Thursday, 26 July 2012


The extraordinary images that reveal how women dressed 100 years ago – and how they can inspire your wardrobe today…

Written by Katy Pearson

In the first decade of the 20th century, Beatrix Potter was putting pen to paper and women had yet to get the vote. But as these photographs from the early 1900s prove, Edwardian ladies had the art of elegance down to a tee. Edwardian fashion

The images, taken in London and Paris by the late amateur photographer Edward Linley Sambourne, show long skirts and puff-sleeved blouses to be the sartorial choice de rigueur. A dash of lace, a jaunty hat and a parasol, finished off the look. The Edwardians were the last of the English women to wear a corset in daily life. And while we are not suggesting that you squeeze into a whalebone contraption, there are elements of the era that you should think about adding to your wardrobe this season.

TV drama Downton Abbey returns to our screens in the autumn, and both catwalks and high streets are full of fashion that harks back to a time gone by.

Lady-like, decorous and modest, it’s the finishing touches that take this fashion style from Victorian drab to full-on fabulousness. This ‘Downton chic’ look is all about elegance and sophistication, coupled with bold statement pieces. And in the year the Olympics make the UK the centre of the world, it is very much about great British style.

You can model it at any age, too – whether you’re a young Lady Sybil or a grand Countess of Grantham. With all the long, flowing skirts, however, the only thing you might struggle to do is ride a bike – as I’m sure the Edwardian lady, pictured, soon discovered.

Click to see full details

Forgot your password?
Click to read our digital edition

Boarders Dormitory Master-Mistress
We are looking to appoint a Dormitory Mistress/Master for 5 nights per week, weekday evenings and nights only, term time. (35 weeks). [...]


Housekeeper to Headmaster
We have an opportunity for an experienced live-out housekeeper. You will provide a cleaning and hospitality service for the Headmaster and his guests and help to ensure the household runs efficiently. [...]


Full Time Housekeeper, Nanny
We are looking for a full time, live-out housekeeper/nanny. We are a relaxed young couple living in a large country house, and will have one newborn baby. [...]


Experienced Carer, Companion, Housekeeper needed
Our elderly mother needs a live in carer/companion on a part time basis. Must be warm hearted, calm & compassionate, with a good sense of humour. [...]


Cook, Housekeeper wanted
Good cooking skills required to cater for light meals for the Principal and a small staff, as well as occasional lunch/dinner parties. [...]




What the stars have in store for you this week.2017

Capricorn Aquarius Pisces Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter