, tights, boots, make-up and the intriguingly titled Booby Trap...


*New for 2024*

Do you fancy a spot of Regency cricket? Or is enchanting embroidery more your thing? This delightful new talk explores pleasures and pastimes in Jane Austen’s era, featuring marvellous original fashions for sport and dancing, and hilarious readings from Austen’s novels.

Divine Deco


Sleek, chic and super modern… Fashions of the 1920s showcasing sensational dressmaking skills. From slinky bohemian pjs to beautiful bias-cut gowns, we explore a fascinating array of home-made and couture-quality clothes from this dazzling decade.

Top of the Frocks - the 1980s show

TOP OF THE FROCKS – The 1980s Show

The Two Lucys revisit the amazing 80s - a dynamic decade of shoulder pads, bum bags, double denim and ra-ra skirts.

We’ll showcase 1980s school gear, teen fashion, power dressing, ultra-glamour and even fitness kit. Roll up your stonewash jeans, flick your perm and grab your plastic bangles... this is going to be so much fun!


Gardens have long inspired and beguiled artists, designers and writers. Join dress historian Lucy Adlington for a delightful wander through garden history and floral fashions, from 18 th -century embroidery to Horrockses frocks. Featuring feisty botanical explorers, intriguing plant-lore and gorgeous flower-themed stitchcraft.

The Frock Shop

THE FROCK SHOP - Fashion shopping in the Sixties

From mini to maxi, the 1960s saw some of the most dramatic fashion innovations in history... and a surge in high street fashion shopping. In The Frock Shop we celebrate this decade’s brilliant designs. It’s a riot of Lurex, Bri-nylon, crisp cottons and Crimplene!

THE GENTLEWOMAN’S WARDROBE - Fashion in the age of Anne Lister

Join dress historian Lucy Adlington for a delightful talk on clothes and customs of the 1790s – 1830s, celebrating the remarkable Yorkshire diarist Anne Lister. In true History Wardrobe style there will fascinating stories of how a gentlewoman was dressed, and a beautiful array of original treasures to admire close-up, from boots and stays to frocks and fashion plates. It's a unique opportunity to see garments and accessories from the era, and to discover more about Anne Lister's world.


They sewed to survive… At the height of the Holocaust twenty-five young Jewish inmates of Auschwitz-Birkenau were selected to create beautiful fashions for elite Nazi women, in a dedicated salon established by the camp commandant’s wife.  Join historian Lucy Adlington to find out more about their lives and fates as she discusses her bestselling book The Dressmakers of Auschwitz: a remarkable true story of resilience, camaraderie and quiet heroism in the most extreme circumstances.

Monday is Wash Day


This hilarious presentation features pinnies, poshers and washtubs galore, as the Two Lucys plunge into the suds and stains of historical laundry and discover how to get your toga, petticoats or collars white-than-white. With a brilliant array of antique laundry kit, and lots of lovely nostalgia (except for anyone who ever got their fingers mashed in a mangle…)

TRACING LOST LIVES - The Hidden History of Textiles

Dress historian Lucy Adlington invites you to explore garments and textiles from her unique collection spanning three centuries. From a Regency tennis dress, to mysterious WW2 embroideries and a rather illustrious pair of trousers, Tracing Lost Lives uncovers the stories clothes tell and the memories they hold. Whether woven, knitted or stitched, textiles can reveal fascinating clues about those who made, wore and cherished them.

WOOL, JET & WHALEBONE - Fashionable life in Whitby

Come and join Lucy Adlington and Meridith Towne for this very well-dressed history of Whitby women, featuring herring girls and holidaymakers, cake-bakers and corsetry! We’ll explore the fascinating connections between clothes and local industry, showcasing marvellous original garments - from woolly swimsuits to luxurious mourning wear. This event is specially commissioned for Whitby Museum’s Whitby Women celebrations.

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