Leeds nostalgia: Quaker dress still in good condition 250 years on

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This simple but stylish dress once belonged to a member of a prominent Yorkshire Quaker family. One of two similar dresses on display in Lotherton’s Fashionable Yorkshire exhibition, the dress dates from the mid-1700s.

It is belonged to a member of the Priestman family of Thornton le Dale, near Pickering. The Priestmans were a Quaker family and their religious beliefs meant they led a simpler way of life, which included their appearance and the clothes they wore.

Quakers were known for avoiding extravagance. That meant Quaker women’s dresses followed the basic style of the day but without fancy trimmings. The Priestman dresses are part of a display made up of outfits worn by women over 500 years. The exhibition explores their individual stories, how women’s fashion has evolved and how the themes of status, religion, the Industrial Revolution.

Councillor Brian Selby, Leeds City Council’s lead member for Leeds Museums and Galleries, said: “Bringing this impressive collection together in the stunning setting of Lotherton’s fashion galleries paints a very clear picture of just how much life has changed for women in Yorkshire over the centuries.

“Fashion is something which also gives a real insight into how women from very different backgrounds and eras have chosen to express themselves.”

Fashionable Yorkshire is in the Lotherton fashion galleries until Dec 31.

For more details please visit: www.leeds.gov.uk/museumsandgalleries/Pages/lothertonhall/Fashionable-Yorkshire.aspx

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