About us

My name is Izabela Pitcher and I have been running Prior Attire for the last 18 years.

Prior Attire has been providing hand-made, historically-accurate clothing for re-enactors, museums and historical interpreters since 1999, including garments featured on UK television and at English Heritage, National Trust properties across the country and events worldwide.

 I have been involved with historical costuming since my years at the University (where I read English and got my MA in English literature) - and have been a re-enactor and costumier for the last 25 years or so, building a wide customer base both in the UK and abroad.       I am a qualified teacher too and had been teaching English in UK colleges till November 2012 when I decided to devote all my time to the development of Prior Attire -  the best decision ever! I may be working longer hours and sometimes for less pay - but loving every second of it:-)

 I have published several costuming articles, including 30 articles for Your Wardrobe Unlocked and Foundations Revealed, and used to publish dress diaries, costuming tutorials and event reporting articles on my blog, Damsel in This Dress.

 My first book, The Victorian Dressmaker, providing instructions on making Victorian ladies' garments,  was published in July 2018, and it is still selling well. Volume 2, concentrating on the active wear of the Victorian women was published in April 2021, and  the Dressmaker's Companion : hats, caps and bonnets book followed in the autumn of 2021. 

The Equestrian Dressmaker, focusing on the riding wear for women from 12th century to the end of Victorian era took several years of work but was finally completed and published in November 2023. 

 I am now working on Volume 3,  dealing with the visiting, afternoon and ball attire, as well as on two other books- studying and researching tailoring for gents attire and preparing the Regency and Romantic Dressmaker- the latter  to be published by the end of the year.

 My Youtube channel has grown a lot in the last few years and is now a big part of what we do - the videos  mostly deal with busting costuming myths and educatinal issues showing a variety of clothing through the centuries.

In the last 12 years I have been helped by my wonderful husband Lucas - his medical research background is invaluable for our science/medicine/astronomy demos, and he is an eager photographer too - the majority of the photos on this site are his. 

We both provide historical interpretation services, including talks and demos :-)

In the last few years we also worked on na few film productions including Horrible Histories, providing some garments and taking a more active part as Supportive Artists - you will see quite a lot of us in seaons 4- 7! 

We are based in Somerset UK, but travel widely to events and markets - if you see us  at one of them, please come and say hello! 


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