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Eating Like the Lords and Ladies of 'Downton Abbey'

Eating Like the Lords and Ladies of 'Downton Abbey'

Set during the 1910s, the British mini-series Downton Abbey depicts the the day-to-day occurrences in the life of the English elite as well as their servants during the tumultuous time before the start of World War I. Despite the dawning of radical political and technological change, very little seems altered in the household of the upper-crust Earl, Lord Grantham, including the family's lifestyle which, of course, features extravagant feasts.

In Edwardian times, food was meant to impress guests and symbolize the wealth and social status of the family. From the multiple footmen serving dinner and the crystal and china used to the dramatic arrangements of exotic flowers, each component of the dinner party was meant to showcase the family’s wealth. French luxuries like champagne, oysters, game, and truffles were expected by guests.

A formal dinner for which diners arrived turned out in all their finery — evening gowns for women and tails for men — was also the scene where young women aimed to impress potential suitors. For instance, the Earl of Grantham, hoping that his eldest daughter could soon be married off, threw an elaborate feast when the Duke of Crowborough came to visit the estate. From the precise placement of the cutlery to the dishes served and the proper table etiquette, a meal was planned to perfection and lasted for hours, often including at least eight courses (if not more).

If two things can be said about Edwardian eating habits, it would have to be that they ate a lot (a lot) and much of it was meat. Now, the thought of a six- to eight-course meal on a nightly basis is enough to give heartburn to most people, but it wouldn’t be uncommon for a dinner to begin with oysters, a foie gras terrine, a soup, a rabbit or veal dish, and then a main course of boiled ham or stewed beef with a jelly dish thrown in there somewhere.

But mealtimes were also an important part of the servants’ lives as well. During midday, the staff would gather together to gossip and eat their largest meal of the day (consuming much plainer food, of course). The show goes to great lengths to capture this specific time period by recreating the servants' downstairs work areas and the type of cookery they used to prepare the meals.

In an interview for the Daily Mail, creator Julian Fellowes said that for the show's dinner scenes, producers used recipes from the famed Victorian-era cookbook, Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management, which was still widely used around the turn of the century. Below, we’ve adapted the recipes from that cookbook so that when the new season airs on PBS on Jan. 8, you too can eat like the lords and ladies of the manor by serving these dishes (or just see how they were made).

Click here to see how to Throw a Dinner Party Like They do in 'Downton Abbey.'

Stewed Breast of Veal and Peas

With meat at the center of this dish, it's typical of a main course served during this time period.

Though the ham is cooked for what seems like a particularly long time in this recipe, it comes with instructions from Mrs. Beeton herself on how to pick out the perfect ham.

A simple side dish that would pair well with the veal dish above.

Apple Charlotte

If you have room for dessert, then this would be a great way to end the meal.


Dress like the ladies of ɽownton Abbey'

For many "Downton Abbey" fans, the British miniseries is as enjoyable to watch for its period fashion as it is for its compelling story. With Season 2 set during World War I, we are treated to a smorgasbord of post-Edwardian styles, from the starched servants’ uniforms to the alluring dresses of the ladies of the house.

Whether at formal family dinners, or on strolls through their large rural property, the Crawley sisters' elegance is enough to make anyone long for the days of lace, Empire waistlines and elbow-length gloves. We put together a shopping guide to help you get the look of the Ladies Crawley (with a modern twist for 2012).

Elaborate and intricate jewelry was a hallmark of the times, with filigree settings and multifaceted stones ruling the day. But you don’t have to be of noble descent to afford this style nowadays. These beaded drop earrings will leave admirers wondering whether they were passed down from your great-grandma. (T Tahari, Dillards, $13.47)

English ladies of the bygone era needed to leave their grand houses every so often, and when they did, their outerwear was as stylish as their dresses underneath. And what could better show their figures than a waist-hugging jacket? The length and breast pocket make this version unmistakably modern, while the high collar, muted color and cut conjure up images of days gone by. (Uniqlo, $99.90)

You may not have many invitations to dinners in English country mansions, but this black lace dress is perfect for a lunch date or even a dinner do. Dress it up with a different belt for a fancier look. (Kohl's, $44.20)

