The success of TV’s Downton Abbey is in no small part down to the sense of being transported to another world.  In this hour of programming, we are transported to the turn of the 20th century which, unless you have a keen interest in history, is a time we often know little about.  A time when the gentleman was the king of his castle; a manly man whether upstairs in the world of high society, or downstairs keeping watch over the estate.

The art of dressing well is, arguably, something that has been lost over time.  90s grunge and its penchant for baggy jeans and hoodies has so much to answer for!  Recently at least, a return to sartorial elegance is sought, and the makings of a comeback of the well-dressed gentleman is helped with shows like Downton Abbey, Boardwalk Empire and Mad Men highlighting the style and sophistication of the past,  and inspiring a new generation of men’s fashion.

But how does one get a little Downton Abbey influence into their look without looking like they’ve just stepped out of a time vortex?  We decided to take a look at the key elements of the Downton Abbey style that you can add to your look, without looking like you’re in fancy dress.

 

Patterns and Textures


We aren’t talking about a return to the psychadelia of the 70s patterns on printed polyester leisure suits here, but pattern and texture are a stylish way to enliven a suit.  Whether you choose to be daring and rock a full, bold check, or a little more safe with a tweed jacket, this is a simple way to add interest to even a plain everyday suit.

 

Materials


Suits were very much the order of the day during the 1910s and 20s, with a gentleman’s reputation on the line if he was seen to be poorly dressed.  With so little option in the dress itself, varying materials was a key way to tailor the garment to both occasion and personality.  It was de rigueur to wear summer suits of light linens for daytime outdoor events as a matter of etiquette, and evenings saw men draping themselves in sumptuous velvets to really stand out from the crowd at important parties.

 

Accessories


A matter of finery, accessories are extremely important, both then and now.  The pocket watch on a fine albert chain signified to the world that you were a gent that had important places to be.  Hats were ingrained with the gent’s identity and included styles such as the panama, the bowler and the fedora, with felt favoured for winter and straw for summer.  Finishing the look perfectly showed to the world that you were serious about the event you were attending and respected the host, but it was also a way to show your class, meaning that opulent jewelled cufflinks and cravat pins were the order of the day.

 

In a nutshell, Downton Abbey may promote a style that is of the past, but we think that we can learn from it to enhance, and maybe even improve, the fashion of the present day.  We hope you have found this post helpful in choosing an element of vintage style to adopt for your look, why not peruse the range of accessories at The Men’s Gift Company, to help you polish your new look?

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Post By Sadie