By Mollie Mansfield
A teenage girl is living in the past and even dresses as a suffragette – because she finds the 21st century ‘too boring’.
After attending a ‘war weekend’ in her hometown of Pickering, North Yorkshire, Jude Kershaw found herself becoming more and more infatuated with dressing up like her predecessors.
Slowly, Jude, now 17, began to acquire more vintage outfits from the 20th century and wear them every day.
And during her school years, Jude spent hours doing extra reading for her history class due to her sheer love of the topic and to ensure that her outfits and lifestyle were accurate for the period she was ‘living in’.
Now, Jude has a whole wardrobe of periodic outfits, lives in a bedroom that’s ‘like a museum’ and even works at a vintage shop, making her one of Britain’s youngest people who ‘lives in the past’.
Jude said: “I’ve always been interested in history since I was growing up and it was my favourite subject at school, so I’ve always had quite a good knowledge on the periods I like.
“My grandparents would always have really interesting stories to tell me, so that helped my intrigue with the 1900s.
“When I got a bit older, I started going to car boot sales, vintage stores and antique fairs and would find myself steering clear of high street shops.
“I have always found the 21st century rather boring and too normal for me – living in the past makes it a lot more fun to get ready every day and makes every outing more special.
“It’s great to go through my wardrobe every day and pick out something to wear knowing that no one else will be wearing the same clothes as you.
“But it is a lot of hard work – I watch a lot of documentaries and read a lot of books about the periods I dress in to make sure that I am as correct as can be.
“Luckily I also put my knowledge to good use and teach primary schools about World War Two and the periods surrounding it.”
Alongside studying photography in college – where she focused on periodic images and even used cameras from the 20th century – Jude also has a part-time job working at her local vintage store.
She said: “I knew that I wanted to spend my weekends working somewhere that I genuinely loved, so I started working at my local vintage store.
“I would always shop there anyway and, as I had a lot of knowledge about the clothing periods, I thought it was the best way that I could express my knowledge and my passion whilst working.
“I help a lot of people find their own periodic outfits and explain how you can still switch between the eras – the elderly love me!
“Being at work allows me to be myself – I get to style my hair and do my make-up in the old fashioned way as well as being able to wear my own clothes and not a uniform.”
Inside her eclectic 20th century wardrobe, the retail worker even has outfits that allow her to dress as a suffragette.
She said: “I take inspiration from many people, from Mrs Pankhurst to family friends.
“When I’m dressed as a suffragette I help remind the people in the street that these women existed.
“Those women went though hell, we could never truly understand what they went though – but dressing up as one helps bring them back into the present.
“I merely want to honour these women in the most respectful and informative way possible.”
But despite living in the olden days, Jude explains that she is still dating in the present day – and would even date a Coldplay fan.
She said: “Being a transgender teenager in the dating world is hard enough – but being a teenager who lives in the ‘olden days’ is even harder!
“Just because I love history and living in the 1900s doesn’t mean I’m only attracted to George Harrison.
“Just finding someone who’d love and support me is all I want – if he’d dance with me to my gramophone and take me to the seaside, even better!
“But of course being a teenager in 2019, a boy who’d pay for my Netflix and likes Coldplay would do just as well!”
Alongside dressing as a suffragette, Jude also dresses from other eras, including:
1930s: Plum Dress in rayon and crepe, tilt hat, sunglasses and floral parasol.
1940s: Siren Suit, RAF Haversack, antique torch and a family heirloom head scarf.
1950s: Pale blue day dress, a family heirloom St Micheal hand bag with a summer hat.
1960s: Beige Crimplene mini dress, calf length boots and a paisley bandana.
1980s: Original 80s AC/DC t shirt, faux leather jacket with studs, tartan skirt, fishnets and Doc Martens.