Style

'The Courtship': How To Wear Regency-Style Fashion IRL

By Anna Hartman··  6 min read
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USA

Can we get a round of applause for the most underrated show currently on cable television? The glamour alone in USA’s newest dating competition, “The Courtship,” requires our attention.

If Bridgerton and The Bachelorette were to join forces in the pursuit of finding genuine love using old-fashioned courting techniques, this show would be it. 

There’s certainly nothing casual about the premise of The Courtship – from the leading lady’s glamorous, regency-inspired dresses to the romantic, grand gestures made each week by her 16 eligible suitors. Add that to the fact that the entire show is filmed inside a 19th-century castle in the English countryside, and you'd better bet that I’m tuning in each week, if only for the aesthetics

While this show hasn’t received nearly as much media attention as it deserves, it remains a breath of fresh air in the world of casual dating (and sleazy reality shows). Although I’m a happily married woman, judging by the horror stories I hear from my single friends, it’s no secret that the current dating scene is more toxic and frustrating than ever.

What happened to the days of romantic handwritten letters and picturesque carriage rides? Now, you can hardly expect a man to pull out a chair for you or offer to pay on a first date.

In any case, single women and men all around the world are fed up with the current dating scene and ready for a change of pace. Enter: The Courtship. Nicole Rémy, the elegant 26-year-old woman on a quest to find true love, is traveling back in time to Regency-era England. Over several weeks, she has the task of narrowing down the eligible mates as they relearn age-old courting techniques and try to win over the family and best friend of their potential wife. 

While I genuinely hope she winds up with a classy gentleman ready to become a husband by the end of this, the main reason I tune in each week is to bask in the outfit inspo. Someone needs to give this wardrobe stylist a promotion ASAP because Nicole, her family, and the men are dressed to the nines at every turn. 

In stark contrast to girls showing up for date night in an oversized band tee and chunky dad sneakers, a sophisticated ensemble with floral applique, tulle details, and light shades of spring are much more likely to make the lasting impression you're hoping for. “To be treated like a lady, you should first dress the part.” – Jane Austenprobably.

Now, while watching The Courtship, I couldn’t help but notice a few main style elements that showed up time and time again. Before we get into the “how to” of recreating Regency-style fashion in 2022, we must first take a look at the features that are most prevalent. This way you’ll be able to keep an eye out for certain feminine details next time you’re shopping. 

The Main Style Elements

Floral Applique

Jewel Beading

Puff Sleeves and Empire Waistlines

Delicate Tulle

Pearl Details

Bright Spring Colors

How To Take Inspiration from Regency-Style Fashion in 2022

Mini/Midi Dresses Instead of Ball Gowns

Sadly, I can’t say that there are many appropriate occasions to wear a ball gown in 2022. However, if we can take the same glamour from Nicole Rémy’s dresses and place them on a more casual silhouette like a mini or midi dress, then we’re in business, ladies. 

Look for loose, flowy dresses with one or two of the above mentioned style elements for date night with open-toe heels, or a daytime look with a pair of classy flats. 

Blouses with Regency-Style Elements

Another way to reimagine Nicole’s fancy dresses is by using the same Regency-style elements on blouses. Look for tops with shirring, puff sleeves, bow details, and other frilly style elements. Flowery patterns are another subtle swap to make for everyday wear as opposed to floral applique and beading. 

Blouses are more versatile because you have the option to dress them up with a skirt and pumps, or down with mom jeans and slides depending on the setting. 

Ultra-Feminine Hair Accessories

Lastly, if you’re simply looking to dip your toe into the Regency-era by adding a subtle touch of girly glitz to your outfit, a pastel-colored hair bow or jeweled headband may just do the trick. 

There are so many elegant options out there these days that allow you to switch up your hair routine in a fun and feminine way without looking like you’re 12 years old again. 

10 Shopping Pieces To Snag for Spring Inspired by The Courtship 

With these seven style elements in mind, I set out on a spring shopping spree to bring the elegance of the Regency-era into our closets. Whether you’re heading to a romantic garden wedding this season or you’re simply looking for an outfit to show off during your next brunch outing, I’ve got just the thing for you. 

Below, I’m sharing my 10 favorite items for any budget inspired by Nicole Rémy’s wardrobe on The Courtship.  

Soho Floral Sweetheart Puff Sleeve Midi Dress by ASTR The Label

Soho Floral Sweetheart Puff Sleeve Midi Dress by ASTR The Label, $138.00

Back Tied Straps Knit Top by Endless Rose

Back Tied Straps Knit Top by Endless Rose, $56.00

Embellished Satin Headband by Anthropologie

Embellished Satin Headband by Anthropologie, $29.95

Harlyn Midi Dress byLoveShackFancy

Harlyn Midi Dress by LoveShackFancy, $445.00

Emma Lace Blouse by WAYF

Emma Lace Blouse by WAYF, $66.75

Lorna Barrette by LoveShackFancy

Lorna Barrette by LoveShackFancy, $45.00

Long Sleeve Empire Waist Mini Dress by ASTR The Label

Long Sleeve Empire Waist Mini Dress by ASTR The Label, $79.00

Riviera Bobby Pin Set by Shashi

Riviera Bobby Pin Set by Shashi, $28.00

Lysette Floral Ruffle Cutout Maxi Dress by ASTR The Label

Lysette Floral Ruffle Cutout Maxi Dress by ASTR The Label, $148.00

Sweet Magnolias Headband by Free People

Sweet Magnolias Headband by Free People, $28.00

Closing Thoughts

Will one of the 16 suitors win Nicole’s heart at the end of all of this? It’s unclear at this point whether she’ll leave the castle with a ring on her finger or in a horse and carriage alone, but one thing is for sure – The Courtship is undeniably the most stylish show on TV right now. 

If, like me, you find yourself in awe over the show’s polished, ladylike aesthetic, then hopefully, you can take something away from my quick breakdown of the Regency-era style elements and shopping inspo. Whether you splurge on a special occasion midi dress or you merely add a glamorous headband into your latest rotation, let this spring be the season you embrace romance and femininity in full bloom. 

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