I am obsessed with Downton Abbey.
I don’t know why it took me so long. After all, I’m a BBC America junkie, not to mention a devout Whovian and all-around worshiper at the foot of the mighty Moffat. I think it took me a while to jump on the D.A. bandwagon because I had mistakenly confused it with the 70s version of Upstairs, Downstairs, which I believe has the same premise as D. A. and is probably just as awesome, but I’m just anti-70s TV because of the painful production values and thus refused to give either show a chance because of this prejudice.
Thank Buddha one of my co-workers managed to twist my arm and got me to tune in to one episode, because now I’m totally hooked, primarily for the soapy storylines but also for the
gorgeous clothes meticulous attention to detail.
Anyhow, today’s Challenge Week submission made me fangirl squee since it afforded me the opportunity to play dress-up without having to wait for Halloween. Because I don’t know about you, my friends, but when I think dress-up, I don’t go weddings or fairies; I go full-bore period piece ensembles, the more British, the better.
Of course, this still being my workplace and all, I needed to be subtle and referential rather than overtly derivative. And the person responsible for this submission – my lovely student, Hunter – did say I could use it more for inspiration than replication. So after a fair amount of Google image searching, trying to identify the elements of Edwardian dress, I came up with my modern-day approximation of the era’s style.
Initially, I had another cute little number all picked out – sequined collar blouse and pinstriped pencil skirt – but then, two things happened: April suddenly turned brrrr, cold! and KS#2’s packages came in the mail. Tired of freezing my tuchus off the last couple of days and discovering this gorj F21 top among KS#2’s eBay purchases, I quickly revamped my planned outfit.
I like how this look slyly references the Edwardian period by incorporating pieces that are modern separately but that exude a period vibe when put together. The blazer’s wide pinstripe, oversized cuffs and dramatic neckline would look very much at home on the set of Beetlejuice but take on a more Abbey feel when paired with the lace top. The maxi skirt could easily masquerade as boho chic, but the bias cut, along with the sedate grey, make it apropos to the spirit of the look.
I threw in a pair of knee high boots for warmth rather than style because, really, the length of the skirt can hide a multitude of anachronistic gaffes. Plus I felt like walking with purpose; no lady-like mincing for me today.
The entire ensemble may not be editorial or flashy, but boy, is it comfy. And it makes me long for Halloween, when I can ramp up the drama quotient and go Edwardian steampunk. Now that is gonna be a fun day to photograph!
:: Just the facts, ma’am ::
Top – F21 borrowed from KS#2
Blazer – Marshall’s eons ago
Skirt – Mossimo @ Target
Boots – Cathy Jean
Necklace – so old, I don’t even remember buying it, let alone where