DRESS:FANCY is a podcast about dressing up.

Join us for a fashion history lesson, fired from a confetti cannon.

It’s about ordinary people in extraordinary outfits. Not on stage or screen but in real life; weaving together sartorial and social history to tell powerful, surprising stories of identity.

Hosted by author Lucy Clayton together with a selection of special guests from designers, artists, experts, writers, activists and of course, the dresser uppers themselves. This show explores the way we dress, in all its creative, sequinned, and chaotic glory.

From plague masks to plastic tiaras, kitchen table to couture salon, ballroom to battlefield, our listeners are transported to moments in time where the clothes tell the story. Did you know that Drag played an important role in Prisoner of War camps? Who wore what to “The Party of the Century”? What possessed that guy to dress as a budget Viking when he stormed the Capitol? And why are lots of people deciding to live as mermaids in 2021?

Embracing eccentricity and tackling marginalised, beautifully bonkers themes DRESS:FANCY is intellectually curious, playful and tender. Often raucous and always relevant, each episode explores a new theme from ancient to contemporary.

And look out for our bonus episodes "Dressing Up With..." where we showcase an individual's unique perspective on fashioning their sense of self.

Follow @dressfancypodcast on Instagram to see the images that accompany each conversation.

Join us and our amazing community of listeners each season for some costume drama!

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Recent Episodes

Nov. 25, 2022

The Definitive Guide to Dressing Up – A History of Fancy Dress in Bri…

Lucy Clayton is joined by Verity Wilson, author of Dressing Up: A History of Fancy Dress in Britain, for a glorious exploration o…

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Nov. 24, 2022

Dress: Fancy needs your Christmas costume dramas!

This year, our Christmas special theme is costume anxiety and the nativity play. Together with a nursery school head teacher, Luc…

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Nov. 11, 2022

The House of Embroidered Paper – Reimagining Regency Fashion with art…

Host Lucy Clayton visits artist Stephanie Smart, on location at Worthing Museum, for a masterclass in quilling and a tour of Step…

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Nov. 9, 2022

The Crown Bonus Special: Meet Lucy’s Mother AKA Accidental 90s Prince…

DRESS:FANCY podcast celebrates the launch of the new season of Netflix’s The Crown with this by popular demand bonus show… follow…

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Oct. 28, 2022

Lady Diana Revenge Looks

In this episode we turn our attention to one of the most revered style icons in all the world – Princess Diana. Join host Lucy Cl…

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Oct. 14, 2022

Haunting Fashion: Clothing Beyond the Grave

Our annual Halloween show is the highlight of the DRESS:FANCY year. Host Lucy Clayton is joined by writers Rosalind Yana and Chri…

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Oct. 2, 2022

The Official Laura Ashley Fan Club

Dress: Fancy begins a new season with a special episode exploring the history and influence of Laura Ashley – join host Lucy Clay…

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Sept. 28, 2022

New season trailer – Autumn/Winter 2022

Host Lucy Clayton gives a glimpse of what's in store for the new season of Dress: Fancy. Links Follow  Follow

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June 24, 2022

Unhidden: Disability, accessibility, and universal design in fashion …

Lucy Clayton is joined by Victoria Jenkins, Founder and CEO of the clothing brand Unhidden. Victoria is an award winning adaptive…

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June 10, 2022

“You’re Doing it Wrong” – A Celebration of Fashion, Beauty and Misogy…

Lucy Clayton is joined by guest Kaz Cooke, bestselling author of “You’re Doing it Wrong: A History of Bad & Bonkers Advice to Wom…

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May 27, 2022

Gloves: Function, Fashion and Fantasy

Lucy Clayton is joined by Dr Anne Green, author of "Gloves: An Intimate History" for an exploration of the history of gloves, rig…

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May 13, 2022

How to Care for the Shoes, Bags & Clothes You Love with The Restory

Lucy Clayton is joined by Emily Rea, Co-aFounder of The Restory for a masterclass looking after the stuff you love. From simple r…

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About the Host

LUCY CLAYTON Profile Photo


Founder, Producer, Co Host

Lucy is the founder, co-host and producer of DRESS:FANCY podcast. Her TED talk on costume as a tool for political protest “The True Power of a Good Outfit” has been watched over 72,000 times but her life highlight is leading a parade to the secret ballroom while podcasting live from the Royal Academy’s epic “Summer Lates” party. Lucy loves dressing up so much she recently wormed her way onto Season 4 of The Crown for the ultimate fancy dress experience in 1980’s nylon, which almost certainly contributed to the show’s BAFTA success. Lucy is a judge for this year’s British Podcast Awards.
As CEO of Community Clothing (founded by Patrick Grant), a social enterprise with a mission to create jobs in the UK garment industry, Lucy was honoured in the Financial Times and HERoes inaugural list of top 50 Women Role Models in Business.
In 2020 she published How To Go To Work (Penguin) a guide for young people starting out in their careers. Passionate about discovering and mentoring talent, she is part of Speakers 4 Schools - a network of leading figures who want to give back to young people in state schools. She regularly gives talks about how to break into fashion in schools and for the British Fashion Council.
Lucy lives in London in a house that also contains her archive of thousands of vintage dresses, her boyfriend, son Kit and new baby Thora.