Archive Homepage

What We Wore | A history of fashion from 1720 to 1982

About this collection

This unusual collection of programmes reveals what it took to be stylish through over 250 years of British history as it explores fashion from 1720 to 1982.

Included here is the first colour series made by the BBC. Pre-dating colour TV by a decade, this is the first time it has been available to view as it was intended. It also features some surprising live models.

Witness the gradual democratisation of fashion through the ages and see how clothes began to throw off the shackles of class from the 1960s onwards.

What We Wore Collection

Letter from Clarence House about 'Men, Women and Clothes'

Letter from Clarence House about 'Men, Women and Clothes'

WRITTEN 1957
1 PAGE

The Queen Mother sends her appreciation of 'Men, Women and Clothes'.

go to Letter from Clarence House about 'Men, Women and Clothes'
Audience Research Report into the first episode of 'Men, Women and Clothes'.

Audience Research Report on Men, Women and Clothes

WRITTEN 1957
2 PAGES

The BBC's report into what audiences thought about the first episode of 'Men, Women and Clothes'

go to Audience Research Report on Men, Women and Clothes
A document from a 1967 issue of the 'Radio Times

'Radio Times' Special Supplement on Dressmaking - Part One.

WRITTEN 1967
4 PAGES

The first of a two-part, graphics-laden supplement to accompany the series 'Clothes That Count'.

go to 'Radio Times' Special Supplement on Dressmaking - Part One.
A document from a 1967 issue of the 'Radio Times'.

'Radio Times' Special Supplement on Dressmaking - Part Two.

WRITTEN 1967
4 PAGES

The second of a two-part, graphics-laden supplement to accompany the series 'Clothes That Count'.

go to 'Radio Times' Special Supplement on Dressmaking - Part Two.
A document from the BBC archives about the television series 'New Clothes That Count'

Audience Reaction to 'New Clothes That Count'

WRITTEN 1969
2 PAGES

Viewing figures for the programme and responses from members of the public.

go to Audience Reaction to 'New Clothes That Count'
Document on knitting

A BBC memo about a book tie-in.

WRITTEN 1975
1 PAGE

Suggestions for ways of extending the popularity of the television series on knitting.

go to  A BBC memo about a book tie-in.
A document about knitting from the BBC Archive

A forthright memo replying to a publications executive.

WRITTEN 1975
1 PAGE

A no-holds-barred rejection of suggested ideas for books to accompany the TV series.

go to A forthright memo replying to a publications executive.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.