Downton Abbey is back on our screens this Sunday, so we thought we’d have a look at 1920s tyle. This series sees Lady Mary and co in 1924. But what is Downton Abbey 1920s style, and how can we adapt it for today.
Let’s be honest, the 1920s can look very much like a fancy dress outfit if done wrong. Flapper dress, headband and beads – the staple uniform of the Charleston girl dancers from the era, does not define 1920s style. Well, it shouldn’t really.
Downtown Abbey 1920s style is very different. Of course it involves some luxurious gowns, and long beads and necklaces are the only way to go when channeling 1920s and even 1930s looks.
But if you want to bring some Downton Abbey 1920s style to your wardrobe without looking like an extra from the Great Gatsby keep it simple.
Despite the flapper days, and the roaring ’20s, and the Boardwalk Empire and Great Gatsby glam, much of the 1920s style really wasn’t that exciting. Coats were heavy and mid-length, not fitted, with that classic straight up and down cut. Fabrics were dark, think greys and browns, with some plaid in there too.
The whole 1920s silhouette is not overly flattering unless you are stick thin like the Downton Abbey girls. But loose dresses do flatter and are in keeping with the style. If your evening gown is long, flowing, fitted at the waist, and has some sparkling detail it’s probably more of a nod to the 30s, but we won’t tell. Sequins are good. Art Deco patterns on dresses, skirts, and bags work well.
Clockwise, from top left: Sequin dress, £175, French Connection, sequin skirt, £29.99, H&M, brogues, £27.99, New Look, evening gown, £170, Pearce II Fionda @ Debenhams, clutch bag, £14.99, New Look, pendant, £9.99, New Look, cloche hat, £12.99, H&M
Skirts in the 1920s had crept up but generally sat mid-calf and were straight up and down. A modern midi-pencil is the best way to achieve a 1920s look in a skirt.
Hats were cloche shaped – a classic 1920s style if ever there was one. Shoes, much-loved these days, probably weren’t AS important back in the 1920s. Evening shoes would have a buckle perhaps, and a low heel. Day wear shoes would be much less fancy – more masculine. Try brogues and a pencil skirt, for a 1920s style for the day.
Clockwise, from top left: Chiffon dress, £29.99, H&M, earrings, £6, JOY, cloche hat, £12.50, BHS, overcoat, £24.99, H&M, Lindy Hop embellished shoes, £70, Red or Dead @ Schuh, sequin skirt, £40, Star by Julien Macdonald @ Debenhams
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