The Fashion of Bridgerton

Words by Suraya Kazzuz

Dearest Reader,

The time has come to place out bets, for the upcoming social season. Take the young Bridgerton clan, whose outfits have garnered much attention. Consider the household of the Baron Featherington. The three young mistresses of the estate have been unfairly mocked for their vibrant dress. Who could forget, of course, the Queen herself in her elegant, decadent gowns? It is time to set the record straight once and for all to decide; who wore it best? Which outfit shall be crowned the diamond of the season (that season being the first of the hit Netflix show Bridgerton)?

First, let us begin with a small complaint when it comes to the shows approach to corsets… Their approach is wrong. There are two different types of corset shown on the show: the long corset and the short corset (otherwise known as regency stays).

At the beginning of the season, in the very first episode, we see Prudence Featherington being tightly pulled into a long corset. The long corset was not however necessary during the regency period. This was a period which embraced a relatively shapeless dress. As we will soon see, the dresses which are worn throughout the episodes mostly sit straight at the waist, which negates the need for a long corset. But, of course, the long corset was an important plot point which emphasised the lengths to which women would go in order to achieve their feminine performance, so we’ll let it slide for now.

Here we see the Bridgerton family. It is clear from the offset that each family has its own colour pallet. The Bridgerton clan take on a more pastel tones, focusing on blues, pinks and purples. This tone emphasises their elegance and their status within society as a high-born family of reputation.

Here we see the Featherington family, whose colour pallet is rather different to that of the Bridgerton’s. Their colours focus more on the citrus scale of colours, bright greens, oranges and yellows. 

Each character also had their own unique style which is reflected in their character arcs and personalities. One of the most evident cases of this is through Eloise Bridgerton.

Throughout the show, Eloise often displayed high necklines, wearing cravats and modest dresses and gowns. 

These outfits reflect Eloise’s character very well, as she would naturally embrace a more modest look both as a result of her attitude towards marriage and because of her age. 

It is not until the end of the season that Eloise wears a dress with a lower neckline, emphasising her transition into adulthood and womanhood. 

Daphne Bridgerton’s fashion is an example of the exact opposite. Her fashion sense is slightly more adult in terms of necklines as she is often seen with a lower cut. 

The show’s creators have claimed that the show required 7500 pieces of wardrobe, most of which is bespoke, specially made and tailored for the show. Of course, you wouldn’t have known this based on Daphne Bridgerton alone because it is so hard to distinguish one of her dresses from another. While the aesthetic promise of providing each family with specific colour pallets is theoretically interesting, it has left some of the characters, specifically Daphne, with a wardrobe that soon becomes drab and repetitive. It is hard to create an impact with any one specific dress because all of Daphne’s clothes look so similar. 

It is here that the Queen’s clothes work as an interesting and dynamic tool which offsets the repetition of the Bridgerton family.

Queen Charlotte naturally had the most elegant, stylish and elaborate clothing of all of the characters in the show.

Never sticking to any one specific style or colour, the Queen’s wardrobe proved to be one of the most interesting of all of the characters in the show. Her clothes proved an example of the eclectic tastes of the time and provided an example of the intricacy and elegance available to the Kings and Queens of the period. But what was perhaps most impressive about her wardrobe was her wide array of wigs.

We must also take time to give an honourable mention to the men of the show, who also provided interesting takes on the regency fashion and did not lack in terms of style and colour. 

But now it comes to crowning out diamond of the season. However, it seems there is no space to place a crown on her head, because she is already wearing one.

Queen Charlotte is certainly the most fashionable woman in all of London. 

See you next season…

Yours truly,

Lady Whistledown