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A Fashion Lover Ranks The 5 Most Iconic Outfits From ‘Downton Abbey: A New Era’

By Grace Baker··  4 min read
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“Downton Abbey” has captured the hearts of people worldwide with its British charm and traditional values. From the whirlwind romances to the dreamy costumes, the show has attracted viewers (and fashion lovers) of all ages.

With most successful franchises, producers capitalize on the popularity and crank out as much content as possible. Downton Abbey is no exception. On the heels of five seasons, the television series took to the big screen in 2019. Following the success of the Hollywood film, Downton Abbey returned for a second theater showing in the sequel, Downton Abbey: A New Era.

For years, the show has prided itself on its attention to detail. The costumes donned by the ladies of Downton have always been at the forefront of this display, and the latest movie made sure to keep it that way.

With summertime upon us, let’s look at how the ladies of Downton dressed for a summer in England and the shores of France.

1. Lucy Branson’s Tennis Attire

Tennis skirts are all the rage right now. Simple, pleated skirts with pastel cotton tops give off vibes for a casual date or for a casual game at the park. Back in the 1920s, ladies dressed up for every occasion, and tennis was no excuse to depart from that. 

While Edith Crawley’s tennis attire gave off classy, preppy vibes, Lucy Branson’s multi-dimensional version of the outfit outshone her companion’s. Her cream white dress with a matching headband made her already warm complexion look tanner and more vibrant. Plus, the fabric on her gown had a textured striping that made her outfit “outplay” Edith’s, both on and off the court. But, I’ll admit that I’m tempted to steal Bertie Pelham’s sweater and throw it over Lucy’s dress for an added pop.

2. Edith Pelham’s Colorful Scarf and Kimono Combo

In A New Era, Edith definitely rediscovered her journalistic roots that she explored during the run of the Downton Abbey television series. Her outfits clearly reflected this journey of becoming a modern woman. During one of the scenes, we saw Edith taking photographs of the French villa the family is visiting, and her bright blue headband and matching patterned kimono are totally giving me “food and travel blogger” vibes. Eat Pray Love, anyone?

3. Lady Cora Crawley’s Embroidered Coat

downtown abbey new era lady cora coat full length Focus Features fair use
downtown abbey new era lady cora coat Focus Features fair use

Lady Cora always keeps it classy and never looks disheveled, even while traveling. One of my favorite outfits in A New Era had to be Cora’s full-length coat she wore while riding the French waves on vacation. The navy blue and green details really stood out against the taupe coat, and Lady Cora topped it off with a matching hat. Sometimes I wish women still wore floral hats like this instead of baseball caps.

4. Lady Edith’s Floral Halter Dress

In 2022, floral gowns are trending. Ironically, in the late 1920s, florals were also having a moment in the spotlight. During the film’s most elaborate party scene, Lady Edith donned a high-low dress with a handkerchief hem. The matching floral headpiece completed the elegant look. Anna Robbins, A New Era’s costume designer, posted a closer look at the vintage lamé fabric and how she pieced together multiple different fabrics for the dress:

5. Lady Mary Crawley’s Geometric Gown

downton-abbey-a-new-era-michelle-dockery-lady-mary-hollywood-dress Focus Features fair use

It wouldn’t be a Downton Abbey fashion post without Lady Mary Crawley. The ever-stylish character can be seen transitioning from her role of a young married woman to the leader of the Crawley household with her more regal attire. However, just because her style matured doesn’t mean she lacked in timeless beauty in A New Era. One of her most memorable outfits in the film was her teal gown and simple beaded accessories. The dress featured another example of a high-low design, but the scooped neck gave it a slightly sexier feel than Edith’s halter gown. The sparkly circles around the bodice of the dress and flowing train reminded me of a peacock’s feathers. The colorful look was accented with a matching headband and necklace, as well as navy gloves.

Closing Thoughts

The extremely close attention to detail has kept fans wanting more after each Downton Abbey installment. The brand transports viewers to another time and gives audiences an escape from today’s reality. It’s a break from modern fashion to travel across the pond to a world of ladies who dress up for even the simplest of outings.

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