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Downton Abbey Fashion 1920s

Updated on January 2, 2013

Season 3 Downton Abbey Fashion

The popular BBC hit Downton Abbey enters season three in 1920. Fans are already in love with the 1912-1918 fashions of season 1 and 2 but unless you can sew well the style is very hard to recreate. Fashions starting in 1920 are much more accessible today. Thanks to shows Downton Abbey and Boardwalk Empire and movies The Artist and The Great Gatsby clothing from the 1920's are extremely popular again. Long beaded dresses, snug cloche hats, t-strap dancing shoes, and rhinestone headbands are everywhere.

Lady Edith
Lady Edith

The Formal Dresses

Formal dresses on Downton Abbey are exquisite. Head to toe covering a fine beads makes them set for the 1920's. Formal dresses are usually sleeveless and long. Later in the 20's we will see shorter dresses suited for the flapper revolution. They ladies of Downton wore:

Mary- Beautiful burgundy and jewel tone colors in chiffon, silk, and beads. Her dresses are often the most expensive.

Edith- Lovely pastels with dropped waists and small gathers of beaded decorations. She is less extravagant then Mary but more in tune with the popular fashions of 1920s.

Lady Granthom- Elegant, dark tones, rich fabrics, and styling that feels a bit more teens then 20's which is fitting her age and station in life.

Semi Formal Day Dresses

Beaded gowns were saved for evening affairs. Day dresses were more simple and casual. The dresses cut was straight on the body with low "dropped waists" that freed the hips and the women from the need for tight corsets. Two piece walking suits were very popular for going into town. The skirt often featured several layers of fabric making a tiered skirt effect.

Mary's Shoes
Mary's Shoes

Ladies Shoes

Look closely and you will see the ladies of Downton sporting the latest craze in footwear. Out went boots and in came pretty shoes with decorative t-straps and Mary Jane straps. Low heels were gradually getting higher but sturdy too (can't have ladies falling down.) Most occasions called for black shoes with brown leather being a close second. Only white was worn in the summer when shoes were made of canvas or other sturdy fabric. For very special occasions shoes were matched to the dresses and hand painted with Art Deco inspired designs.

Summer Hats
Summer Hats

Downton Abbey Hats

Cloche Hats

Early 1920's hats were not the very tight cloche hats of the mid to late 20's. These cloche hats were snug on the head but with larger brims, often on the sides only or all around for sun hats. Decorations were kept close on the hat- not spilling over like the early teens picture hats. The taste in head-wear was to keep them simple just like the clothing.

MASTERPIECE Downton Abbey | Changing Fashion in the Series | PBS

A brief look at what the actresses think of the new 1920 fashion in Downton Abbey.

Shop Downton Abbey on Amazon

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    • Stretchpants profile image


      5 years ago

      Cute! I'd love to learn about hairstyles, too.


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