Downton Abbey Fashion: Lady Mary’s Flapper Wedding Gown

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Lady Mary in her wedding dress via Masterpiece Theater, PBS

Last night Downton Abbey Season 3 returned to US Television.  The third season kicked off with the  long awaited marriage of Lady Mary to Matthew Crawley.  Finally!  And despite the loss Lord Grantham’s fortune, don’t expect Lady Mary to live like a recessionista.   She didn’t scale back on her fashions or her jewelry for the special event.  Costume designer, Caroline McCall, created a vintage vogue drop waist, long sleeved early 1920’s dress with a long train.  Based on patterns I have seen, the dress was historically accurate. Since Lady Mary is an aristocrat, you can’t expect Lady Mary to just wear a simple bridal veil.  According to E News she wore a “vintage veil and diamond tiara from U.K. jeweler Bentley & Skinner, which rang-in at a whopping $200,000. ” After all, no English aristocrat can get married without the family tiara, remember Lady Diana Spencer in the Spencer family tiara?

The Crawley Girls

The 1920s is one of my favorite periods in fashion so I can’t wait to see the rest of Downton Abbey Season 3.   The show is capturing the best of the 1920s with the Marcel hair (the something Jolly that Lady Edith did to her hair), the elegant beaded cocktail dresses and of course the beaded and feather headbands (as worn by Shirley MacLaine in the show opening.)   The 1920s was a era of excess and those wonderful dresses were far from cheap, even by today’s standards. The quintessential flapper Zelda Fitzgerald one reported that she needed the “cutest cloth of gold dress for only $300 in a store on Forty-second Street.”

If only to keep up with aristocratic fashions  the Crawley family must find a way to restore their fortune.  I can’t wait to see what Season 3 holds.  For more Downton Abbey Fashion, check my Pinterest board.   I can’t wait to see what Edith comes up with for her wedding frock.  In the words of the Butler at Downton Abbey, “You’re tired of style, you’re tired of life.” – Carson, Downton Abbey


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.