Short dress

Ankle-length dresses ruled the day way back when, but if you love your legs too much to cover them up, shorter styles are easy to find in these modern times. This garden dress combines the sheer fabrics, lacy details and high waistline so popular at the time. (ModCloth, $97.99)

Is there a better way to keep shoulders warm and toasty in a lightweight dress than with a fur stole? Faux fur was not an option in the Downton days, but today we can take advantage of modern advances in textiles to get a wrap that will make it difficult for even fur diehards to notice isn't real. (Ann Taylor, $49.99)

Elbow-length gloves

What period dress is complete without elbow-length gloves? Instead of stiff silk, today's ladies can opt for fabrics with a little more give. (GreatGlovesOnline, $34)

Until relatively recently, hats were a must-wear fashion item for women. Although the modern world no longer dictates that we keep our heads covered, a well-chosen cloche hat, made popular just before the first World War, can top off your winter wear this season. (Modcloth, $54.99)

Forget platforms and stilettos lace-up boots were the order of the day for our Downton ladies. And why sacrifice comfort when flat boots are just as easy to find as those with a heel? An added bonus: these mid-calf lace-up boots will give ankles and legs a slim appearance. (Urban Outfitters, $89)

Rachel Elbaum is a London-based writer who can't wait for Season 3 of "Downton Abbey."


Dress like the ladies of ɽownton Abbey'

For many "Downton Abbey" fans, the British miniseries is as enjoyable to watch for its period fashion as it is for its compelling story. With Season 2 set during World War I, we are treated to a smorgasbord of post-Edwardian styles, from the starched servants’ uniforms to the alluring dresses of the ladies of the house.

Whether at formal family dinners, or on strolls through their large rural property, the Crawley sisters' elegance is enough to make anyone long for the days of lace, Empire waistlines and elbow-length gloves. We put together a shopping guide to help you get the look of the Ladies Crawley (with a modern twist for 2012).

Elaborate and intricate jewelry was a hallmark of the times, with filigree settings and multifaceted stones ruling the day. But you don’t have to be of noble descent to afford this style nowadays. These beaded drop earrings will leave admirers wondering whether they were passed down from your great-grandma. (T Tahari, Dillards, $13.47)

English ladies of the bygone era needed to leave their grand houses every so often, and when they did, their outerwear was as stylish as their dresses underneath. And what could better show their figures than a waist-hugging jacket? The length and breast pocket make this version unmistakably modern, while the high collar, muted color and cut conjure up images of days gone by. (Uniqlo, $99.90)

You may not have many invitations to dinners in English country mansions, but this black lace dress is perfect for a lunch date or even a dinner do. Dress it up with a different belt for a fancier look. (Kohl's, $44.20)

Short dress

Ankle-length dresses ruled the day way back when, but if you love your legs too much to cover them up, shorter styles are easy to find in these modern times. This garden dress combines the sheer fabrics, lacy details and high waistline so popular at the time. (ModCloth, $97.99)

Is there a better way to keep shoulders warm and toasty in a lightweight dress than with a fur stole? Faux fur was not an option in the Downton days, but today we can take advantage of modern advances in textiles to get a wrap that will make it difficult for even fur diehards to notice isn't real. (Ann Taylor, $49.99)

Elbow-length gloves

What period dress is complete without elbow-length gloves? Instead of stiff silk, today's ladies can opt for fabrics with a little more give. (GreatGlovesOnline, $34)

Until relatively recently, hats were a must-wear fashion item for women. Although the modern world no longer dictates that we keep our heads covered, a well-chosen cloche hat, made popular just before the first World War, can top off your winter wear this season. (Modcloth, $54.99)

Forget platforms and stilettos lace-up boots were the order of the day for our Downton ladies. And why sacrifice comfort when flat boots are just as easy to find as those with a heel? An added bonus: these mid-calf lace-up boots will give ankles and legs a slim appearance. (Urban Outfitters, $89)

Rachel Elbaum is a London-based writer who can't wait for Season 3 of "Downton Abbey."


Dress like the ladies of ɽownton Abbey'

For many "Downton Abbey" fans, the British miniseries is as enjoyable to watch for its period fashion as it is for its compelling story. With Season 2 set during World War I, we are treated to a smorgasbord of post-Edwardian styles, from the starched servants’ uniforms to the alluring dresses of the ladies of the house.

