There is perhaps nothing more elegant than a dress with antique influence. Anyone who is endlessly captivated by programs like the popular “Downton Abbey” has thought about how to practically incorporate romantic pieces of clothing into their own wardrobe. It doesn’t matter if you’re striving for authenticity or looking for a more modern way to wear a fabulous Edwardian dress - this post will walk you through 5 different ways to style a vintage-inspired dress.
Downton Abbey Tea Party Gown by Nataya
This breathtaking dress is the picture of Edwardian elegance. A luxe, lightweight overlay and dramatic embroidered details makes it perfect for anyone who wants to infuse their wardrobe with a little Downton Abbey inspired romance. Plus, it comes in a variety of colors so you can easily select one that matches your individual aesthetic.
How To Style It
Elegant & Authentic
The first - and perhaps the easiest - way to style a Downton Abbey dress is to add authentic accessories. If you have an upscale event on the horizon, this is a great way to exude a timeless sense of elegance. Start by adding Edwardian boots or other authentic footwear. Then, top the entire look off with a cloche hat, a fur stole, and vintage-inspired jewelry to bring the look to life. Keeping everything in the same color family as your dress will ensure your ensemble is both soft and romantic.
Add a Contrasting Slip
Many dresses from this era pair sheer embroidered overlays with a solid-colored slip dress underneath. To completely change up the look of a Downton Abbey dress, consider swapping out the slip underneath with one in a contrasting color. A black slip under an ivory overlay, for example, will add a bit of edge while also highlighting the intricate nature of the floral embroidery. A short slip under a long overlay will also result in a different look entirely.
Chic & Casual
If you’re looking for a way to incorporate Downton Abbey style into your modern wardrobe, this is a great way to do so. Wearing a slouchy sweater over a simple slip dress has become incredibly fashionable. Find a stylish oversized sweater in a complimentary color and toss it on over the top of your favorite Edwardian-Era dress. Contemporary boots, sandals, or espadrilles will add a fashion-forward finishing touch to this comfortable outfit.
Creating a layered look is another way that you can breathe new life into any vintage-inspired dress. For sleeveless styles, consider wearing a turtleneck or a long-sleeved tee under the entire dress. This will add dimension to your outfit and also instantly alter the entire look. If you have a dress with longer sleeves (like the one we're using in this example), try pairing it with a blazer, a cardigan, or a jacket instead. Either way, you’ll create a layered look that is perfect for any situation or weather.
Urban & Edgy
Pairing edgy and romantic pieces of clothing creates a delightful contrast that any fashionista can appreciate. A leather jacket and moto boots are wardrobe staples that you probably already own. Pair them with a Downton Abbey dress to give them a little attitude. For extra impact, find a leather or dark denim jacket that features a row of fringe. This will instantly bring your vintage-inspired dress into the present day.