‘In the closet with Lucy Worsley’. I let The Express poke around in my wardrobe.

In the closet with Lucy Worsley, article in The Sunday Express

The TV historian takes her pick from fashion’s back catalogue – whether it’s Sixties shift dresses or Anglo Saxon armour from The Sunday Express ‘S’ Magazine, 9 January 2012

Words and styling by Charlie Wells

Author and presenter Lucy, 38, is Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces – the charity that looks after the Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace.  She lives in London with her partner Mark, an architect.

How would you describe your style? Friendly and approachable with a slight historical twist.  I’m not saying that’s what it is, but that’s what I strive for.

Which colours and shapes suit you best? I definitely prefer to wear dresses and skirts, rather than trousers, as they give you far more freedom to move about.  I wear a lot of bright colours because that’s what they like on TV and it’s also better for going out and about, meeting visitors and giving talks.  But left to myself I’d wear beige or black.  In terms of shapes, I like Sixties-style shift dresses with cardigans.

Are you a dedicated follower of fashion or do you just wear what suits you? I wear what I feel most most comfortable in and what’s practical.

What is your favourite fashion era? The 1930s – the flapper once she’s grown up and become a bit more responsible.

Do you have a stylist? No, although TV directors are always dressing me up.  I’ve appeared as a Georgian lady, a medieval peasant, an Anglo-Saxon warrior, a Victorian housemaid – I can’t afford to be too precious about what I wear on screen.

Who is your style icon? Nancy Mitford, the eldest of the famous Mitford sisters and one of the original Bright Young Things of the 1930s.  She was always very well turned out.  I think that she may have paid a bit too much attention to style – she would do an awful lot to achieve a particular look.  There’s something quite brittle about her style, but it’s glittering and wonderful at the same time.

What is your best feature? I’ve got lovely little ears.  I’m often complimented upon them but, unfortunately, they’re hidden under my hair.  Another good feature is my very long eyelashes.  I know that because the optician says that they get tangled up in the machinery they use to check your sight.

What is your biggest fashion no-no? Trousers.  I don’t own any – not even jeans – although in terms of the history of female empowerment, the trouser is a very important garment.

What is your best beauty secret? It’s a bit disgusting, but since they brought in HD television I have an electric nasal hair trimmer.  It’s great.

What is the most expensive thing in your wardrobe and how much did it cost? A red Jaegar coat and a teal-blue coat from Hoss.  I can’t remember how much they were but it was a lot.  Viewers often write to me asking where I got my blue coat.

How much do you spend on clothes each month? I don’t spend much on clothes at all.  I’m very parsimonious.

Are you a hoarder or do you clear out your wardrobe each season? I would naturally be a hoarder but because I live in basically a one-room flat, I get rid of stuff all the time.

Primark or Prada? Neither.  I don’t like Primark’s disposable attitude to fashion – that seems wasteful.  But Prada seems wasteful in another sense – it’s too much money.  I’m a middle-of-the-road shopper.

Which is your favourite high-street store? I do a lot of internet shopping from John Lewis, which is great as they do free delivery.  Hobbs and LK Bennett are both good for me, too.

How many shoes and handbags do you own? I prefer my backpack to a handbag as I’m always carrying around books, computers and cameras for work.  In terms of shoes, I don’t think I have a wild number, although I guess more than I need.  Maybe about 20 pairs – I sound like Marie Antoinette, don’t I?

What is your favourite piece of jewellery? I love all 1930s style jewellery, necklaces and hair-clips.  I have some great sparkly things from that period that my friends have given me.

What is currently on your lust list? I’d like a big down coat for winter filming.  I have one but it’s white and make-up gets all over it and its disgusting.  A red one would be better, with some handwarmers.

What is the best fashion advice you have ever been given? I’ve discovered that there’s nothing trivial about fashion.  As a historian you learn that clothes are very important and tell a lot about a person – their education, their position within society and their taste.  Clothes are a brilliant window on the past.

11 thoughts on “‘In the closet with Lucy Worsley’. I let The Express poke around in my wardrobe.

  1. Carol Annesley

    I love Lucy’s clothes – the block colours, the great cut, no trousers and above all the super cardigans – they are quite high in the waist which i love too me since I am small, but I cannot find any in the uk – only one bought in Turkey which is getting past it, and one from Tesco!. Which brands here in the UK do short?

    Reply
  2. Carol Annesley

    love her cardigans – what brands are there like this in the UK

    Reply
    1. Lucy Post author

      Carol, you can get cropped ones at Boden or Brora.

  3. Shirley-Anne Casey

    You were wearing that beautiful green dress with the scalloped neckline again this evening. I would love to know where it came from …

    Reply
    1. Lucy Post author

      Boden!

  4. I absolutely adored the sky blue dress and cardigan that you were wearing in the Georgians programme this evening and would love to kñow where they were bought?

    I would also like to say that I loved the contribution you made to the WI conference at the Albert Hall and the subsequent programme. Thank you.

    Reply
  5. Tina Foulser

    I have just seen a preview for your current tv programme and would love to know where your blue coat is from please.
    Thank you
    Tina

    Reply
  6. Justine Dumont

    Hello,
    I watched your documentary on British murder and I loved the series. I’m adored you style on series especially the dresses and t-bar heels, where are they from?
    Thank you

    Reply
  7. Teresa Moss

    Loved episode 1 of your new BBC 4 programme ( particularly as I am a huge fan of Clarissa). But can I ask where you got your marvellous red ( and blue) coat?

    Reply
  8. katzies

    I am from across the pond. I got to see your Georgian King series and now I am hooked on the other documentaries you produced. Your enthusiasm and quirky and funny way in delivering the stories are addictive!!

    I absolutely adore your sense of style. Somebody needs to sit down with you, Lucy, and made a list of all the outfit you wear there. They are smart, stylish, comfortable and just gorgeous on you. And they remind me of clean lines of Balenciaga vintage from the 50s and 60s.

    Reply
  9. Magscat

    You wore a beautiful turquoise/greeny blue dress with pink shoes and a wrap whilst filming Henry and his 6 wives. Would love to know where it is from. Thank you for the fashion, but thank you for your amazing programmes.

    Reply

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