Are you a Downton Abbey fan? I am, big time! So, I was very excited to see “Dressing Downton,” an exhibit of many of the outfits worn on the show. It’s currently on display at the Lightner Museum in St. Augustine, FL, which is a show-stopping setting in its own right.
It was originally the Alcazar hotel, built by Henry Flagler in 1888. It was a wonderful backdrop for these period costumes.
Clothing was showcased in vignettes, with wonderful signs explaining each outfit and how it was used in the series.
As you can see, the lighting was dim (similar to the period, I imagine,) and flash photography was not allowed. The clothing above was worn for the hospital charity ball.
This sign explained several of the wardrobe conventions of the day.
But, let’s back up to episode 1: the outfit Lady Mary wore to dinner when she met the infamous Turkish diplomat.
Weren’t you hooked after that episode? Who could look away?
Also, from season one, check out the dowager’s bustle.
And a footman’s outfit/livery.
There was very informative signage explaining not only the fashions of the day, but the customs, as well. Read more about footmen below.
Of course, country pursuits were also depicted. This shows one of Lady Mary’s riding habits. Check out that side saddle. I wouldn’t want to try it.
And then there was hunting. These two garments were from the scene when Richard Carlisle went hunting with the family. His outfit was on the left and Lord Granthams on the right.
Weren’t you a little bit happy when Sir Richard over dressed and was too hot in this dapper outfit? Even his boots were dandy!
Speaking of outdoor pursuits, here’s Edith’s farming outfit.
Of course, she didn’t own an outfit for the purpose of farming, so this sign explains that one was “cobbled together.”
It was all very interesting.