Spencer first worn by Jennifer Ehle as Lizzie Bennet in P&P (1995)

It’s not widely known that productions will often reuse costumes from earlier productions. With all the Austen adaptations since 1995, plus other movies set in that era such as Vanity Fair, Becoming Jane, Miss Austen Regrets, and more, you’re bound to see some familiar garments if you’re an avid Austen or costume movie fan. Here are a few more that I didn’t mention in my main blog post on Sanditon.

Whenever a costume looks familiar, I know that a) I’ve been watching these films way too often and b) recycledmoviecostumes.com will confirm my sneaking suspicion I’ve seen it before.

I spotted this coat and knew I’d seen it before. Yes, rmc tells me, it was worn by Hattie Morahan as Elinor Dashwood in the 2008 production of Sense & Sensibility, and the next year by Jodhi May as Mrs. Weston in Emma. The Sanditon one isn’t on the website yet–I’m going to send it in, although sometimes the site owner has a backlog; I can’t believe I’m the only one to notice.

As soon as I saw the red dress above, I remembered Mary Musgrove wearing it in Persuasion (1995). It’s not on rcm yet, either, but I got the screenshot from Persuasion from there; the site says it was also used in 2007 in Northanger Abbey.

Vanity Fair (1998) originated this nice pink spencer. Spencers (those short little jackets) seem to be the main thing borrowed, to lend interest to the less-exciting cotton dresses–just as they did back in the early 1800s.

This embroidered spencer seems to have been cut from a Kashmir shawl. They wouldn’t have wasted the fabric this way “back then,” although they did make dresses out of them–less wasteful. This one is from Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (2015), which I’m not familiar with.

1812 Journal des dames et des modes (Paris): the shawl border provides the hem emphasis just coming into fashion

Lizzie Bennet, who had far too many spencers for someone on the Bennet family’s salary, can surely spare yet another of her spencers for Charlotte (who also should have fewer clothes as she does not seem to come from a very well-off family, and people had fewer clothes then):

That’s all I’ve gathered so far, with thanks to recycledmoviecostumes.com for confirming my suspicions and showing me some I didn’t recognize like the embroidered spencer! Who’s noticed others?

8 thoughts on “Sanditon PS: recycled costumes

    1. Hi! I am so glad you want to keep up but I think you have to subscribe—I can’t do it for you. I think there’s a link on bottom of each post page. Also if you follow my Instagram curators_curio I’ll announce posts there.


  1. I just discovered Curator’s Curio: what a treat! Of course, your observations are spot-on, but the way you deliver these comments is simply delicious! I am an instant fan. One note: it’s Lizzy not Lizzie Bennet. I quibble; but since my daughter Lizzy winces when her name appears as Lizzie, I decided Miss Bennet might care as well. .


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