I don’t watch much TV, but like millions of others, I was captivated by The Queen’s Gambit, The Crown and Bridgerton. Three very different and equally enjoyable series in which I became immersed from the first episode. Each has a compelling storyline and is beautifully filmed but I was just as mesmerised by the costumes, too.
Bridgerton is set in Regency London between 1813 and 1827. Sartorially, it’s all tight corsets and heaving bosoms. I shan’t be sporting anything along those (empire) lines anytime soon- they’re costumes rather than outfits. But I do love the “properness” of it all. The ladylike dressing, the jewellery and the fact that even everyday dressing was an occasion. It makes me want to don my late grandmother’s pearl and sapphire choker.
The Queens Gambit
I adore Beth Harman’s outfits in The Queen’s Gambit, which begins in the mid-1950s and ends somewhere in the mid-1960s. I’ve always loved the A-line mini dresses that typify the sixties and have a few modern interpretations. However, they were relegated to the back of my wardrobe in favour of my now rather ubiquitous, layered midi dresses. But all of a sudden, they’re back on my radar and so back on the rails (in my dressing room). The clean lines of their silhouette a welcome contrast to the more unstructured midis and as such I can’t help but feel “dressed up.”
(You might remember that I chose a lace scalloped shift dress with a similar silhouette to those Beth wore).
The Crown begins in 1947 and ends in the 1990s. There are literally hundreds of incredible and very accurately replicated outfits. As always though, I’m drawn to mid-century styles, especially those worn by The Queen and by Princess Margaret. The brocades and jacquards, the brooches and the pearls. Elegant ladylike dressing at its finest.
The latest season, season four introduced Princess Diana, a woman who wanted to be known for more than just being a clothes horse. And what a perfect clothes horse she was. But I don’t find myself drawn to her outfits, perhaps because I’m old enough to have worn at least some eighties trends in real time.
Ladylike dressing with Maria Zélie (with a discount code)
Although the three series are very different from one another, I have drawn the rather obvious conclusion that ladylike dressing is for me. When Polish brand Marie Zélie asked if I’d like to become an ambassador, I couldn’t help but think that their style ethos is similar to my own: “Whatever the occasion, they (their clothes) are always the quintessence of femininity“. I chose this blue dress for its flattering, timeless silhouette. It is absolutely beautifully made and is lined. It feels lovely next to the skin and I think it’s a combination of the length and the semi-structured shape that makes me feel very ladylike and proper. I love it and I think it’ll be one of those trusty dresses that endures. The sort that will never date, and, because it whispers and doesn’t shout, it’s a dress that will never look out of place.
Marie Zélie uses European sizing but there is a conversion chart. I am a standard UK 12 and I ordered a 38 which is perfect. And for reference I’m tall- 175cm which is 5 ft 9 inches.
Use code Elizabeth10 to get 10% off at Marie Zélie until March 31st.
This style of dress needs footwear with a round toe such as knee-high boots, (very Duchess of Cambridge), ballet flats, (very Princess Diana), or court shoes, (very Princess Margaret). Mine are the latter but in a very modern zebra print with a contrasting cobalt blue heel.
The handbag doesn’t match match, but it’s similar enough to pull the look together.
And the pearl and lapis bracelet is slightly reminiscent of the stunning sapphires that so many of these Netflix idols wore.
Aerin Tarsia dress: Marie Zélie, (gift), current.
Zebra print shoes: Zapitos, (gift in 2014).
Black and white bag: Ruby Shoo, past season.
Freshwater pearl and lapis lazuli bracelet: Pia Jewellery, past season.