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In a year that has left us feeling rather cooped up, it’s no wonder the world was drawn to Bridgerton. The Shonda Rimes series has everything you’d want from a Netflix binge: drama, mystery, scandal, a steamy plotline, and a whole lot of opulence that provides a welcome respite from the reality of pandemic life. The most eye-catching part of the show, in my opinion, is the outfits. Classic Regency era styles -- think empire silhouettes, silk gloves, and corsets -- are bippidi-boppidi-booped with brighter colors, funkier patterns, and over-the-top accessories.
I know I’m not alone in feeling inspired by the show to swap my sweatpants in for something a lot less comfortable and a lot more 1800’s. According to a report from fashion search engine Lyst, the week following the release of Bridgerton the internet saw surges of searches for empire line dresses, corsets, long gloves, and headpieces. Lyst dubbed it Regencycore -- and if you too are wondering how to bring these period pieces into your current wardrobe, keep reading. We took some of our favorite looks from the show and found some look-a-like pieces you can actually buy online. If you haven’t watched yet, be warned: You’ll find some spoilers and some of the show’s bigger secrets below. Shh!
The Big Debut
‘Tis the season! The London season, that is. Episode 1 introduces us to the opulent balls thrown by London’s high-society each year. More than just a party, there’s a lot of husband-hunting happening here. Of course, all of the ladies of the ton must be presented to the Queen, so you can bet their looks are going to be prime. There may be none more impressive than Miss Daphne Bridgerton. Proclaimed a “diamond of the first water,” which pretty much just means she is the biggest catch of the season, it’s no wonder we’re drawn to Daphne’s ethereal, gold-drenched look. If you too are looking to be validated with a “Flawless, my dear” or hoping to just feel a bit angelic, may we suggest this gold brocade dress and matching headband from Hill House Home. If you truly want to embody Daphne’s regality, this gold tiara from Deepa Gurnani should do the trick.
Drip? Ice? I don’t know what they called it back in 1813, but every time we caught a glimpse of Queen Charlotte she was drenched in some serious sparkle. Pearls get a reputation for being bland and boring, but look at those layers! I say, take a hint from the Queen and layer lots of pearl strands together, mix in some diamond or other precious stones, and you have a classy, lustrous look. I love these chunky Mejuri Pearl Drop Earrings. If you want strands on strands, this Rapunzel Pearl Necklace from Bittersweets NY is 10-feet of pearl goodness. Wrap (and wrap and wrap) it around your neck for a collar-like look or drape it loosely for a more casual style.
She may not be the talk of the town, but like her older sister, Eloise Bridgerton knows how to pull off the subtle elegance that comes with being a member of high society. To watch her sister be presented as a debutante of the season, Eloise wears an understated, yet totally chic ensemble. I love the ruffled details, silk bows, and high-neckline -- it all feels so of-the-moment. This Merlette Majorelle Top is a fresh take on the blousy, modest look and would be so chic tucked into jeans or trousers. If you really want to get Regencycore with it, pin an oversized bow in your hair, like this one from LELET NY. Voila! Now you’re ready to send your sister off into society.
Pretty In Picnic
All season long, we were living for Penelope Featherington’s colorful ensembles and maximalist accessories. Her homage to all things floral at the picnic is one of the most notable looks. If you’re looking to dress more like the scenery and less like a checkered blanket this picnic season, we found everything you need for a 2021 take on this floral getup. This ruffly pair of pink tulle gloves from Sleeper adds some funk, and just a touch of modesty, to this LoveShackFancy Angie Dress boasting an array of floral patterns. If you’re looking for something a bit shorter (and more budget-friendly), this ASOS organza number is festive and fun in all the regal ways.
Night at the Opera
Though she may not be making her rounds at the balls, Siena Rosso is no stranger to being seen. The opera singer knows how to put together a look that’s equal parts classy and sultry, but stands out enough on stage to catch the eye of one of the city’s most eligible bachelors. With a voice like an angel, it’s no wonder she’s privy to long, dainty numbers like this blush, off-the-shoulder chiffon gown. I found an almost exact dupe down to the sweetheart neckline from the Dessy Collection. The Birdy Grey Spence Convertible Dress is another sweepingly similar pick, with convertible straps so you can wear it multiple ways -- no trips to the modiste needed.
If you pay close enough attention (or keep rewatching the show so many times that you start picking out patterns) you may notice that each family has a specific color palette. The Bridgertons are always seen in pastels -- powder blues, lavender, pale pinks -- a nod to the subtle elegance of the elite family. Always classy, never ostentatious, Lady Bridgerton looks lavish in this silk lavender number. For spring, I’ll be taking a cue from the Bridgerton family and adopting this simple, chic palette. I love this drapey Zimmerman wrap dress. It may be a bit too revealing for Lady B, but it has all of the silky, blousy, pastel chicness I adore about the Bridgerton clan. And that’s Regencycore enough for me.
The Duke And I
Ah, Duke Hastings. Whether he’s greeting the townspeople, boxing, taking business in London, or fighting for Daphne’s heart, Simon Basset always looks rather dashing. His sleek, velvet overcoats add a regal touch to his paisley vests and high-neck shirts. This Dolce & Gabanna Belted Velvet Tuxedo Jacket is a gorgeous option if you’re really going for regal. For the same regal feel at a third of the price, I love this Indochino Dinner Jacket, which comes in multiple jewel-toned colors of sumptuous velvet.
I hope this inspired you to tighten up your corsets and slip on your silk gloves. After all, there is going to be another season...