8 Ways to Wear Bridgerton’s Whimsical Style for the Modern Times
The Shonda Rimes-created Bridgerton series on Netflix has made its way to become a favorite amongst lovers of period dramas and fashion enthusiasts alike. The elaborate, ornamental dresses of 19th century Regency were all about complex cuts, colors, and silhouettes. But it’s not just one method, as the era has actually developed several sartorial variations.
The beginning of the Regency period originally favored the signature empire waist with roomy, Greek lines. As times progressed, this gossamer approach changed during the war of Britain and France as countries developed their own look to avoid similarities with each other. The British switched to a more gothic, structural style reminiscent of Elizabethan fits embellished with flounces and padding, while the French’s waists remained high with A-lines and bell shapes.
To see Bridgerton’s takes to all of these styles is exactly why we love binge-watching it. So we took notes and sharing 8 different ways you can emulate it for the modern times. You can totally channel it—even in the absence of fancy parties.
Make Sure to Go Colorful
The first key is color. It’s precisely why Bridgerton has been quickly recognized for its wardrobe design. You just can’t help but get struck by such engaging palettes each episode. Embody the elementary Regency style by choosing vibrant and diaphanous dresses. We’re talking ruffles, tiers, pleats, and hi-lo’s in chiffon-like fabric. If you’re not fond of empire waists, there’s always the option for a more fitted version—such as a smocked waist—or cinch with a tie or tassel belt.
Add Height With a Chic Heel
If it wasn’t evident enough, the medieval style didn’t really care for catering to comfort, which is why the women loved their heels at any time or place. However, this doesn’t mean you need to put yourself in hard-to-walk pairs too. Low kitten styles are absolutely chic when done right. Perhaps a wedge, for those days when you want the height but don’t feel like battling with balance. Conceivably, you can meet in the middle with a mid-level block heel that offers sturdy support with its thickness.
Headpieces Play a Major Role
The balls in the 19th century entailed a great level of decorativeness. And it goes beyond appliqués and jewelry. Hats are one of our favorite ways to accessorize and dare we even admit, we’re guilty of throwing them on for our outfits on days we feel blah. Channel the spirit of the cottagecore trend with straw garden hats. We love ones with two-tone stripe designs or ribbon embellishments. These pair beautifully with flowy dresses of any length. For evenings or less of a garden party approach, try a beret in a bright color. This also works well for post-spring weather to bring some warmth to your looks even when the temperature drops.
Bring Out the Outerwear
In the case of the aforementioned temperature dropping, grab your best jackets and coats to resemble the Bridgerton silhouette. For this, we love time-honored prints like houndstooth and checks in long overcoats. The latter works well in mirroring a vintage look, especially when paired pantsuit-style with matching trousers. For a less maximal shape, nothing comes to mind quicker than the Chanel-beloved French staple— the short jacket. This pairs finely over mini and midi dresses or with pencil skirts. Bonus points for pearl embellishments or fur trimmings!
Keep It Classy With a Cardi
The cardigan is a pinnacle of retro style, and it’s noticeably having a neoteric moment. Just like overcoats, a duster style cardigan can emulate the movable maxi shape without being too hot for balmy days. We love a coatigan—a coat and cardigan hybrid—version, too, especially when spruced up with fun patterns. Don’t be afraid to be whimsical! Bridgerton encourages it anyway. For cardigan purists, consider characteristic cuts like scallop trims. This adds some pizzazz while retaining the piece’s clean and sleek signature.
Well-Fitting Pants Are a Must
When it comes to tailoring, the fit is absolutely crucial, and there’s no other approach than a well-constructed pant to go with the show’s regal sensibilities. We love a figure-hugging pair with subtle details that add to its elegance. Metallic trims or sparkly adornments are perfect for this—even minimalists will surely agree. On the more relaxed side, wide or flares would appropriately embody the crux of vintage. Take a break from Daphne Bridgerton’s femininely pristine ethos and get like Eloise’s rebellious nature. If she lived in the present, she’d definitely lean into contrast trims and structured ankle cuts with flow.
Prints Will Bring the Flight of Fancy
What’s more fantastical than cheerful patterns? We love the idea of mixing things up when it comes to flowy frocks. Floral summer dresses are your best bet, of course. They give you all the room to get whimsy and as close to the Bridgerton style as possible. Feel free to be as artful as you want with multi-color palettes and various floral pattern types such as botanical, impressionist, vintage, or abstract. If you’re not on board with flowers, try small-scale prints like polka dots but with elaborate stitch details. Ruffle trims always add a sophisticated addition to maxi lengths and definitely something Daphne would love.
Pick One Color and Stick to It
We love monochromatic dressing, and we probably won’t stop raving about it anytime soon. We see the Bridgerton characters do this all the time by matching their accessories to their dress colors. In the case of a looser and more modish method, tonal dressing is the way, particularly if you don’t have the same shades in your wardrobe. Don’t forget to play with the look and to choose textured pieces to avoid looking too plain—you’re wearing one color after all. Interesting cuts are also key players such as scallop trims, asymmetrical drapes, or even as simple as a well-tailored pant.
Let Your Creativity Flow
Recreating outfits from your favorite pop culture shows is an amazing way to get back into your fashion groove. While we’ve certainly been laxer with everyday dressing, here’s one reason to get creative and spend some time ruffling through your wardrobe for your own rendition of Regency. You might even discover your penchant for vintage style or develop a skill for adapting it to a modern version.
Either way, it’s a great method to utilize what you already have and explore all their different ways of wear. Let the inspiration bug bite you, and always remember to have fun with it.