How to get the 1920s look

I’ve always loved history. There’s something about knowing how the world was made into the way it is today (for better or worse) that is really fascinating to me. That and seeing how they dressed about 70 years ago has to cause a smirk over my satirical face.

That’s why I love Downton Abbey. Over the past few months I’ve taken to watching its first two seasons, which is why when I discovered that season three was released on DVD  and blu-ray in May, I thought I’d look into how to get the Downton Abbey look.

I spoke to a Sydney stylist, Donny Galella, who you might know from sporadic stints on Channel 7 and his website, who’s looked into how to do just that…

Downton Abbey cousin Mathew

What are the benefits of dressing in the Downton Abbey style?

The style of Downton Abbey being set in the 1920’s is during an era where fashion was very elegant and demure. There was loads of lace, embellishment, opulent details and art deco influences. These styes are all very elegant and classic which makes them a fabulous style to wear today. 

Do you have some top tips for men when it comes to getting the look from the era?

Guys can get into the Downton Abbey look as easily as women. A well cut three piece suit is an absolute must and accessorise with a hat, gloves or even a pocket square. For a more rugged look you could embrace rich fabrics such as tweed, corduroy or velvet. 

In your opinion what is great about having the history of style documented in a show like Downton Abbey?

When I watch Downton Abbey I truly get transported back in time, the styling is absolutely superb. I never studied fashion design formally but watching Downton Abbey is like having a crash course in 1920’s style. It reminds us of an era where elegance, poise and grace rained supreme. I think its marvellous that a show like Downton Abbey can seduce us with such amazing styling. Even if you are not overly into fashion you can still appreciate the beauty of the sets and how the characters are styled.

What’s your opinion of valets and ladies-in-waiting?

Valets and Ladies-in-waiting were so common in that era and to a degree they still exist in today’s society as buttlers and hired help. I would like to think that they  are treated much better in todays age and also paid better. I just love the character John Bates who is the Lord Grantham’s valet.

Which retailers around the country can offer key pieces in the looks of the men from the show?

For guys who want to create the looks of the men in Downton Abbey I suggest trying Crane Brothers, Farage, Brent Wilson, Calibre and AG. Look for well cut suits (ideally three pieces) and nice accessories such as pocket squares, ties, cufflinks and even a pair of smart leather gloves. Always finish off your look with smart leather shoes – always polished!

How much would we be looking at investing in a look?

Depends on your budget. You could just dabble in a couple of accessories such as some shoes or bag or go all out and splash out on an outfit head to toe.

Where would we wear such looks as those seen in Downton Abbey?

Any occasion that you requires to dress up or glam up would be the perfect opportunity. Whether it’s a night out on the weekend, a wedding or maybe even going to the races. Embracing some Downton Abbey will ensure you are looking elegant and suave. 

The Downton Abbey season three DVD was released in May 2013 on DVD and blu-ray by Universal Sony Home Pictures Entertainment.

Downton Abbey blu-ray

 

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