Image credit: bcliving; Radio Times
Dear Dowager Countess, how we love thee, but — not surprisingly — you’re not really embracing the freedom and fun of a brand new world. Case in point: the dramatic difference between what you and Mrs. Martha (aka Cora’s rich mom) are wearing in this photo. That fussy old lady hat. That brooch on a (ugh) lace choker. Be inspired by your American counterpart. Think about fur. Long layered lariats. Comfier, free-flowing fabrics. Try out a turban. You never know, you might like a little less structure.
Lord Grantham, we love you too, but a lot has changed in three seasons. One thing that unfortunately hasn’t: your look. You’re a handsome man. Take some cues from your new son and co-Lord, Matthew, and do it up a little. Maybe try a slimmer cut. Maybe even a little color?
Image credit: Jane Austen’s World
Appropriately understated and ever-so-slightly matronly, at least Cousin Crawley went for an au courant cranberry, and somewhat modern — although — ill-fitting cut.
Image credit: fanpop; PBS via Entertainment Weekly; Fabulous Girls Wear Vintage
Lady Cora, you are the picture of posh perfection. Pretty? Decidedly. Appropriate? Always. Do we obsess over your outfits? Not really. Well, maybe that cream ensemble …
Image credit: fanpop; Jane Austen’s World
Sybil, dear, you were the first lady to wear pants in the family. That spectacular cornflower blue confection was our favorite fashion moment of last season. We know you’re pregnant and that makes getting dressed in the morning a challenge, but are all the gloomy colors really necessary? I mean, sure, you married a chauffer turned Irish revolutionary who almost got you cut-off from all the money and then (most recently) left you to fend for yourself at a very vulnerable time, but somber shades just aren’t that pretty, even on the loveliest of ladies.
Image credit: fanpop
A big thumbs up to our favorite handsome leading man with a conscience. Not only have you adjusted so well to your white (and black tie), but you’re also giving contemporary fashion a try. Even modern men should take note of that grey suit, blue tie combo. Well done.
Lady Mary, you are divine. Resplendent. Would we expect anything less? You obviously have a keen sense of fashion and you wear it all so beautifully. It was hard for us to put you third, but, well, a few leading ladies are outshining you this season.
Image credit: Ramblings TV; Carnival Film & TV via The Telegraph
The first one being: Mrs. Martha Levinson, Cora’s over-the-top rich American mother. Those furs! Those feathers! Those jewels! Modern, mature and marvelous.
Image credit: fanpop; Elle UK
And, our (probably surprising) pick for best dressed just 3 episodes in is: Lady Edith. For one, her wedding dress was prettier and decidedly more fashion forward than Mary’s. And that tiara! But the real reason is the stunning peach dress that is perhaps the best, most elegant representation of all that the shifting sands of fashion in the 1920s represented. Surely modeled after Jeanne Lanvin’s trademark use of intricate trimmings and virtuoso embroideries in light, floral colors, this ensemble is a stunner. And it suits Edith to perfection.
If the last episode was any indication, Lady Edith may just become the most modern woman on the show. Adding fuel to what’s got to be a burning inner fire, the Dowager Countess aptly remarks: “You’re a woman with a brain and reasonable ability. Stop whining and find something to do.” If that doesn’t sum up the roaring decade to come, we don’t know what does. Well said Violet. And, well played Edith.