Period drama series Bridgerton is now the most watched Netflix show of all time and it’s safe to say that, next to the clever writing and suspenseful plot (and that scene of the Duke eating ice cream…) the stellar costume design is one of the top reasons for that. The many Bridgerton-inspired lookbooks and the apparent surge in corset aficionados on the internet is testament to that.
What better to do than to take up the challenge to put together my very own Bridgerton Lookbook, created from the quite limited wardrobe I have access to while staying at my parents’ house. I have prepared eight tips for achieving that special period piece flair in your fits and then we´ll delve into my Fashion Character Interpretations.
- Look for old corsets and romantic vintage dresses second-hand, either in charity shops or on online sites like Vinted and Depop, to be able to centre your look around a standout piece
- All about that sleeve: give your outfits a dramatic touch with wide, flowing dress shirts and ornate cuffs
- Timeless colours and fabrics: try to go with pastels, neutrals, navy, red and black and try to source well-made pieces (quality is timeless, not just because it lasts longer but because it represents a different relationship to fashion) instead of crass neons, synthetic fabrics and fast fashion items
- Same goes for makeup, stick to the classics but don’t shy away from a bit of drama
- Do something clever with your hair, especially if it’s long; there are many tutorials out there that are easier than you’d think
- Work on your posture: a sophisticated look shouldn´t be destroyed by a lack of grace
- Go to antique stores or use heirlooms for some genuine retro bling. If that’s not an option, there’s no shame in a vintage inspired faux tiara or earrings
- Accessories are everything; don’t overload but choose your pieces carefully; scarves, stolas, chokers, tiaras, belts and pocket watches are all beautiful things to spice up a look
Look One: Second Borns Have More Fun
For this playful look dedicated to the Bridgertons second son Benedict, I combined a romantically flowing shirt with a velvet vest and a casual pair of jeans and boots. The gold accents in the belt and the heart necklace round off this androgynous look and speak to Benedict´s hedonistic pleasures and artistic talent.
Look Two: Songs & Sorrows
Siena acts as a contrast to the life Anthony is supposed to have according to society, and as a contrast to the women that inhabit it. This black and red dress that I have perfectly encapsulates her passion and sensuality. The one dangling earring represents the imbalance but also the beauty Siena brings into Anthony´s life and within her own arc. I added her signature beauty mark and tried to force my deeply broken hair into somewhat of a glam do.
Look Three: Side Burn Sex Symbol
Speaking of our boy Anthony, I was inspired by his riding outfit to create this shirt-blazer-hat ensemble. The red racing stripe corresponds with the red stripe on the hat. The upturned collar and the jabot create an historical vibe that ground his look in a time long past.
Look Four: A Royal Visit
The plot of Bridgerton is only really set in motion when Queen Charlotte places her judgement upon the debutantes of the season, among them our Daphne Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington. Therefore, I absolutely had to do a Royal look inspired by her. The mix of heavy textures and fabrics in the velvet of the dress coat, the brocade of the corset, the leather belt, the (admittedly faux) ruby earrings and the gold accents speak to Charlotte’s immense wealth and sense of luxury. The strong silhouette of the belted dress and the corset build a robust but dynamic structure reminiscent of the powerful empire she commands on the show.
Look Five: The Diamond of the Season
Now, I am aware that black is not quite Daphne’s colour but I don’t think anyone is so devoid of taste that they would not understand how I simply could not let an opportunity go to waste to wear this wonderful Fashion Brand Company dress. The heavy corset dress is perfect for waltzing away the night or impressing potential suitors. In reference to the sparkly diamond necklace Daphne is gifted, I went for a tiara-necklace-earring faux diamond ensemble. I originally also parted my bangs like Daphne’s but quickly realised you have to be Phoebe Dynevor to be able to pull that off successfully.
Now all we can do is wait for season two. Or rewatch season one. Or become more and more obsessed with Regé-Jean Page with each passing day…