Dress With Sophistication And Steal Downton Abbey’s Style

Downton Abbey Style
Nedahl Stelio

Lifestyle Writer

Sep 27, 2021

It appears that TV is having a moment. From movie stars trickling onto our screens in what have become cult programs – think everything from our old favourites  Downton Abbey, True Detective to House of Cards and Mad Men, we just can’t get enough.

And because we’re watching so much of it, the style on the shows is rather infectious, seeping through our subconscious and making us drawn to certain pieces because our favourite characters are wearing them. Here, we dissect the fashion from one of your most-watched TV shows Downton Abbey and how to get the look.


Straight out of the 1920’s and 30’s, every episode showcases glorious fashion from sparkling flapper dresses to flowing chiffon gowns. Highlights include lace and beading embellishment with details like scalloped edges and beautiful hats. I love how you can tell what decade it is via the movement of the fashion.

You can work a Downton Abbey look into your wardrobe with the subtle addition of a few key pieces, or go all out, top to toe with the whole look. So, who’s your fave?

Lady Mary: As the eldest sister, she shines in all kinds of shimmering fabrics, embellishment, embroidery and beautiful beaded necklines. Her look is all about decadence with a very glamorous, luxe feel. Opulence is always a look we see on the red carpets at the Globes, Oscars and Logies. Work some into your wardrobe by adding a tonne of sparkle to your every day wear, either on a dress or more subtly with a beaded shoe or bag.

Lady Sybil: We’ve moved from the drop waists of the 20’s to the empire lines of the early 30’s, something Lady Sybil wears beautifully. And you can garner the popularity of the show by the fact that we’re seeing these dresses through the stores, from Alannah Hill to Zara. Most noticeable is the cloche hat which comes directly from Downton and is the perfect hat for winter.

Lady Edith: Did the current lace trend also come courtesy of Downton Abbey? Quite possibly. The modern interpretations of the trend could have spun straight from Lady Edith’s costumes, and if so, she has a lot to answer for, because it’s absolutely everywhere. Floaty, dreamy creations with all kinds of coloured lace make it this season’s (and next Summer too!) number one trend.

How to Downton-Abbey-fy your wardrobe

1. Invest in a lace dress. This one by BCBG Max Azria has the high neckline of a Downton Abbey era, with studs embossed into the bodice which keeps it cool and modern.

2. Add a cloche hat to any outfit this winter, like this one from Morgan & Taylor. David Jones and Myer also have a great selection.3. Go for finger-waved hair. Like the multitude of stars who recently sported this style at the Met Ball. Everyone from Reese Witherspoon to Blake Lively went for a soft, brushed out wave.

4. Get a net. Not a tennis net, though they’re also very helpful for a 1920’s social life, but a face net, a la Beyonce at the Met Ball. She kept the whole thing modern with her slashed-to-the-navel dress, but the enormous earrings also help. A great mix of style which was all drawn from Downton’s.

5. Introduce pearls to your outfit. It’s no coincidence that pearls have suddenly come back into fashion along with Downton Abbey. Add a few strings of pearls and channel that 1920s-30s Coco Chanel vibe.

6. Go for a T-bar, closed toe shoe like these Sophia Webster patent pumps. To be worn with dresses, skirts and if you really want to look fresh by mixing your styles up, a pair of leather leggings.

7. Welcome fake fur into your life, like this fake fur stole which is perfect for winter to throw over a beaded dress that you’ve jazzed up with pearls, your cloche hat and your dark lipstick. Now, tell me you’re not all over this Downton Abbey style business!


How will you work the Downton Abbey look into your wardrobe? Tell us in the comments below! 


By Nedahl Stelio

Lifestyle Writer

Nedahl Stelio was previously editor of Cleo magazine and has been an editor at Cosmopolitan, Good Food and the Fairfax 'Health' section and a contributor for The Carousel. She wrote the book Mojo Mama Secrets. Now Nedahl is the founder and owner of Recreation Beauty.


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