Downton Abbey Fashion Inspiration

Downton Abbey is my latest obsession.  (I'm a sucker for historical dramas...)  I especially love the Crawley sisters: Mary, Edith, and Sybil.  They get to wear the most gorgeous dresses!  Their elegant vintage style got me thinking about how to translate a little Downton Abbey glamor into a modern wardrobe.  And here's what I came up with:
Above: A frivolous fete calls for dressing to the nines.  How can you not swoon over the Crawley sisters' gowns? I tracked down modern dresses that emulate each style.  Mary's slinky ivory gown becomes a sexy little silk number.  Sybil's embellished blue gown becomes a blue satin shift with a gold necklace that replicates the gown's beading.  Edith's grayish taupe gown becomes a jazzy, art-deco dress.
Above: Mary's ladylike dress features nautical stripes and crocheted details around the neckline.  Sweet and simple, it's a perfect look for Spring!  For a modern take, I added a navy belt to a sailor-inspired frock.  Crocheted accents move from the neck down to the toes with a pair of Toms.   A floral handbag offsets the stripes.  And a pearl necklace and straw hat complete the summery look.
Above: Downton Abbey fashion gets a workplace-worthy update here.  For Edith's look, pair a chiffon, floral-printed, black blouse with a black skirt and t-strap heels.  A simple gold heart-shaped locket is a lovely accessory.  Mary's look is my favorite to transition into the office.  Recreate it with a plain white tee, high-waisted gray pencil skirt, mauve cardigan, pearl necklace, and vintage pumps.

Above:  I modernized Sybil's beautiful blue dress for a night out on the town. This much-shorter, one-shoulder number is that same shade of sky blue... and its draped, chiffon skirt is flowy just like Sybil's.  Cinch the waist with a gold belt and show off art nouveau-esque accessories.
Above: I got a little sidetracked with this one.  Lavinia isn't one of the Crawley sisters, but I love this velvet dress she wears.  Get a similar look with a long sleeve, forest green wrap dress.  Wear dark jade earrings and heels with a hint of velour that pays homage to Lavinia's all-velvet gown.  Don't forget a gold-encrusted hairband to top it all off.
Above are three more formal looks for an especially swanky occasion.  With Edith, this little black dress features the same black-lace-over-gold effect on the bodice.  Sybil's silver-on-top and navy-on-bottom gown has a dead-ringer in this strapless dress.  And this long sleeve, lace navy dress possesses all the same elegance as Mary's.
I saved my favorite for last with the above outfit.  On Mary's walk with Matthew, I couldn't get over the lovely simplicity of her ensemble---the lacy white blouse and grayish sage skirt.  She looks simply stunning.  I recreated it as an office-ready outfit. 

Do you watch Downton Abbey?  Which character's closet would you  most like to raid?



Mademoiselle Michael Blog said...


Um, this post is phenomenal.

Shelby said...

LOVE THIS. I should have lived a hundred years ago for the Edwardian era fashions. <3 Sybil!

Unknown said...

I love these! Thanks for putting them together, so inspiring. :)

Unknown said...

I just love how the fashions from the show can be translated into 2012 styles. If one of the actors just walked off the set in their "costume" no one would really notice a difference. The styles that the show recreates aren't outlandish or flamboyant. They're classic.

Meg said...

Hey Jessica! I just found your blog, and the fact that one of the first posts I see is about Downton Abbey makes me feel like I probably should have been following your blog for longer than a day. My bad.

Anyway, do you mind if I ask where you found some of these items? I have the budget of a kid running a lemonade stand, but a girl can pretend, right? Thanks!

AzaniaD said...

This is great! Do you mind posting the stats on the dresses? I am looking for something to wear to a formal event, and some of these would do!

Kait_Haire said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kait_Haire said...

I love practically everything Mary wears! Especially her black beaded dress in the second season.

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