Skip to Content

Past Pleasures is one of the UK's foremost historical costumiers. Our costume department researches, designs and creates historical outfits in their entirety, from undergarments to accessories.

Bespoke garments are built on rigorous academic research and professional pattern-drafting and cutting skills. The fabric we use is often specially dyed or woven from surviving samples while the trimmings, buttons and fastenings are sourced from makers of replicas and occasionally from dealers in antique haberdashery.

The company's directors own a sizeable number of original male and female garments and accessories, spanning the last three hundred years, some of which were replicated forĀ The Invisible Woman (starring Ralph Fiennes) andĀ Lincoln (starring Daniel Day Lewis and Sally Field). These collections prove a fertile resource when reproducing period outfits.

Over the years we have created costumes for countless characters, representing all classes, periods and ages, from children up. We also create figures for display and handling collections as well as for wear.

Past Pleasures is delighted each year to award prizes to the most promising students from Wimbledon College of Art's Costume Interpretation course - some of whom go on to work in the company's costume department.




Pattern cutter at work




Costumes designed for all eras to fit all character needs



Reproductions of historic costumes as represented in portraits  or other primary sources (eg; surviving garments, paintings, drawings,  carvings, sculptures, inventories, documents, records and accounts).

Historically accurate costumes designed from scratch.

Hand-made costumes using entirely traditional techniques.

Hand-finished costumes concealing modern construction  methods that withstand daily wear.

Reproductions for interactive museum displays and  educational sessions.

A costume consultancy service tailored to your particular  requirements.

Costume Research Packs.

All items are created from Past Pleasures' designs and patterns in accordance with the company's high standards of craftsmanship and degrees of authenticity specified by the needs of the project, the budget and the requirements of each client. Fitness for purpose is the aim. Costume Director Stephanie Selmayr's work is recognised for its excellence nationally, by curators including those at Historic Royal Palaces and the Victoria & Albert Museum, and internationally such as curators for Colonial Williamsburg.

Stephanie is supported by Co-Director Mark Wallis, a Costume Manager, an Assistant Costume Manager, a Costume Assistant and a Costume Keeper.

If you would like to discuss your historic costume requirements when dressing your staff or commissioning handling collections/costumes for mannequins, please contact us.


Steph on SCRB


Working on 'Secrets of the Royal Bedchamber' at Hampton Court




We aim to study details and to apply them.



Lost your password?