It is a truth universally acknowledged that a lady who loves Jane Austen also loves a good bonnet. That’s how I feel, anyway. In my teens, I became consumed with Pride and Prejudice and read it most nights (sometimes by candlelight), and can say it has really shaped my world view. I was and still am obsessed with the fashion and the history of Jane Austen’s time. I have watched every adaptation I can get my hands on. I keep a worn copy of Pride and Prejudice by my bedside, just in case I feel like flipping through it from time to time.
The pastel- and muslin-filled world of the Jane Austen adaptations that I still watch on repeat (and plan to for the rest of my life) was brought to life by women I now worship. Brilliant costume designers like Jenny Beaven, Ruth Myers, and Jacqueline Durran who worked on Sense and Sensibility, Emma and Pride and Prejudice, respectively, imbued Austen’s characters with the historical likeness of Regency-period England as well as a timeless elegance that makes them and their style eternally beloved.
More recently, I was floored by Alexandra Byrne‘s sumptuous costumes in the new adaptation of Emma, which I strongly recommend for at-home viewing. Thanks to them, one of my biggest dreams is to don an empire-waist gown and white gloves and attend a Jane Austen ball (which, yes, is totally a thing!).
So. How is an avid austenite meant to dress in the world of fast-fashion??
Imagine yourself in a world where fans are used to shield smiles and secrets, and the best place to fall in love is on the dance floor. Think of the heavy use of organza and the endless streams of ribbons and pearls. A dream!