Gentleman Jack Costume Design Sketches From Tom Pye


I recently interviewed Tom Pye, costume designer for the upcoming HBO miniseries Gentleman Jack. After we finished our delightful chat about this story of the 1830s landowner, diarist, and lesbian Anne Lister, he followed up with a little more info and sent sketches of his costume designs.

Tom Pye tells us to watch for this lovely costume detail:

“In the 1830s and earlier, corset busks were often highly decorated and given as love tokens. I had one hand-carved with images of Shibden Hall, a heart (hearts are something associated with Anne; we also had a heart broach made based on one she’s depicted wearing in two portraits), the Lister coat of arms and the family motto in Latin. The busk can just be seen being inserted into the corset in the opening credits, the broach she wears at key moments throughout the series.”

And here are some of his wonderful designs for costumes we’ll see in the series:

Gentleman Jack (2019) - Anne Lister, Greatcoat, courtesy of Tom Pye

Anne Lister, “Gentleman Jack,” courtesy of Tom Pye

This pelisse style was popular through the 1820s, and with its severe lines, seems appropriate for Anne Lister, especially in her standard black.


Gentleman Jack (2019) - Anne Lister, Business Suit, courtesy of Tom Pye

Anne Lister, “Business Suit,” courtesy of Tom Pye

Love this suit! This is probably the outfit seen on Anne in the preview video.


Gentleman Jack (2019) - Anne Lister, spenser, courtesy of Tom Pye

Anne Lister, “Spenser,” courtesy of Tom Pye

Another fitted, military-influenced style that nods back to the 1820s, with lots of historical references.


Gentleman Jack (2019) - Anne Lister, At the Ball, courtesy of Tom Pye

“Anne at the Ball,” courtesy of Tom Pye

Anne gets to dress up too! What gorgeous pale damask and gold-embroidered trim.


Gentleman Jack (2019) - Ann Walker, wedding, courtesy of Tom Pye

Ann Walker, “Wedding,” courtesy of Tom Pye

Lister’s main love interest, Ann Walker, wears a more traditional 1830s gown in green tones. But for whose wedding?


Gentleman Jack (2019) - Eliza Priestly, Rescue Dress, courtesy of Tom Pye

Eliza Priestly, “Rescue Dress,” courtesy of Tom Pye

This is the ‘fashionable nosy neighbor,’ Mrs. Priestley, who Tom Pye discusses in our interview. She should have some fun costumes!


Gentleman Jack premiers on HBO on April 22, 2019! Watch via cable, Amazon, Roku, or online at


About the author

Trystan L. Bass

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A self-described ElderGoth, Trystan has been haunting the internet since the early 1990s. Always passionate about costume, from everyday office wear to outrageous twisted historical creations, she has maintained some of the earliest online costuming-focused resources on the web. Her costuming adventures are chronicled on her website, TrystanCraft. She also ran a popular fashion blog, This Is CorpGoth, dedicated to her “office drag.”

4 Responses

  1. Susan Pola Staples

    Thank you and Mr Pye fir including theses costume sketches. I now will be able to see the creations and compare them to their sketches.

    I have always enjoyed seeing these types of sketches and comparing them to the actual garment seen on screen. They, the sketches, show the designers’ thought processes for each piece of clothing and what hints are given about the character they’re for.

    One of the things I love about OutlanderCostume on Twitter is her inclusion of costume sketches and their steps in transforming sketch to actual garment with their embellishments and sometimes Ms Dresbach even includes pics of her research clothing.

    • Trystan L. Bass

      I’m thrilled HBO & Tom Pye have been so generous with us! And I am BEYOND excited about this production (in case it’s not obvious, lol!).

      • Susan Pola Staples

        So am I.

        And I can hardly wait for you to review Happy Prince more thoroughly.

        Also the Dame Helen Catherine the Great.

        Have a nice Easter. Hope the Bunny brings you tons of Lalique, Worth, Callot Soeurs, Doucet gowns, and lots of MoS and Marie Antoinette.

  2. henktjong

    Wonderful frocks in the series, but this guy can’t draw for toffee.