The finale of Downton Abbey recently aired in Australia and I’m still getting over the fact that there will be no more quips from the Dowager Countess.
But most of all, I’m really going to miss the fashion. The dresses, the hairpieces, the jewellery, it’s all to die for. It makes me want to live in the 1920s (as long as I was upstairs not downstairs of course).
Let’s run through the seasons and see just how the fashion changed spanning the years 1912-1925.
Season 1: 1912-1914
Season 1 starts with the sinking of the Titanic and ends as World War I is declared. It’s a big few years for the Crawley family who find themselves with a new heir to the estate and on the verge of war. But enough about that, let’s get to the fashion. For me, the dress of the season is Sybil’s ‘pants’ dress which causes quite a stir – such a radical fashion choice – but you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Season 2: 1916-1920
Season 2 takes places during World War I and the Crawleys are starting to realise that the world might not be the same as what it once was. Women are working, and to Carson’s horror, he might have to make do with a few less staff. Dress-wise, the ladies are in simpler dresses (well in the daytime anyway) and there seems to be lots of skirt and blouse combos.
Season 3: 1920-1921
Oh Season 3, what did you do to us? I will never ever, I repeat never ever watch episode 5 again. I’m permanently scarred by Sybil’s death. And the Christmas Special? Those last few minutes were awful. But despite this we saw some wonderful frocks on display. We’re arriving in the 1920s now so you know the dresses are going to be good – they’re much simpler and those waists are starting to lower.
Season 4: 1922-1923
With the absence of Sybil and Matthew, I thought Season 4 might be a bit empty. But Lady Rose turns up and brings an amazing wardrobe with her. Edith comes into her own and becomes a woman of business which means she has a whole new amazing collection of outfits. We’re well and truly into the 20s now, so those waists are getting lower and those hemlines are getting higher!
Season 5: 1924
This is where it gets really hard, there are so many incredible dresses every episode, it’s so hard to narrow it down to only a few. Season 5 sees Mary out and about around town meeting Tony Gillingham (in some fabulous coats), and Lady Rose meets a handsome stranger while working with Russian refugees. We end the season with a wedding so there’s plenty of stunning dresses to admire..
Season 6: 1925
And so we arrive at the final season, it’s mid 1920s, so prime time for some incredible fashion. I must admit, I absolutely love some of the hats and hairpieces, they really make some of the outfits. We’re not moving through the years at such breakneck speed as we did in the early seasons, so there’s not a huge change in the fashion in the last few seasons. Just more of it to enjoy.