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Downton Abbey Clothes The English Period Drama Starts A Hot New Fashion Trend

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey

Fashion Goes Edwardian

Downton Abbey is an English Period Drama made by the British ITV Network. It's Set in the Edwardian Period around 1910 and then continuing the story up until, and including, King George V. The story centres on the First World War, and features a cast of British actors including the great Maggie Smith. Since it has started it has picked up many awards and for this type of Genre it has proved a surprising success.

There have been many period drama's in the past, but for some reason this one has captured the publics imagination. In fact there has only been one more successful drama in this Genre since 1981, and that was the great Brideshead Revisited.

The offshoot of this is that the fabulous fashion costumes that the actors and actresses wear have suddenly developed a following of there own. It seems that the British public have a yearning for the elegance and beauty of this period in our History. In other words, the clothes are going down a storm. Orders have been selling out, and one of the most popular is the 'over the elbow' gloves. There is a real trend for these vintage but very desirable fashion gloves.

But that's not all. We suddenly want to look like the Ladies and Gentlemen of the Day. With silk Cravats and walking canes, Parasols and Granny boots, it seems that the majority of us are fed up with the same old Jeans and T shirts that seem to have taken over our lives.

Where is the elegance? Where is the style? Well, here it is, and believe me when I say, it's time to take back our femininity and beauty. And just imagine how handsome your partner will look wearing the wonderful clothes and fashions of Yester Year.

Cora Crawley played by Elizabeth McGovern

Cora Crawley played by Elizabeth McGovern

Downton Abbey The Series

Downton Abbey is the fictional country house of the Earl and Countess of Grantham. It is an Upstairs, downstairs story of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants. With love and tragedy, casualties of 1914-18 war, and having their household turned upside down to make room for the Military who need the Hall for the sick and wounded, the Crawley family have to learn to adapt.

The first series spanned the two years leading up to the sinking of the Titanic. The second series is now halfway through, and brings intrigue to the House. Servants and Aristocrats find that their well ordered lives, and perfect structure of the Household, has been turned upside down. Love crosses the barriers, and secrets are revealed that horrify the Crawleys. Can they survive the upheaval? And most importantly, can they find love?

Watch A Season 2 Teaser


Edwardian Dress Pattern

 Are you good with sewing? How about trying out this lovely dress pattern. Easy to make, and wonderful for the summer months.

A lovely Edwardian dress from the early 1900s. It has a high or low neckline that can be adjusted, princess lines, and a pleated or gathered skirt. Along the centre front panel, and side flanges, are a wonderful line of lacy detail. It can be made from cotton, silk, wool or any other fabric that you prefer. The advantage of making your own is that you can add color, or pearls, eyelets or ribbons. Lovely.


Victorian Granny Boots. Yummy!

These Victorian Granny Boots are absolutely gorgeous. They have see through lace sides, which decorate the boots perfectly. With a 2 inch heel they are perfect for every day wear. The advantage of these is that they can be worn with Victorian styles, Saloon, or be a Southern Belle.

Edwardian and Victorian, overlap because the shoes were made to last. So I am not really cheating when I show you these! Evidently they are called Victorian because the style came out just before Edwardian days, but lasted well into the 1920s.

These are my favorite, they are delicious!

They come in Ivory, Gold, Pink and Black.


Ivory Pu-Lace Victorian Ankle Boots

Granny Boots In Black

Victorian Ankle Boot Ivory

Sticking with the Ivory theme, these are the bigger version of the Ankle boots above. These really are lovely. With an interweaving pattern of lace down the sides, lace up tight fronts and perfect but small heels, these are perfect with everything you wear. Imagine going to that party in your Edwardian dress, and sweeping down the stairs, holding up your skirts for everyone to see. Wow! And the great thing about them is the fact that they are Ultra modern too! A mini skirt, pants or even a long evening gown will go together with these perfect boots.

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And the one advantage that you have when wearing these type of Victoriana bombshells is that even if you have weak ankles like me, you would never trip or twist your ankle. I know. I wear these sort of boots every day. They sit snugly around your ankle, and because you can tie them as tight as you want, they support your feet and legs perfectly. How good is that?


