Anyone out there following this blog for any length of time knows I'm totally wrapped up in vintage fashion. Yes, Sunday nights my cream puff deserts have been replaced with sixty minutes of the kind of eye candy found in these images.   Spot on and spectacular is how I've previously described the costuming in Downton Abbey, the breakout British series laden with some of the most delectable mixes of fabric and laces you'll see anywhere.  Now that we're into Season 3, the Ladies Mary and Edith show up in different episodes in wedding gowns so similar, frankly I was disappointed. Not disappointed because of the designs--they were marvelous and Downton's designer, Caroline McCall did a stunning job on both-- but I felt when Edith walked down the stairway a couple nights back I was looking at Mary's wedding dress all over again.  Here though is where Edith's ensemble varied: Once she returns home from getting jilted at the altar, she runs up the staircase ditching the silk gauze veil, frantically throwing it off her head. Then it actually floats to the floor like a dropping parachute in the wind.  This where I love costume design.  McCall used that silk gauze  to create a mood, a feeling, some drama

For brides out there wanting to create some Downtown Abbey drama here are a few of my own tips for getting it right.

* The early twenties era started out proper and ladylike and by mid-twenties went 'jazz age' with flapper style skirts going above the knee.

*Go for accessories that polish off your look like long ropes of pearls you can tie, knotted or fringed shawls and cloche or picture hats.

*  The 1920s was the era of a dropped waist that sat either on the hips or fell into no waistline at all found in the shift and chemise styles.

*If you're going for authenticity and your hair is long (like Lady Mary and Sybil), wear it in a styled chignon.  A hairdresser will know how to add those dramatic rolls and Marcelling (deep waves).  If your hair is short try to get it going into a Bob. Great hairstyling lays the just the right groundwork so you can add a great headpiece or veil.

*The costuming on Downton Abbey is top drawer so look for exquisite workmanship.  For me the standard 1920s silhouette isn't complimentary to most women unless they're built like Audrey Hepburn or the actresses who play the Crawley sisters.  It was however an era known for incredible detailing on clothing such as intricate smocking and hand embroidery, lace insets, pleats, draping, etc.


Photo 1 & 2 via The Jane Austen Film Club
Photo 3 via Elle UK
Photo 4 via
Photo 5 via Fanpop