As I discussed in my Everyday Edwardian overview, the best way to bring a bit of Edwardian style into your day-to-day life is best to take your cues from a current Edwardian-era drama. In this case, it’s the first two seasons of Downton Abbey and James Cameron’s Titanic.

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The sweater Mary is wearing here reminds me of the Villa Wrap from Icebreaker.

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As far as clothes and accessories go, I’m guessing you don’t have a corset, a variety of undergarments, and a closet full of Edwardian era costumes at your disposal. Even if you do, I’m calling this everyday Edwardian for a reason. You shouldn’t be needing a maid to get dressed in the morning, nor should you be at risk of passing out from shortness of breath after walking up a flight of stairs. So, today I’m looking at silhouette.

Something as simple as belting a long dress in the right place can add some Edwardian flare to a dress you already own.

Something as simple as belting a long dress in the right place can add some Edwardian flare to a dress you already own.

I’m looking at Downton Abbey‘s Lady Mary and Rose from Titanic, primarily, but taking cues from everyone else and some great historical portraits. You can check out my Pinterest inspiration board for lots of ideas.

We’re in luck with the silhouette—it was generally comprised of a larger, more flowy top, and a tighter, more fitted bottom. This is pretty obvious when you take a look at the classic Gibson girl—she’s usually wearing a pigeon-breasted blouse and a high-waisted, fitted skirt. That’s actually pretty close to the silhouette that’s in style now—loose, flowy tops and tighter skinny-jean/tights type bottoms. We’re off to a good start!

The shirtwaist and a gored, floor/ankle length skirt was the equivalent of jeans & a t-shirt.

The shirtwaist and a gored, floor/ankle length skirt was the equivalent of jeans & a t-shirt.

You can see that Downton Abbey adapted the skirtwaist & skirt look with some more modern tops. You could easily pair a longer maxi skirt (though a gored, fitted on would be better) with a belt and a nice top for a great and easy Edwardian look.

You can see that Downton Abbey adapted the skirtwaist & skirt look with some more modern tops. You could easily pair a longer maxi skirt (though a gored, fitted one would be better) with a belt and a nice top for a great and easy Edwardian look.

If you can layer your tops, you’re doing well. Start with a more fitted bottom layer, and add a flowing second layer—a cropped top or draped cardigan would be great. If you have a pencil skirt for the bottom, that’s a great choice, otherwise some high-waisted, tailored pants would also work nicely (be sure to tuck in at least one of the tops). Top with a sash or belt to emphasize the ever-important waist.

If you have a gauzy or mesh top or skirt to layer with, awesome!

If you have a gauzy, lace, or mesh top or skirt to layer with, awesome!

Finish the look off with some classy shoes (vintage Oxford lace-ups are a great choice these days, and easy to come by), a classy up-do (and perhaps a hat or some hair accessories), flawless skin, and some vintage jewellery or lace accessories (we’ll talk about those another day).

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