Somewhere In Time

 This beautiful hat is made over a taupe wool wide brimmed base, just 16 inches wide. The taupe satin and golden ornamentation is accented with a beaded trim. The feathers are beautiful ostrich dyed by hand and sit gracefully around the crown. This is a very elegant piece that would be perfect to wear at a wedding, or Church. Maybe even a Sunday afternoon stroll around the park. You would certainly turn heads wearing this wonderful hat.

This wonderful Edwardian style hat is designed by Darna's East Angel Harbor Hat Shoppe. The 'Lady Josephine' hat is a cloche hat made of ivory wool felt. Perfect for winter. Its style is as modern now as it was then. It was worn towards the end of the Edwardian period and into the 1920s. Around the outside of the hat is champagne dupioni silk. And the bow has a rhinestone buckle.

Flapper Hat Edwardian Style


I couldn't leave the hats without adding this wonderful Lady Josephine in Hazelnut brown. I especially love the brim, it is made from Silk and looks really stylish. You could wear this at any time and it would go with loads of different outfits. I love it.


Ladies Elegant Elbow Length Gloves

Matt Finish Cotton Gloves

What Edwardian Women Kept In their Handbags!

Edwardian handbags were made to last. But not only that they were made to make a fashion statement. They showed class and wealth. The brighter the colors and the finer the material, would show the upper class that you had wealth and good taste. A lady would never be seen without her bag. It held the most important little bits and pieces that an Edwardian lady would need. Tissues, lipstick, smelling salts, yes I said smelling salts because ladies in those days were prone to fainting! Well, actually it was called 'glowing' when they got hot, and then if they passed out, it would be a touch of the 'vapours'! Women never perspired, they 'glowed' or blushed!

Of course the reason why they came over 'All Unnecessary' (fainted) is because they couldn't breath! Their Stays or corsets were so tight it would cut off the blood supply and restrict their breathing. That's why you see women dropping like flies back in the day. It wasn't because they were delicate as they called it, it was because of hypoxia! Hence the smelling salts.

Getting back to what a lady would have in her handbag, she would always carry a spare hair clip or scarf, and even one of those great big hat pins that came in handy when the lady was being pestered by a besotted man! En Garde' !

Occasionally she may even have money in there. Well, that's obvious, you may say, but no, actually you are wrong. Why would a Lady have money? Back in the day there was no 'going dutch' as they say these days. A Lady was treated as such. Therefore the man would always pay. Either her husband or her sweetheart would treat her. It was the thing to do. Please bring back those times! (sigh)

And last but not least, a lady would always have a spare set of gloves in her bag. You never went out in public without them, unless you were common. And of course you would need a spare pair just in case you lost one at the Theatre or Ballet.

And that's it! Or maybe I have missed something? Let me know! Anyway, talking about gloves, take a look at the fabulous designs on the right!

Lovely Purple

Downton Abbey

 I love the series of Downton Abbey. I have been hooked ever since series one. The second series proves that this show gets better and better. So when you are all sitting cosy by the fireside, drinking your hot chocolate and indulging in sweet fantasies of parasols, and long strolls in the park with your beau on your arm, just remember that you can indulge in some of these elegant costumes, and turn a few heads at the same time.

Sorry I can't provide the Beau. You'll have to do that yourself!

The Country Diary of An Edwardian Lady


Nell Rose (author) from England on September 05, 2014:

Thanks naved, glad you liked it, nell

naved007 on September 04, 2014:

This is a gorgeous hub. Thank you. Loved the bags and jewelr

Nell Rose (author) from England on September 18, 2012:

Hi Kathleen, yes its so watchable! its just started again now over here, and I was sat with my cuppa and chocs completely happy! lol! thanks for reading, nell

Kathleen Cochran from Atlanta, Georgia on September 17, 2012:

I just discovered this series and watched the first two seasons in one day! The clothes are the icing on a fabulous cake. Can't wait until January. Some of the best clothes are on Granny!

