How accurate are Anne Lister’s costumes in Gentleman Jack?
Anne Lister’s diaries offer a rare insight into her unique manner of dressing, but what we see on the screen has multiple additional influences that pushed her queer style in a more overtly masculine direction.
For one, designer Tom Pye visited historic costume collections to study 1830s fashion and was inspired by this specific men’s coat from the John Bright Collection. He also was inspired by the “Ladies of Llangollen”, who were famous female platonic life partners, though Anne Lister met them and believed them to be more than friends.
And another influence was French novelist George Sand who was among the daring Parisian women to illegally wear men’s clothing, though the designer thought wearing trousers was much too controversial for Halifax.