Downton Abbey’s back!

January 8, 2013

Those of us in the U.S. are getting Season 3 of Downton Abbey well after the U.K., so lots of spoilers are out and I’m avoiding them like the plague.  I love everything about this British soap opera and don’t want anything to ruin the unveiling of the plot.

We love the fantasy Downton Abbey represents. It’s a British fairy tale, really, with dapper, handsome and rich men (who are nice, too!) and beautiful, gorgeously attired women.

Actually, it’s in the sweet spot of that category called costume drama and I’m convinced that one of the main reasons women love this series is the costuming. The clothing of that era–the early 1900s and beyond– is so beautiful and the costume designers have done a lovely job recreating the best of it.  With a little bit of a modern twist, too.

Ok, this photo IS a spoiler. Just don’t think too hard about it. But I just love these summer dresses: the dropped waistline, filmy short sleeves…. I just can’t imagine Britain being warm and sunny enough to wear them. Perfect for Florida, though. Or India.

 That striped frock is so fresh and lovely. Thank goodness women of that era changed their outfits at least three times a day, so we get to see many, many nostalgic designs. The other night, a scene depicted Lady Mary sitting (with perfect posture) on a sofa paging through a fashion magazine. And pretty much, that (and changing clothes) was all these aristocratic women had to do all day.

That glorious lace–feminine and stylish. Don’t you wonder how they kept those dresses pressed and spot-free all day? I know, servants.

 Want. this. dress. Don’t even care what it looks like from the waist down, the design of the top is fantastic.

The jewelry is picture-perfect. Not too much. Just enough. These aren’t my favorite of the costumes, but they certainly fit the era.

Even the manservants looked dapper back then, yes, even Thomas, that horrific footman on the left. And don’t you love the suit on Lady Cora? And Maggie Smith always looks so…formidable. Costuming plays a key role in that.

Did I mention the hats? I think the wearing of hats by both men and women is a custom that needs reviving.  BFF and I bought identical hats in September and I haven’t worn mine yet. But I’m determined to!

Why are all hats always flattering on all women of that era?  I don’t think of Lady Mary as the floral type, and yet, that hat is spectacular on her. I suppose beautiful women can wear just about anything. (Or nothing at all.)

Men today just don’t look as elegant as Downtown Abbey men in their bespoke suits. I did, however, see a beautifully dressed male friend at a birthday party the other night. Of course, his husband works at Nieman’s San Francisco, which makes it easier (and cheaper) to be stylish.

Tweed, leather, hats, dogs…..I like everything about this shooting party, except the shooting part.

Matthew has a bit of a weak face, but his attire is impeccable.

If I could have parts of Downton Abbey life, I’d have to choose the costumes first, and then all those servants. Oh, life would be so much simpler with servants!

How about you? What would you choose?

5 comments on “Downton Abbey’s back!
  1. I have to watch this series, I am already hooked on the fashion era. So classic and beautiful. How did we ever get to punk after this?

  2. Loved looking at all the vintage fashion. I must start at the beginning and watch this series. It looks so delicious and everyone says that this season will be a step up! Thanks for reminding me!

  3. Grace Hodgin says:

    I do love to look at fashion through the years. I do love the outfit worn by Maggie Smith.

  4. Jennifer Comet Wagner says:

    I love everything about this series, the costumes, the actors, the script. I can’t get enough of it.

  5. My daughter is totally hooked on this show and tries to get me to watch it. While the fashions and scenery are delightful, I just can’t get in to the story line enough to commit time to watch it regularly.

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