Nell Rose (author) from England on September 16, 2012:

Hi cclitgirl, lol! yes those hats are great aren't they? thanks so much, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on September 16, 2012:

Hi sholland, yes those white granny boots are for me! lol! I think they were called that because originally they were only worn by older ladies, I think I read that somewhere, I tend to wear just jeans and t shirts too, wish we could dress like that again how great would that be? thanks so much, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on September 16, 2012:

Hi amber, its back! just watched it! a brand new series, its really good, so much better than the other period drama's, well worth watching, thanks so much for reading, nell

Amber White from New Glarus, WI on September 16, 2012:

I have been told I must watch this show, your hub made it even more intriguing. I must get it on Netflix NOW! Thank you!

Susan Holland from Southwest Missouri on September 16, 2012:

Nell, I need to see if I can find this series online. You are right (and I am guilty) about falling into the jeans and t-shirt or comfortable clothes. I can see how these elegant clothes could start inspiring a renewal in fashion. I love those white granny boots. I know that is what grannys used to wear, but so did young women. I never did get why the "granny boot" name stuck.

Great hub! Votes and shares! :-)

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on September 16, 2012:

This hub is awesome! I love all the stuff you highlighted here. Oh, I sooo want a flapper hat! I can see why people just love this hub!! :D

Nell Rose (author) from England on August 01, 2012:

Thanks Nalini, nice to see you, nell

Nalini Marquez on August 01, 2012:

Yes, those women fainting all over the place haha :-). The fact that it was so common is humorous now but one wonders at how no one put it together and adjusted societal expectations accordingly SOONER, as the consequences of fashion were a problem for a lot of different time periods. It's nuts! But beauty and history often are. :-p

You're welcome! I enjoyed reading it.

Nell Rose (author) from England on August 01, 2012:

Hi Nalini, yes those fainting women! lol! thanks so much for reading, cheers nell

Nalini Marquez on August 01, 2012:

Nice hub! I loved the humor that you incorporated and the bits of information too (carrying of salts, women being prone to fainting). While I'm not too crazy about the boots and I don't wouldn't want to have to dress like that everyday, I do appreciate the fashions!

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 24, 2012:

Hi ysdata, lol! thanks so much for reading, cheers nell

ysdata on June 24, 2012:

I too love the show, but I don't think I will be dressing like them. LOL

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 18, 2012:

News Flash!! Downton Abbey is on in September, but the funny thing is, Simon Cowell is going to be in it! that will be something to watch! how about that?

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 18, 2012:

Hi Elle, yes just add the different bits with alternate outfits, such as the hat and gloves for one, and the bags for another, I am definitely getting downton abbey withdrawl! lol! thanks for reading, cheers nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 18, 2012:

Hi tammy, snap! haha! me and boots, well, what a story! I would love to star in a TV program like this, just to wear those clothes, and the boots of course! thanks as always, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 18, 2012:

Hi Audrey, yes I love the old vintage clothes too, I think we have lost something these days, where has all the glamour gone? thanks for reading, cheers nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 18, 2012:

Hi molly, yes the Edwardian clothes are gorgeous, I think they would be really comfortable as well as fashionable if they left out the darn corset! haha! the bags and jewelry are great aren't they? thanks for reading, cheers nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 18, 2012:

Hi Pamela, thank you so much, I am glad you liked it, yes those corsets! haha! I would pass out every few seconds wearing those! the pattern was a great find, and if I could sew I would definitely try it! lol! thank you, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 18, 2012:

Hi thoughtforce, I think it should be back on soon, hopefully, yes those boots are divine! lol! thanks so much nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 18, 2012:

Hi Jools, its great isn't it? I just love that show, I wish they would hurry up and bring it back! just so I can look at those gorgeous boots! haha! I have about 20 pairs of boots, and approx 2 pairs of shoes! thanks as always, nell

ElleBee on June 18, 2012:

I don't know that I'll be going super vintage-y myself, with a full out ensemble, but I really love the handbags, and the cloche hat with the pink bow! So cute! This is just another reminder of how I need to start watching Downtown Abbey!

