Inspired by Downton Abbey

Is anyone else obsessed with Downton Abbey? I haven’t watched PBS so avidly since Saturday night had all the British comedies. I’m a total Anglophile, and Downton is a dreamy show. Set in the early 1900’s, the divide between the upper class and the lower class is portrayed in one busy household. Currently we are on season two, and in the midst of World War I. Big drama!

Obviously, the tastemakers are the three Grantham sisters. They have caused some of my friends to beg for an updated Downton Abbey style post.

Disclaimer: these are not, nor are they intended to be, authentic period clothes. There are very few places you can go dressed as one of the Downton ladies. They merely have some features of the period dress.

Dresses inspired by Downton Abbey

Dorothy Perkins gray dress, $27
Quiksilver empire line dress, $49
ASOS ruched dress, $39
Shiny dress, $43
Old Navy ruffle dress, $23
Dorothy Perkins evening dresses gown, $17

For day dresses, a combination of long and flowy and short with delicate details.

Downton Abbey Jackets and Shrugs

Bellatrix chiffon shirt, $40
Floral shirt, $50
REGENCY black jacket, £57
Victorian coat, $110
Bolero jacket, $28
Free people, $20
Black/White Short Fitted Striped Blazer, $30
Burgundy Red Velvet Gothic Victorian Fitted Corset Jacket from The

Cover up your day or evening wear with a chiffon or lace bed jacket or a cutaway coat.

Downton Abbey Hats

Halogen brim straw hat, $28
Bow hat, $35
Made of Me bow hat, $18
Black hat, $12
Goorin striped hat, £6
American Apparel brim hat, $44
Forever 21 floppy brim hat, $15
Brim straw hat, £10
Tarnish bow hat, $28

Even an updated Downton look wouldn’t be a complete without a hat!

Downton After Dark

ASOS sequin cocktail dress, $45
Vintage lace dress, $100
Lauren Conrad floral maxi dress, $43
TopShop maxi dress, £30
Ryu lace dress, $65
Oasis long sleeve maxi dress, $17
Lace cocktail dress, $50

These dresses won’t require a maid to get you into them–but maybe that’s part of the beauty of dressing for dinner in 2012?

If you’re looking for a GENUINE Downton look, try Nataya. Original designs are based on period pieces; this line has been around for a while–since the movie Titanic, I believe. The dresses are gorgeous, and just updated enough for a formal occasion.


Inspired by Denver: Wearable Victoriana

Stacey Steer’s Night Hunters has been on my mind since I saw it at The Denver Art Museum. Collage is the main medium of these works of art; a film was made using collage and old silent films to create each frame. The effect is that of a Gothic work of fear, taking all the animals and insects that appear in the night juxtaposed with a helpless woman. The film, the collages, and the sculpture of a Victorian manor house with each room flickering with the light of its own film screen make up Night Hunters.

I was inspired by this work of art to find some wearable, Victorian-inspired pieces for spring, forgoing heavy velvet and black for lace and pale pink.

Victorian Button Top

With a soft and wearable texture, this shirt would be cute with a pair of close-fitting jeans or with a pencil skirt. If you wear it with a long skirt, you will end up a little too stuffy, but paired with a modern garment it would reach its potential.

Large Victorian Magnifying Glass Necklace

This piece is multi-use–the magnifying glass works, so if your vision is a little sketchy, you could use it. But the real beauty is the style of the piece. Best used as a conversation piece, if you ask me.

Funtasma’s Victorian Boot

Used to be you could get boots in black, black, or black. Anything else would be unseemly. But this gold boot with black design breaks that mold. They are traditional with a twist.

Elements of Elegance Top

A frilly collar makes this simple sheer top something special. It looks floaty and lovely, like you would look cool and fresh on the hottest of summer days. You could tuck it into a slim skirt or wear it over casual jeans or even shorts.

Double-Breasted Swallow-Tailed Jacket

The tail of this jacket gives it a neo-Victorian look. Other than that, it’s elegant but not overdone. The short sleeves are perfect for spring, as is the color. It is less “ruffly” than some of the other garments, if you like a more structured look.

Epoch Blouse

Ruffles at the neck, ruffles at the sleeve, ruffles at the hip, and a bright floral pattern? And we die of cuteness. Thank you, Anthropologie.

Would you wear Victorian? Or is it a nightmare for you?