Whether at formal family dinners, or on strolls through their large rural property, the Crawley sisters' elegance is enough to make anyone long for the days of lace, Empire waistlines and elbow-length gloves. We put together a shopping guide to help you get the look of the Ladies Crawley (with a modern twist for 2012).

Elaborate and intricate jewelry was a hallmark of the times, with filigree settings and multifaceted stones ruling the day. But you don’t have to be of noble descent to afford this style nowadays. These beaded drop earrings will leave admirers wondering whether they were passed down from your great-grandma. (T Tahari, Dillards, $13.47)

English ladies of the bygone era needed to leave their grand houses every so often, and when they did, their outerwear was as stylish as their dresses underneath. And what could better show their figures than a waist-hugging jacket? The length and breast pocket make this version unmistakably modern, while the high collar, muted color and cut conjure up images of days gone by. (Uniqlo, $99.90)

You may not have many invitations to dinners in English country mansions, but this black lace dress is perfect for a lunch date or even a dinner do. Dress it up with a different belt for a fancier look. (Kohl's, $44.20)

Short dress

Ankle-length dresses ruled the day way back when, but if you love your legs too much to cover them up, shorter styles are easy to find in these modern times. This garden dress combines the sheer fabrics, lacy details and high waistline so popular at the time. (ModCloth, $97.99)

Is there a better way to keep shoulders warm and toasty in a lightweight dress than with a fur stole? Faux fur was not an option in the Downton days, but today we can take advantage of modern advances in textiles to get a wrap that will make it difficult for even fur diehards to notice isn't real. (Ann Taylor, $49.99)

Elbow-length gloves

What period dress is complete without elbow-length gloves? Instead of stiff silk, today's ladies can opt for fabrics with a little more give. (GreatGlovesOnline, $34)

Until relatively recently, hats were a must-wear fashion item for women. Although the modern world no longer dictates that we keep our heads covered, a well-chosen cloche hat, made popular just before the first World War, can top off your winter wear this season. (Modcloth, $54.99)

Forget platforms and stilettos lace-up boots were the order of the day for our Downton ladies. And why sacrifice comfort when flat boots are just as easy to find as those with a heel? An added bonus: these mid-calf lace-up boots will give ankles and legs a slim appearance. (Urban Outfitters, $89)

Rachel Elbaum is a London-based writer who can't wait for Season 3 of "Downton Abbey."


Dress like the ladies of ɽownton Abbey'

For many "Downton Abbey" fans, the British miniseries is as enjoyable to watch for its period fashion as it is for its compelling story. With Season 2 set during World War I, we are treated to a smorgasbord of post-Edwardian styles, from the starched servants’ uniforms to the alluring dresses of the ladies of the house.

Whether at formal family dinners, or on strolls through their large rural property, the Crawley sisters' elegance is enough to make anyone long for the days of lace, Empire waistlines and elbow-length gloves. We put together a shopping guide to help you get the look of the Ladies Crawley (with a modern twist for 2012).

Elaborate and intricate jewelry was a hallmark of the times, with filigree settings and multifaceted stones ruling the day. But you don’t have to be of noble descent to afford this style nowadays. These beaded drop earrings will leave admirers wondering whether they were passed down from your great-grandma. (T Tahari, Dillards, $13.47)

English ladies of the bygone era needed to leave their grand houses every so often, and when they did, their outerwear was as stylish as their dresses underneath. And what could better show their figures than a waist-hugging jacket? The length and breast pocket make this version unmistakably modern, while the high collar, muted color and cut conjure up images of days gone by. (Uniqlo, $99.90)

You may not have many invitations to dinners in English country mansions, but this black lace dress is perfect for a lunch date or even a dinner do. Dress it up with a different belt for a fancier look. (Kohl's, $44.20)

Short dress

Ankle-length dresses ruled the day way back when, but if you love your legs too much to cover them up, shorter styles are easy to find in these modern times. This garden dress combines the sheer fabrics, lacy details and high waistline so popular at the time. (ModCloth, $97.99)

Is there a better way to keep shoulders warm and toasty in a lightweight dress than with a fur stole? Faux fur was not an option in the Downton days, but today we can take advantage of modern advances in textiles to get a wrap that will make it difficult for even fur diehards to notice isn't real. (Ann Taylor, $49.99)