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 18, 2012:

Hi Jools, its great isn't it? I just love that show, I wish they would hurry up and bring it back! just so I can look at those gorgeous boots! haha! I have about 20 pairs of boots, and approx 2 pairs of shoes! thanks as always, nell

Tammy from North Carolina on June 18, 2012:

I knew vintage was in, but I didn't realize it was going this far back.. LOL. Seeing the photos, I understand why. That blue green dress is amazing! What a style! This is a very enjoyable, interesting, fun hub! (PS.. I have a boot habit.. I will be back for those lace boots!)

Audrey Howitt from California on June 18, 2012:

Gorgeous Nell!! I love vintage clothing and I am glad that this era is being revived--just gorgeous clothing!!

Mary Strain from The Shire on June 18, 2012:

Nell I love that series. I think the clothes are a big part of the reason why. IMHO Edwardian clothing was some of the most beautiful in the history of the world. Although actually having to wear it would get old after about a week -- lol!

This is a gorgeous hub. Thank you. Loved the bags and jewelry.

Pamela Dapples from Arizona. on June 18, 2012:

This was wonderful! I wish your hub didn't have to end -- it was so good! I loved it. I laughed at the ladies' fainting spells due to their tight corsets. It wasn't nice to laugh, but it was just so surprising.

You have all the English phraseology. It was just grand! And the pattern for the dress -- heavenly!

Sharing and voting way up.

Christina Lornemark from Sweden on June 18, 2012:

I love Downton Abbey and I watched season 1 or two twice:) I do hope there are more episodes coming! The clothes are so beautiful even though I can imagine that it wasn't so comfortable all the time. I love the Victorian lace boots and the granny boots, so gorgeous! I don't know what to combine them with, but that is a later problem. You did a wonderful hub sharing all these fantastic items and the fashion from Downton Abbey. Voted up, awesome and sharing


Jools Hogg from North-East UK on June 18, 2012:

Nell, ome of my favourite shows and you've done it proud here; fashion is a great angle!

Voted up and shared.

Nell Rose (author) from England on May 30, 2012:

Hi anaglomesh, thanks for reading, cheers nell

annaglomesh from Australia on May 29, 2012:

One of my favourite tv eagerly awaiting next season. I LOVE the 20's clothes starting to creep in to the series now..

Nell Rose (author) from England on May 18, 2012:

Hi Dolores, Wow! that's a long list! its a shame I can't send you the series, I have it on dvd, but the American format is different. You will love it though, its not like the other period drama's this one is much more real and human, thanks so much for reading, cheers nell

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on May 18, 2012:

I love historic fashions and am so looking forward to watching Downton Abby. We are on the waiting list at our local library and are #70 in line for it. We will have a wait.

Nell Rose (author) from England on April 02, 2012:

Hi, Kebennett, so glad you liked it, I love Downton Abbey, and hopefully it will be back on our screens soon, thanks for reading, cheers nell

Kebennett1 from San Bernardino County, California on April 02, 2012:

Fantastic hub! I adore the series and am even more in love with the clothing!

Nell Rose (author) from England on February 24, 2012:

Hi, Gypsy, it is so addictive isn't it? I don't usually like those sort of programs but there's definitely something about Downton Abbey that makes me want to see the next series, and of course the clothes! lol! thanks!

Gypsy48 on February 24, 2012:

Fantastic hub Nell. Love the clothes from this era. I finally watched season one of Downton Abbey and I am hooked! Ordered season two this morning. I can't wait to receive it :)

Nell Rose (author) from England on February 22, 2012:

Hi, denise, thanks for reading, I love it too, can't wait for the next series, oh and those boots! haha! being English, I love the American accent! lol!

Denise Mai from Idaho on February 22, 2012:

I am obsessed with Downton Abbey. I watched Season 1 on Netflix and by the time I was finished the finale of Season 2 was on. I couldn't resist so I snuck a peak but now I'm eagerly waiting for it to arrive on Netflix. Love how the fashions have evolved. Great clothes, English Accents, beautiful old homes...what's not to love?

