Get the look -- Downton Abbey
Downton Abbey, the swooning tale of up and downstairs among the aristocracy during the early part of the 20th century, has taken both U.K. and American TV viewers by storm. We can't get enough of the tales of Earl Grantham and his brood of high spirited daughters and the lives they lead. The times then were the tail end of the Edwardian era and before the Roaring Twenties, which provided rich fashion inspiration. It’s as romantic and elegant a look as it was a romantic and elegant era. If you want to channel a little of that Downton look into your own life, read on.
Jet was one of the precious stones of the time, originally getting noticed when Queen Victoria wore it as mourning jewelry after the passing of her beloved Albert. Eventually it became the fashion and our ladies of Downton can often be seen wearing lovely jet beaded pieces. Jet is timeless and looks as lovely today as it did then. Try subtle but pretty black rose drop earrings ($14) or a long cameo locket pendant with jet beads ($42), both by 1928, for a vintage but chic look.
The times were changing at Downton with the onset of the World War I and so were the fashions. For one thing, hemlines were getting shorter. Styles that never went away were lace and delicate beading. Today's ladies can fortunately wear any hemline they like and lace is still always in style. The Grace Garden dress by ModCloth ($98) lets you bring out your inner flirt just like Lady Sybil. If you want an easy way to transform what's currently in your closet, try this draped lace cardigan by Forever 21 ($23).
The Downton ladies are kept on their feet by all that dancing and sometimes dashing from unwanted suitors. The Breathtaking Bubbly Heel from Poetic License ($130) is sure to attract only the best attention with its retro style that's a little Victorian and a little 1980s. If it's flats you prefer, these retro Bow'n Places Mary Janes ($130) would be just the ticket for a walk through the estate (or local park) gardens.
Fragrance was just as important in Downton's day as it is now. And the ever so chic Crawley sisters wouldn't dream of wearing anything less than the most classic of scents. Luckily for them there were many English perfumers to keep them smelling sweet.
Luckily for you, many of these same perfumers are still around today making new scents while also keeping many of the old favorites on the shelves. Floris London was established in 1730 and their Edwardian Bouquet was created in 1901. This fragrance, created to celebrate the launch of the new era, would have undoubtedly been on the dressing tables of the highborn ladies of the day. Add a little sentimental scent to your vanity with this green floral fragrance of hyacinth, bergamot, jasmine, rose and light woods ($90).