Feature Friday: Prior Attire

This month’s feature, Prior Attire, has specialized in handmade, historically accurate clothing since 1999. Their garments have been worn by reenactors and historical interpreters, and have been featured on UK television in addition to at English Heritage and National Trust properties!

Owner Izabela Pitcher calls running Prior Attire full time, “the best decision ever!” She said, “I may be working longer hours and sometimes for less pay­—but loving every second of it.”

The company provides both “off the peg” and bespoke historical clothing on their website, with everything from accessories to full outfits in eras ranging from medieval to Edwardian in their ready-made section. However, for a bespoke orders, they are usually booked a year in advance. They update their stock regularly, so if you have something specific in mind, it pays to follow them on social media so you can be the first to know when a new piece is available.

Izabela has also written and published three books on Victorian dressmaking techniques, with Volume one covering the cut and assembly for women’s clothing from 1838 to 1902. Volume two focuses on women’s sporting clothing and outerwear, while Volume 3 deals with women’s headwear—caps, hats, and bonnets—from 1835 to 1900.

All three books include patterns, photographs, and illustrations, in addition to detailed how-to instructions, allowing you to create a full Victorian wardrobe for yourself. The books are aimed at intermediate sewers, but would make a great addition to anyone’s historical costume bookshelf!

Prior Attire also has a YouTube channel where they post a variety of historical costume videos covering how-tos, answering commonly asked questions, dressing videos throughout the ages—everything from Getting Dressed for a Walk, 1790s Style to 500 Years of Medieval Fashion.

You can find out more about Prior Attire on their website, www.priorattire.co.uk, and you can follow Prior Attire on social media on Instagram (@izabelapriorattire), where they are hosting this year’s Fall for Costume challenge, and Facebook.


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