Top 5 Costumes on Downton Abbey Season 5


This fifth season of Downton Abbey took place over the course of the year 1924, and fashion-wise, we’re deep in the ’20s styles. Compared to past series of the show, we only see hints of the original Edwardian styles left on the Dowager Countess (played with the usual aplomb by Maggie Smith). Everybody else is completely updated, as we’ll see.

Now that the series and “Christmas special” has ended in the U.S. on Masterpiece PBS, after having previously shown in the U.K., let’s look at some of the costume highlights of Downton Abbey‘s fifth season.


1. The London Dress Show

downton abbey season 5 costumes

Walk, walk, fashion baby.

Good god girl, YEAHS! Can we have a fashion show every year? Pretty please? This was totally inspired. Or, in the words of Lady Mary, “Yummy!” It was just so fabulous, the quintessence of what we want to see in the show. Extreme 1920s high fashion on the catwalk! That Egyptian headdress! The posh summer suit! The wedding gown! The makeup! The jewelry! Doesn’t get better than this.

downton abbey season 5 costumes

I’ll take one of each. To go.


2. Lady Mary’s Bobbed Hair

downton abbey season 5 costumes

If you don’t look good, we don’t look good.

Well, finally, one of the ladies cuts her hair short. I’d have thought Edith would do it first, to go with having a baby out of wedlock and all her skimpy back-less gowns. But nope, Mary’s a contraceptive-usin’, hair-cuttin’ wild woman these days. Also, a bit of a cock-tease.

downton abbey season 5 costumes

Care for a shag? Odds are, you’ll die in my bed, die in a car crash, or I’ll drop you like a hot rock after pretending we’re getting engaged. I’m so modern!


3. Mary and Mabel’s Riding Clothes

downton abbey season 5 costumes

Not getting off her high horse for you, mister.

What was I just saying? She’ll chop off her hair, but she won’t ride astride for fear of upsetting granny. Whatevs, girl. Lady Mary is such an attention whore, I’m really over her after this season. But Mabel Lane Fox looked pretty foxy in her jodhpurs, and some guys like a woman who wears pants.

downton abbey season 5 costumes

How you doin’?


4. All the Ladies’ Coats

downton abbey season 5 costumes

Edith: My man is dead, I was forced to give up my baby, and all I have left are snazzy prints. Rosamund: Look girl, I never got a man or a baby, so all I’ve ever had is prints. Deal.

As the show moved into the 1920s, I’ve become totally enamored of the period’s coats and outerwear. At first, Edith was shown in lots of cool coats back when she visited Gregson in London. But this season, Mary got more coats for her assignations with Lord Gillingham, and even Cora was seen wearing more outerwear as she flirted with Mr. Bricker. Basically, when Downton‘s ladies get down, they need interesting coats.

downton abbey season 5 costumes

Good thing Mum doesn’t know I’m boffing all the dudes. Oh what is Mum up to anyway?


5. Rose and Atticus’ Wedding

downton abbey season 5 costumes

Him: Can’t wait till the honeymoon! Her: Can’t wait to burn this ugly-ass dress.

Rose got both the most boring wedding dress of all the Downton girls and the prettiest. For her real wedding (hey, she considered it the official thing), Rose wore an incredibly frumpy old-lady suit in pale blue. Geez, did she borrow this from the Dowager? Fug-tastic. Thank goodness she changed into that beaded empire-waist gown for the wedding reception, as “informal” as the event was. This gown outshines Lady Mary’s and Edith’s wedding gowns, IMNSHO — it’s both elegant and blingy. And, according to PBS, it’s vintage! Downton Abbey costume designer Anna Mary Scott Robbins said she got it from a vintage shop in London, and the wedding dress “was a hundred years old and had never been worn.” For all the whinging within the show about no veil, I love her hairstyle and beaded floral headpiece. Very young and fresh, which fits Rose much better than than dowdy sack she wore at the Registry Office.

downton abbey season 5 costumes
downton abbey season 5 costumes

What was your favorite costume on Downton Abbey season five? Any fashion moments I missed?


About the author

Trystan L. Bass

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A self-described ElderGoth, Trystan has been haunting the internet since the early 1990s. Always passionate about costume, from everyday office wear to outrageous twisted historical creations, she has maintained some of the earliest online costuming-focused resources on the web. Her costuming adventures are chronicled on her website, TrystanCraft. She also ran a popular fashion blog, This Is CorpGoth, dedicated to her “office drag.”

6 Responses

    • Rachel

      Back in Season 2, when Mary first mentions cutting her hair, Matthew asks her not to do so (despite everyone being engaged to other people). I’ve always thought she was only keeping her hair long to be loyal to him, but if she really is moving on….

      Women now cut their hair after a bad break-up, a new identity to go with a new you. Maybe Mary’s haircut is a sign that she really is ready to get married again.

  1. Constance

    This is OT, but I had joined a British forum about tv shows a while back and found out they (Brits) tends to take their TV viewing very personally and are very invested in storylines and characters as if they are family members. I was not aware that it was a sin to post about one’s dislike of a specific character but found out very quickly that one doe not say snide things (Lady Edith in this case, I really disliked her) and was pretty much invited to leave or at least, desist from such blasphemy. They also seem to become downright distraught if characters are badly treated by the script etc…again, more like family members than fictional characters on fictional shows. Lol live and learn and I hope I am not offending anyone. I am probably in the minority opinion, I often am, but I do my share of hate-watching just to snark about it someplace.