Elbow-length gloves

What period dress is complete without elbow-length gloves? Instead of stiff silk, today's ladies can opt for fabrics with a little more give. (GreatGlovesOnline, $34)

Until relatively recently, hats were a must-wear fashion item for women. Although the modern world no longer dictates that we keep our heads covered, a well-chosen cloche hat, made popular just before the first World War, can top off your winter wear this season. (Modcloth, $54.99)

Forget platforms and stilettos lace-up boots were the order of the day for our Downton ladies. And why sacrifice comfort when flat boots are just as easy to find as those with a heel? An added bonus: these mid-calf lace-up boots will give ankles and legs a slim appearance. (Urban Outfitters, $89)

Rachel Elbaum is a London-based writer who can't wait for Season 3 of "Downton Abbey."


Dress like the ladies of ɽownton Abbey'

For many "Downton Abbey" fans, the British miniseries is as enjoyable to watch for its period fashion as it is for its compelling story. With Season 2 set during World War I, we are treated to a smorgasbord of post-Edwardian styles, from the starched servants’ uniforms to the alluring dresses of the ladies of the house.

Whether at formal family dinners, or on strolls through their large rural property, the Crawley sisters' elegance is enough to make anyone long for the days of lace, Empire waistlines and elbow-length gloves. We put together a shopping guide to help you get the look of the Ladies Crawley (with a modern twist for 2012).

Elaborate and intricate jewelry was a hallmark of the times, with filigree settings and multifaceted stones ruling the day. But you don’t have to be of noble descent to afford this style nowadays. These beaded drop earrings will leave admirers wondering whether they were passed down from your great-grandma. (T Tahari, Dillards, $13.47)

English ladies of the bygone era needed to leave their grand houses every so often, and when they did, their outerwear was as stylish as their dresses underneath. And what could better show their figures than a waist-hugging jacket? The length and breast pocket make this version unmistakably modern, while the high collar, muted color and cut conjure up images of days gone by. (Uniqlo, $99.90)

You may not have many invitations to dinners in English country mansions, but this black lace dress is perfect for a lunch date or even a dinner do. Dress it up with a different belt for a fancier look. (Kohl's, $44.20)

Short dress

Ankle-length dresses ruled the day way back when, but if you love your legs too much to cover them up, shorter styles are easy to find in these modern times. This garden dress combines the sheer fabrics, lacy details and high waistline so popular at the time. (ModCloth, $97.99)

Is there a better way to keep shoulders warm and toasty in a lightweight dress than with a fur stole? Faux fur was not an option in the Downton days, but today we can take advantage of modern advances in textiles to get a wrap that will make it difficult for even fur diehards to notice isn't real. (Ann Taylor, $49.99)

Elbow-length gloves

What period dress is complete without elbow-length gloves? Instead of stiff silk, today's ladies can opt for fabrics with a little more give. (GreatGlovesOnline, $34)

Until relatively recently, hats were a must-wear fashion item for women. Although the modern world no longer dictates that we keep our heads covered, a well-chosen cloche hat, made popular just before the first World War, can top off your winter wear this season. (Modcloth, $54.99)

Forget platforms and stilettos lace-up boots were the order of the day for our Downton ladies. And why sacrifice comfort when flat boots are just as easy to find as those with a heel? An added bonus: these mid-calf lace-up boots will give ankles and legs a slim appearance. (Urban Outfitters, $89)

Rachel Elbaum is a London-based writer who can't wait for Season 3 of "Downton Abbey."


Dress like the ladies of ɽownton Abbey'

For many "Downton Abbey" fans, the British miniseries is as enjoyable to watch for its period fashion as it is for its compelling story. With Season 2 set during World War I, we are treated to a smorgasbord of post-Edwardian styles, from the starched servants’ uniforms to the alluring dresses of the ladies of the house.

Whether at formal family dinners, or on strolls through their large rural property, the Crawley sisters' elegance is enough to make anyone long for the days of lace, Empire waistlines and elbow-length gloves. We put together a shopping guide to help you get the look of the Ladies Crawley (with a modern twist for 2012).

