Anne Lister

Lívia LabatePublished on 17 December, 2020 · Last updated on 29 June, 2023
 Cover photo: George Cruikshank


Fashion is a topic that worries Anne Lister throughout her life. She wants to look respectable and dressed properly, and despairs when she realizes that is not the case. From her beloved Maclean tartan cloak to her signature black clothing items and from ball gowns to mountaineering attire, Anne Lister mixes and matches clothes and accessories in order to ensure her wardrobe fits her many adventures. (Yes, pistols, bows, and swords count as accessories!)

From Anne's commentary, we get a good idea of what Ann Walker, Mariana Lawton, Sibbella Maclean, Maria Barlow, and others wear on many occasions. From Ann Walker's delicate bonnets to Sibbella Maclean's elegant ball attire, Anne's commentary gives us an intimate view into her lovers' fashion tastes.

This project aims at creating a resource that will benefit those who are interested in studying the fashion of the 19th Century.

Clothing and accessories in Anne Lister's journals and papers

Anne Lister's journals and papers also include many mentions of clothing and accessories. It's not uncommon for Anne to comment on what she is wearing or what she sees other people wearing, sometimes with interesting commentary that hints at Anne's fashion sense. However, Anne is not the only one to write about these matters.

The spreadsheet below is a collaborative effort to compile references of clothes and accessories in Anne Lister's journals and other papers.

Reference tracker: Sartorial Anne Lister


This project is made possible through ongoing contributions from the following people:

How to contribute to this project

Tip: Don't worry about redundancy; enter any information you have and we'll reconcile duplicates later.

All information in this spreadsheet is in English, but please preserve the spellings of Ann's nickname, as written by Anne Lister and others.

Anyone can help research and add additional information for each references in this spreadsheet.

If you want to help research information about these references or help find any of these artworks, please follow the steps above and note you would like to research the entries.