Nell Rose (author) from England on February 21, 2012:

Hi, SopranoRocks, how lovely that you have your great grandmothers lace up boots, now that's authentic! lol! such a shame they don't fit, but at least they will last longer this way, I love Downton Abbey, I am waiting for it to come back on TV, but until then I am loving the clothes! thanks so much, nell

SopranoRocks from Upper Peninsula, Michigan, USA on February 21, 2012:

I have always been a huge fan of long satin gloves. Whenever I dress up to the hilt I wear them. When I tell people I wear them they look at me funny but when they see me in them they are in awe how pretty they can look. I love the lace up boots of the early 1900s as well. My great-grandmother, who died a month before her 100th birthday in 1995, passed the pair she wore as a teen to my mother who passed them to me. Not wearable because she had teeny feet and I wouldn't dare ruin them. I am very happy this style is coming back - I have my eye on buying a nice pair. For my favorite show (Downtown Abbey of course) to help that trend along is fabulous!

Nell Rose (author) from England on November 13, 2011:

Hi, pmccray, nice to see you, I love the series, its completely different to all the other type of period pieces, and those boots! I love them! lol thanks again nell

pmccray on November 12, 2011:

I can't wait to check this series out. I love period pieces and I kinda like the fashion, some reminding me of my hippie days in the late 60's with the lace up boots. I think the look is so cool. Great Hub as usual.

Nell Rose (author) from England on October 21, 2011:

Hi, tillsontitan, it would be lovely just to see people walking down the town in smart clothes hats and lovely gloves, seems those days have passed! but maybe not if people are following this series trend! can't wait to start myself! thanks again nell

Mary Craig from New York on October 21, 2011:

Another great British show hits America. Seems we've lost some of our creativity and have to copy the British to have hits! How gracious and feminine. Wouldn't it be nice to have some really feminine clothes in style? Great research and as always great hub! Voted up.

Nell Rose (author) from England on October 20, 2011:

Hi, attempted, never realised that it had reached your neck of the woods! lol its one of those drama's that I usually avoid like the plague! but I just love it, maybe its because its a first world war thing, and I have loads of photos from that era of all my great uncles aunts and nan, thanks for reading cheers nell

attemptedhumour from Australia on October 20, 2011:

Hi Nell we were watching it last night, it's really well scripted and acted and the upstairs/downstairs element works a treat. I hope they continue on with a series three. Well done for spreading the word. Cheers

Nell Rose (author) from England on October 18, 2011:

Hi, kitty, oh if only we could bring back all of it! lol I totally understand about the gloves, just wearing something like that makes you feel like a 'proper lady' ha ha I sound like Eliza Doolittle! but seriously, I would love to go to a Ball dancing all night wearing these clothes! (sigh) thanks again nell

Hi, suzette, maybe we should all start the new trend and take photos! lol I must admit to not ever wearing hats, but there is always the first time, but oh those handbags, now I could use all of them! lol thanks again nell

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on October 18, 2011:

Great hub, Nell. I have watched a few episodes of Downtown Abby in PBS. I love the show but just have not been able to watch every episode, so when I do watch, I'm always catching up on what I have missed.

I love the clothes and I am glad to see they have become popular in England. Gloves are back! I love them and I love that. The Edwardian hats have hit America but I haven't noticed the other clothing items yet. I love dress up, so this period is right up my alley. I enjoyed reading this!

Kitty Fields from Summerland on October 17, 2011:

YES YES YES. This is what I'm talking about, Nell! I absolutely adore this hub. Not just saying that either. You know, when I went to art school, I had a teacher ask me why I wanted to wear vintage gloves every day...apparently, even though she was old, she didn't understand the concept of elegance and nostalgia! Love the granny fact, I wanted that exact same pair for my Halloween costume this year - I'm going to be a ghostly lady in white! Thanks for this awesome hub. I loved the pics and the cool info you've provided.