Elaborate and intricate jewelry was a hallmark of the times, with filigree settings and multifaceted stones ruling the day. But you don’t have to be of noble descent to afford this style nowadays. These beaded drop earrings will leave admirers wondering whether they were passed down from your great-grandma. (T Tahari, Dillards, $13.47)

English ladies of the bygone era needed to leave their grand houses every so often, and when they did, their outerwear was as stylish as their dresses underneath. And what could better show their figures than a waist-hugging jacket? The length and breast pocket make this version unmistakably modern, while the high collar, muted color and cut conjure up images of days gone by. (Uniqlo, $99.90)

You may not have many invitations to dinners in English country mansions, but this black lace dress is perfect for a lunch date or even a dinner do. Dress it up with a different belt for a fancier look. (Kohl's, $44.20)

Short dress

Ankle-length dresses ruled the day way back when, but if you love your legs too much to cover them up, shorter styles are easy to find in these modern times. This garden dress combines the sheer fabrics, lacy details and high waistline so popular at the time. (ModCloth, $97.99)

Is there a better way to keep shoulders warm and toasty in a lightweight dress than with a fur stole? Faux fur was not an option in the Downton days, but today we can take advantage of modern advances in textiles to get a wrap that will make it difficult for even fur diehards to notice isn't real. (Ann Taylor, $49.99)

Elbow-length gloves

What period dress is complete without elbow-length gloves? Instead of stiff silk, today's ladies can opt for fabrics with a little more give. (GreatGlovesOnline, $34)

Until relatively recently, hats were a must-wear fashion item for women. Although the modern world no longer dictates that we keep our heads covered, a well-chosen cloche hat, made popular just before the first World War, can top off your winter wear this season. (Modcloth, $54.99)

Forget platforms and stilettos lace-up boots were the order of the day for our Downton ladies. And why sacrifice comfort when flat boots are just as easy to find as those with a heel? An added bonus: these mid-calf lace-up boots will give ankles and legs a slim appearance. (Urban Outfitters, $89)

Rachel Elbaum is a London-based writer who can't wait for Season 3 of "Downton Abbey."


Dress like the ladies of ɽownton Abbey'

For many "Downton Abbey" fans, the British miniseries is as enjoyable to watch for its period fashion as it is for its compelling story. With Season 2 set during World War I, we are treated to a smorgasbord of post-Edwardian styles, from the starched servants’ uniforms to the alluring dresses of the ladies of the house.

Whether at formal family dinners, or on strolls through their large rural property, the Crawley sisters' elegance is enough to make anyone long for the days of lace, Empire waistlines and elbow-length gloves. We put together a shopping guide to help you get the look of the Ladies Crawley (with a modern twist for 2012).

Elaborate and intricate jewelry was a hallmark of the times, with filigree settings and multifaceted stones ruling the day. But you don’t have to be of noble descent to afford this style nowadays. These beaded drop earrings will leave admirers wondering whether they were passed down from your great-grandma. (T Tahari, Dillards, $13.47)

English ladies of the bygone era needed to leave their grand houses every so often, and when they did, their outerwear was as stylish as their dresses underneath. And what could better show their figures than a waist-hugging jacket? The length and breast pocket make this version unmistakably modern, while the high collar, muted color and cut conjure up images of days gone by. (Uniqlo, $99.90)

You may not have many invitations to dinners in English country mansions, but this black lace dress is perfect for a lunch date or even a dinner do. Dress it up with a different belt for a fancier look. (Kohl's, $44.20)

Short dress

Ankle-length dresses ruled the day way back when, but if you love your legs too much to cover them up, shorter styles are easy to find in these modern times. This garden dress combines the sheer fabrics, lacy details and high waistline so popular at the time. (ModCloth, $97.99)

Is there a better way to keep shoulders warm and toasty in a lightweight dress than with a fur stole? Faux fur was not an option in the Downton days, but today we can take advantage of modern advances in textiles to get a wrap that will make it difficult for even fur diehards to notice isn't real. (Ann Taylor, $49.99)

Elbow-length gloves

What period dress is complete without elbow-length gloves? Instead of stiff silk, today's ladies can opt for fabrics with a little more give. (GreatGlovesOnline, $34)

Until relatively recently, hats were a must-wear fashion item for women. Although the modern world no longer dictates that we keep our heads covered, a well-chosen cloche hat, made popular just before the first World War, can top off your winter wear this season. (Modcloth, $54.99)

Forget platforms and stilettos lace-up boots were the order of the day for our Downton ladies. And why sacrifice comfort when flat boots are just as easy to find as those with a heel? An added bonus: these mid-calf lace-up boots will give ankles and legs a slim appearance. (Urban Outfitters, $89)

Rachel Elbaum is a London-based writer who can't wait for Season 3 of "Downton Abbey."


