We’re all currently mourning the fact that 2016 will mark the sixth and final season of our favourite television show, Downton Abbey. However, while we may no longer be able to follow the new adventures of the aristocratic Crawley family, their servants and their family, that doesn’t mean the dramatic plot has to die out completely. It can live on in our imitation of their brilliant attire.
Some may call it “retro.” We call it classic- at least most of their wardrobe choices. If you love the fashion on this popular show, we have a few tips that can help you rewind time to the 1920s.
Formal attire is a way of life in Downton Abbey, as any good aristocratic family knows. If you want the same kind of look, you need to start with a simple tuxedo. You’ll also need:
You might immediately think that finding a tuxedo that fits into 1920s fashion might be hard. However, that isn’t the case. While there have been some minor changes to tuxedos over the years, they haven’t been significant enough to warrant finding an authentic 1920s tuxedo.
Whether or not you choose to wear white tie accessories or black tie accessories depends on your own personal style choices. In the early 1920s, traditionalist style dictated white accessories. However, as the decade wore on black tie accessories became acceptable as well.
You wouldn’t find a man wearing his team’s favourite jersey or a pair of sweat pants in the 1920s, and you aren’t going to see it on Downton Abbey. Instead, you’ll find men’s suits and men’s tweed jackets.
There’s a reason we refer to this time period’s clothing choices as “classic” instead of “retro:” a 1920s men’s suit isn’t that different from today’s. Both feature a slim-fitting jacket and classic pant leg width. There are some things to keep in mind when purchasing a suit to fit the Downton Abbey style, however.
Casual style wasn’t so casual back then. Today you might walk around the house in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. In the days of Downton Abbey, the tweed jacket represented the most casual look. Tweed was the perfect solution for any casual or outdoor activity in this time period. Whether you were riding a horse, taking part in a fox hunt or taking a walk through the garden, a tweed jacket looked brilliant and provided protection against the cool weather.
Dress shirts in the 1920s tended to have detachable collars. While you may not be able to find these specific shirts today, you can still find ones in the same style, with round club or point collars. Colours for these shirts were solid white most of the time, but the early 1920s saw stripes of blue, green, yellow or grey as well. As the decade wore on, new and brighter colours were mixed in as well. This is why you might see your favourite characters wearing orange, purple or even pink dress shirts under their suits or tweed jackets.
If you want to steal the style of your favourite Downton Abbey characters, your tie is an essential accessory to consider. In this era, both traditional ties and bow ties were often used. Choose ties with small patterns that repeat, paisley or wide stripes. If you choose paisley, consider ties that offer deep jewel tones like green, gold or purple. Bow ties should have polka dots or wide stripes.
In Downton Abbey, if there’s one thing you notice about men and their fashion, it’s their hats. A man’s hat was his identity in this era. Felt hats included the Bowler, the Fedora and the Homburg. These were worn in winter and in the cooler days of spring and fall. Straw boater hats were often used in summer for their lighter style. Flat caps were worn by young men and the working class all year long and were made of heavy tweed and wool. Wealthier men would also wear them, but only when they were taking part in sports like hunting.
Want to look the part of a Downton Abbey character? With so many classic features, you can easily transform your men’s suits and tweed jackets into 1920s fashion.