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Fashion Inspired by Downton Abbey


Downton abbey poster
Official Promotional Material

If you love history, British culture, gorgeous costumes, and high quality soap operas, then Downton Abbey is the show for you. In honor of the series’ new fourth season, I’m paying tribute with a few modern outfit ideas inspired by Downton Abbey’s amazing 1910s fashion.

Scroll down to learn more about the show and to see all the looks:

About Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey, created by British writer and actor Julian Fellowes, began its first season in 2010. The show follows the aristocratic Crawley family, consisting of the Earl and Countess of Grantham and their three daughters, along with the large staff of their British country estate.

The first season is set in 1912, when the family has just learned that the heir to their estate has died aboard the Titanic – a tragedy which shakes the entire household. Thus, the family reluctantly prepares to meet the new heir, a distant relative and virtual stranger. In addition to the trouble with inheritance, the show goes on to deal with the loves and marriages of the three Crawley daughters, Mary, Edith, and Sybil, the lives of the maids, footmen, and other staff who keep Downton running, and later, the events of World War I.

The series, which airs on PBS in the United States, has been critically-acclaimed. It has won several Emmy and Golden Globe awards, including the 2012 Golden Globe for Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television. And of course, we can’t forget about the costumes! Great care is taken to make all of the show’s award-winning costumes accurate for the period, and they’re not just beautiful to look at – they also serve as gorgeous fashion inspiration:

Below Stairs

Downton abbey maids
Video Screenshot

This first outfit is inspired by the hardworking staff of Downton Abbey. To stick with the same black-and-white palette as their uniforms, I’ve started with a belted black skirt and a crisp button-up shirt with lace detailing, which mimics the lace on the maids’ aprons.

Keep it conservative with opaque black tights, then slip on some practical yet cute black lace-up ankle boots. Instead of the traditional white headband, go with a slouchy white beret for a modern touch. Lastly, accessorize with classic pearl earrings and a simple black satchel.

Black skirt white lace blouse
Product Info: Shirt – Debenhams, Skirt – New Look, Tights – Target, Boots – Ruche, Bag – ASOS, Earrings – Miss Selfridge, Hat – ASOS

Dressed for Dinner

Downton abbey formal wear
Video Screenshot

The ladies of Downton Abbey are almost always dressed up – for them, every dinner is a formal occasion. To mimic their style, go for a longer midi dress with sheer layers, an open neckline, and a fitted waistband. Switch out their low black Mary-Jane heels for a higher neutral-colored version, then glitz things up with a beaded belt and jeweled clutch.

The Downton ladies never skimp on jewelry, so go all out with a long pearl necklace, drop earrings, and a pretty hair brooch. Finish things off with an elegant updo and a light swipe of lipstick.

Blue midi dress jewelry heels
Product Info: Dress – ASOS, Heels – Macy’s, Clutch – Chicastic, Necklace – LOFT, Earrings – John Lewis, Belt – Zara, Hair Brooch – ASOS, Lipstick –

On the Hunt

Downton abbey hunting
Video Screenshot

Hunting is a popular pastime for the aristocratic Crawleys, so imitate their outdoorsy ensembles with a plaid blazer and muted green corduroy pants. Layer a cream sweater underneath, then slip on some brown lace-up boots. For a modern touch, style your hair in a messy braid, but don’t forget to hearken back to Downton with a pair of brown leather gloves.

Sweater plaid blazer corduroy
Product Info: Blazer – Modcloth, Sweater – American Eagle, Pants – H&M, Boots – Ruche, Gloves – Debenhams, Hair –


Are you a Downton Abbey fan? What do you think of the show’s period fashion? Which look is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

Posted on on January 7, 2014 / Filed Under: Inspiration / Tags: , , , ,

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8 Responses to “Fashion Inspired by Downton Abbey”

  1. 1
    January 7th, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Love Downton Abbey and these ideas <3

  2. 2
    January 7th, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    FINALLY! I’ve been dying for a Downton post for ages :) Wish you could have done something with Mary’s love of luxe reds, but the maid outfit is genius!

  3. 3
    January 7th, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    Love this!!!

  4. 4
    January 8th, 2014 at 7:16 am

    I love Downton Abbey too. And one of the reasons why I love it is because their dress and jewelry. Maybe you could create something about Mary’s wardrobe :) Its a pitty that in my country is most of the clothes that you post here unavailable in shops. Still, I love reading this page.

  5. 5
    January 9th, 2014 at 3:37 am

    This made me laugh out loud—I’ve watched three seasons of Downton Abbey in the last two days! I am a new convert to the show and am completely captivated by the fashion.

    Modcloth has some great pieces that reference the 1910s, and their “Roaring 20s” section has some pieces that are close.

    I’m off to stock my closet with long necklaces, high waisted dresses, and lots and lots of beaded everything.


  6. 6
    January 9th, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    Love these outfits!!! Such great modern interpretations of the fashion in Downton Abbey!

  7. 7
    January 11th, 2014 at 8:02 am

    Nice! Downtown Abbey has made it to the list of shows I have to watch!

  8. 8
    January 14th, 2014 at 7:03 am

    What about Sybil’s blue harem pant “frock”?

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