Dress like the ladies of ɽownton Abbey'

For many "Downton Abbey" fans, the British miniseries is as enjoyable to watch for its period fashion as it is for its compelling story. With Season 2 set during World War I, we are treated to a smorgasbord of post-Edwardian styles, from the starched servants’ uniforms to the alluring dresses of the ladies of the house.

Whether at formal family dinners, or on strolls through their large rural property, the Crawley sisters' elegance is enough to make anyone long for the days of lace, Empire waistlines and elbow-length gloves. We put together a shopping guide to help you get the look of the Ladies Crawley (with a modern twist for 2012).

Elaborate and intricate jewelry was a hallmark of the times, with filigree settings and multifaceted stones ruling the day. But you don’t have to be of noble descent to afford this style nowadays. These beaded drop earrings will leave admirers wondering whether they were passed down from your great-grandma. (T Tahari, Dillards, $13.47)

English ladies of the bygone era needed to leave their grand houses every so often, and when they did, their outerwear was as stylish as their dresses underneath. And what could better show their figures than a waist-hugging jacket? The length and breast pocket make this version unmistakably modern, while the high collar, muted color and cut conjure up images of days gone by. (Uniqlo, $99.90)

You may not have many invitations to dinners in English country mansions, but this black lace dress is perfect for a lunch date or even a dinner do. Dress it up with a different belt for a fancier look. (Kohl's, $44.20)

Short dress

Ankle-length dresses ruled the day way back when, but if you love your legs too much to cover them up, shorter styles are easy to find in these modern times. This garden dress combines the sheer fabrics, lacy details and high waistline so popular at the time. (ModCloth, $97.99)

Is there a better way to keep shoulders warm and toasty in a lightweight dress than with a fur stole? Faux fur was not an option in the Downton days, but today we can take advantage of modern advances in textiles to get a wrap that will make it difficult for even fur diehards to notice isn't real. (Ann Taylor, $49.99)

Elbow-length gloves

What period dress is complete without elbow-length gloves? Instead of stiff silk, today's ladies can opt for fabrics with a little more give. (GreatGlovesOnline, $34)

Until relatively recently, hats were a must-wear fashion item for women. Although the modern world no longer dictates that we keep our heads covered, a well-chosen cloche hat, made popular just before the first World War, can top off your winter wear this season. (Modcloth, $54.99)

Forget platforms and stilettos lace-up boots were the order of the day for our Downton ladies. And why sacrifice comfort when flat boots are just as easy to find as those with a heel? An added bonus: these mid-calf lace-up boots will give ankles and legs a slim appearance. (Urban Outfitters, $89)

Rachel Elbaum is a London-based writer who can't wait for Season 3 of "Downton Abbey."


Dress like the ladies of ɽownton Abbey'

For many "Downton Abbey" fans, the British miniseries is as enjoyable to watch for its period fashion as it is for its compelling story. With Season 2 set during World War I, we are treated to a smorgasbord of post-Edwardian styles, from the starched servants’ uniforms to the alluring dresses of the ladies of the house.

Whether at formal family dinners, or on strolls through their large rural property, the Crawley sisters' elegance is enough to make anyone long for the days of lace, Empire waistlines and elbow-length gloves. We put together a shopping guide to help you get the look of the Ladies Crawley (with a modern twist for 2012).

