If you’re like me and have been working from home this past year, you may have experienced a Groundhog’s Day type of situation with your stuck-at-home wardrobe. Much-needed outfit inspiration has been in short supply, but thankfully the Bridgerton costumes—with all of their fanciful and over-the-top looks—have given me a sweet respite from the doldrums of pandemic dressing.
Bridgerton, based on Julia Quinn’s best-selling series of romance novels and executive produced by Shonda Rhimes, contains copious amounts of eye candy, from the sets to the actors (hello, Regé-Jean Page)—but the fashion is as irresistible as Lady Whistledown’s papers. While the characters scheme, fall in love, and engage in other gossip-making activities, they don empire-waist gowns, dresses with ruffled lace sleeves, and decadent jewels, making Bridgerton attire a source of inspiration for modern fashion lovers. The outfits seen in the show easily go hand-in-hand with the romantic cottagecore aesthetics and Savage x Fenty–inspired boudoir dressing we’re seeing all over Instagram.
Fashion historians may complain about the costumes’ not being accurate for the era, but neither are the glorious string renditions of modern pop songs like Ariana Grande’s breakup anthem “Thank U, Next” and Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy,” which soundtrack the series. Costume designer Ellen Mirojnic is behind the opulent gowns and headpieces seen on the Bridgerton clan and their cohorts in this alternate-universe version of 19th-century high society London. Because the show is meant to be a fantasy version of the Regency period, Mirojnick was able to take liberties with the clothing, changing the color palette and fabrics, and refraining from bonnets. Mirojnic, whose work spans such films as Showgirls, Behind the Candelabra, and The Greatest Showman, created 5,000 costumes with her team—7,500 pieces in total—for the eight-episode first season.
Corsets, an element of cottagecore dressing that’s already been trending, will no doubt get another boost from the show—but there’s so much more sumptuous Regency-eqsue inspiration you can incorporate into your wardrobe. Ahead, five shoppable Bridgerton fashion trends Daphne and her crew would easily wear today.
Fancy house dresses
If empire-waist Bridgerton dresses aren’t really your thing, you can still invoke the show’s vibe by wearing a dress that has puff sleeves. It’s ideal because puff sleeves are typically seen on comfy casual garments, such as the nap dress that was everywhere last year. While a house dress usually consists of a breezy fabric and a silhouette that’s easy to move around in, the puff elevates it to something special. Think of these as Bridgerton light.
Elaborate hair adornments