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How to dress like ‘Downton Abbey’

Take some fashion advice from the Crawley family of “Downton Abbey” and you’ll feel elegant and aristocratic. From gloves and boots to brooches and coats, try out these outfits and accessories from the 20th century.

Clothes

  • Pair a knit dress with a faux fur scarf and tall boots and you’ll be comfortable and cozy. This is a perfect dress to wear to the office or even to a casual fall get-together.
  • Wear a long floral skirt in dark colors like black and red with a flowy white blouse buttoned to the neck. Add some booties and a cropped jacket and you’ve got a noble, dignified everyday look.
  • Dare to wear pants in patterned silk. Look for floral palazzo-style trousers and add a solid-colored blouse. You’ll feel charismatic and classic.
  • If you’re not sold on trying out a 1900s style in public, you can always try a little touch of it at home by wearing a long, luxurious robe. Look for one with lace trimming and a sash and you’ll feel sophisticated and fashionable as you read the morning newspaper or get ready for bed.
  • We love the high-necked blouses that many high-society ladies wore in the “Downton Abbey” era. The puffed sleeves and beaded seams are gorgeous details that need no accessories. Wear one with a simple maxi skirt or high-waisted pants and a cropped jacket.
  • Knee-length double-breasted coats with wide collars were very fashionable in the early 20th century. Look for one in wool with a belt around the middle. This will draw attention to your waist and give you the appearance of having an hourglass figure.

Accessories

  • Try a leather wristwatch that looks like something a brother or uncle might wear – maybe a little larger than your usual watch. This accessory is simple and functional, yet charming.
  • Tie a fun printed scarf to the handle of a structured bag for another bit of World War l-era fashion. It’s the perfect combination of masculine business-like style (with the structured bag) and feminine flair (with the flouncy scarf).
  • Anything equestrian, from tall riding boots to cheeky galoshes or a leather riding cuff, would have been worn by the elite members of the 20th century. Try one, or several, for a casual elegant feel.
  • Family jewels were a treasured item showing wealth and importance in the “Downton Abbey” era. If you have family heirlooms like a brooch, hair clip or earrings, why not take them out of their velvet-line storage box and let them see the light of day? Intricate bejeweled pendant necklaces are especially classy and reminiscent of the era. The longer the better! Crystal drop earrings, gold and diamonds were especially treasured. Just remember, they don’t have to be real!
  • Gloves are a must if you are looking to have Edwardian style. During the day, women of wealth in the early 1900s wore short gloves with frills. Evening gloves were longer and satiny to add a touch of elegance to their attire. Gloves like these are perfect for attending a symphony or opera, or to be worn in the winter to keep out the cold.
  • Beaded headbands were popular evening wear and were worn around the forehead to keep bangs in place. These fancy headpieces were often paired with a shin-length beaded or satin sleeveless gown and worn to formal occasions like dances and parties. Today, beaded headbands can be worn to a party or special gathering to add some sparkle to your outfit.
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