Elaborate and intricate jewelry was a hallmark of the times, with filigree settings and multifaceted stones ruling the day. But you don’t have to be of noble descent to afford this style nowadays. These beaded drop earrings will leave admirers wondering whether they were passed down from your great-grandma. (T Tahari, Dillards, $13.47)

English ladies of the bygone era needed to leave their grand houses every so often, and when they did, their outerwear was as stylish as their dresses underneath. And what could better show their figures than a waist-hugging jacket? The length and breast pocket make this version unmistakably modern, while the high collar, muted color and cut conjure up images of days gone by. (Uniqlo, $99.90)

You may not have many invitations to dinners in English country mansions, but this black lace dress is perfect for a lunch date or even a dinner do. Dress it up with a different belt for a fancier look. (Kohl's, $44.20)

Short dress

Ankle-length dresses ruled the day way back when, but if you love your legs too much to cover them up, shorter styles are easy to find in these modern times. This garden dress combines the sheer fabrics, lacy details and high waistline so popular at the time. (ModCloth, $97.99)

Is there a better way to keep shoulders warm and toasty in a lightweight dress than with a fur stole? Faux fur was not an option in the Downton days, but today we can take advantage of modern advances in textiles to get a wrap that will make it difficult for even fur diehards to notice isn't real. (Ann Taylor, $49.99)

Elbow-length gloves

What period dress is complete without elbow-length gloves? Instead of stiff silk, today's ladies can opt for fabrics with a little more give. (GreatGlovesOnline, $34)

Until relatively recently, hats were a must-wear fashion item for women. Although the modern world no longer dictates that we keep our heads covered, a well-chosen cloche hat, made popular just before the first World War, can top off your winter wear this season. (Modcloth, $54.99)

Forget platforms and stilettos lace-up boots were the order of the day for our Downton ladies. And why sacrifice comfort when flat boots are just as easy to find as those with a heel? An added bonus: these mid-calf lace-up boots will give ankles and legs a slim appearance. (Urban Outfitters, $89)

Rachel Elbaum is a London-based writer who can't wait for Season 3 of "Downton Abbey."


Dress like the ladies of ɽownton Abbey'

For many "Downton Abbey" fans, the British miniseries is as enjoyable to watch for its period fashion as it is for its compelling story. With Season 2 set during World War I, we are treated to a smorgasbord of post-Edwardian styles, from the starched servants’ uniforms to the alluring dresses of the ladies of the house.

Whether at formal family dinners, or on strolls through their large rural property, the Crawley sisters' elegance is enough to make anyone long for the days of lace, Empire waistlines and elbow-length gloves. We put together a shopping guide to help you get the look of the Ladies Crawley (with a modern twist for 2012).

Elaborate and intricate jewelry was a hallmark of the times, with filigree settings and multifaceted stones ruling the day. But you don’t have to be of noble descent to afford this style nowadays. These beaded drop earrings will leave admirers wondering whether they were passed down from your great-grandma. (T Tahari, Dillards, $13.47)

English ladies of the bygone era needed to leave their grand houses every so often, and when they did, their outerwear was as stylish as their dresses underneath. And what could better show their figures than a waist-hugging jacket? The length and breast pocket make this version unmistakably modern, while the high collar, muted color and cut conjure up images of days gone by. (Uniqlo, $99.90)

You may not have many invitations to dinners in English country mansions, but this black lace dress is perfect for a lunch date or even a dinner do. Dress it up with a different belt for a fancier look. (Kohl's, $44.20)

Short dress

Ankle-length dresses ruled the day way back when, but if you love your legs too much to cover them up, shorter styles are easy to find in these modern times. This garden dress combines the sheer fabrics, lacy details and high waistline so popular at the time. (ModCloth, $97.99)

Is there a better way to keep shoulders warm and toasty in a lightweight dress than with a fur stole? Faux fur was not an option in the Downton days, but today we can take advantage of modern advances in textiles to get a wrap that will make it difficult for even fur diehards to notice isn't real. (Ann Taylor, $49.99)

Elbow-length gloves

What period dress is complete without elbow-length gloves? Instead of stiff silk, today's ladies can opt for fabrics with a little more give. (GreatGlovesOnline, $34)

Until relatively recently, hats were a must-wear fashion item for women. Although the modern world no longer dictates that we keep our heads covered, a well-chosen cloche hat, made popular just before the first World War, can top off your winter wear this season. (Modcloth, $54.99)

Forget platforms and stilettos lace-up boots were the order of the day for our Downton ladies. And why sacrifice comfort when flat boots are just as easy to find as those with a heel? An added bonus: these mid-calf lace-up boots will give ankles and legs a slim appearance. (Urban Outfitters, $89)

Rachel Elbaum is a London-based writer who can't wait for Season 3 of "Downton Abbey."