Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Costumes of Pride and Prejudice: Guest Post by Naomi

   Today it is my very great honor to present my dear friend Naomi, whom I have asked to guest post this week. :-)


First of all, a big thank you to Miss Emma Jane for hosting this marvellous event.

Since I am a very ardent fan of the 1995 BBC miniseries of Pride and Prejudice, I have decided to write about all the beautiful costumes, bonnets and so on in that movie.
It was hard to decide- there are so many lovely movies with brilliant, breath-taking costumes. My Fair Lady for example, certainly wins the prize when it comes to the hats.  Downton Abbey has many marvellous costumes- I am green with envy whenever I look at Mary Crawley- her costumes are to die for. The list of “pretty costumes” goes on… and on… and on!
At last I decided- Pride and Prejudice. The costumes there are beautiful. Simple, natural, pretty—Oh! I wish they would all come back into the fashion!

It is a pity some of them (especially Lydia’s) are a bit too low-waisted, but apart from that- I have not a negative comment. Well, almost hardly any.
Elizabeth’s wardrobe is indubitably the best of the lot. I have a book about the making of Pride and Prejudice which tells us that they tried to give Elizabeth all the natural colours since she liked being out and stuff. They thought the curry colour, straw bonnets and crunchy bonnets (you’ll see what I mean) suited her well, and I completely agree!

See what I mean with a crunchy bonnet? Doesn’t she look absolutely scrumptious? Browns, reds- they suit her so well. And she has delicious brown curly hair to make the crunchy, natural effect even more wholesome.
By the way (this is entirely beside the point, I know) but when you look at the two pictures (above) you can notice her bonnet strings are done in a different way. In the movie she hasn’t taken it off during these two takes, so that’s one of the very few practical mistakes they’ve made.
Anyway- Elizabeth doesn’t only wear browns and reds, she has some divinely beautiful light blues and whites. Her pelisses are so beautiful- Oh I’d die for her pelisses!!!
Aren’t they all equally lovely, unique and – Oh, I cannot find the right word- thrilling?
My favourite is probably the second picture- her blue pelisse (Oh- I WANT IT!) What’s your favourite? For more information and detailed study about Elizabeth’s and other P&P ladies’ wardrobe, check out Miss Elizabeth’s wonderful blog, Elegence of Fashion.

Elizabeth never ever wears pink. (Just to say :P)
I have only talked about Elizabeth’s costumes, but all her sisters have fairly similar dresses. Lydia’s are less modest (SOB), Mary’s are more dull and high-coloured and ugly, Jane’s all have light fabrics- pinks, blues and whites, Kitty has nothing in particular (but I love them anyway.)
But what about their “best” dresses? Their prettiest ball gowns, party dresses? Let us barge into the world of Regency finery- lace, frills and jewellery.
I love Lizzy’s ball gown- too pretty for words. I love Kitty’s ball gowns- beeeautiful! (Picture of it coming later:) Lydia’s are nice- but rather not modest (you know) so they aren’t may favourite. Mary’s ball gown is boring. Really. It’s a ball, right?
I am not very fond of Jane’s ball gowns- although I still like them. You know. They aren’t really beautiful, but still tolerable I suppose (but not handsome enough to tempt me).

A gold dress. Mmm- what does one say of that? Not bad actually. How much would anyone give to dance with Mr Bingley (FIVE THOUSAND A YEAR!!!) in a dress? Oh and look at those charming little puffs. They were quite in the fashion then.
(By the way, aren’t you wondering what on earth Maria and Mary are talking about on the background? About piano pieces? Or what?) (Naomi, don’t be so unutterably curious!! They are having a private conversation!)
(Love this picture! Just look at it!!! (Yes, yes, I’m looking!!!))
We also often see necklaces with crosses (very popular during the Regency time) and long white ball gloves (essential!). Ladies wore slippers when they danced (Emma Jane, you know what I mean- you are a dancer:) and men- Oh never mind about the men. Their apparel is handsome, but nothing much to brag and talk about. 
Although the officers- they do look very good in their red coats.

And by the way, I l.o.v.e. Kitty Bennet’s dress in this picture. Isn’t that bead work or something? Exquisite!

(Look at Lydia’s face. Snort.)
Oh yes and Lydia and Kitty also often wear red capes. The main reason is probably so that they match the officers.

Kinda cute.
Sorry for all these pictures. No, I’m not sorry- I like them. (*Lydia giggle*)
Now, I must go on to the elaborate, fancy, over-dressed, snobbish, selfish, stuck-in-the-mud, feathery, exotic-coloured, stunning-in-a-way Bingley sisters.

Oranges, bright pinks, lime greens, deep exotic colours, strikingly eye-catching colours, long feathers in their elaborate hairstyles, turbans, tons of jewellery, sparkling gowns draped with decoration… I dare say the lace on Mrs Hurst’s gown- (No lace Mrs Bennet, no lace!!)
Aren’t they fashion pieces! They can’t overdo it more. Well that’s probably the only way they get attention, no-one likes them.
Don’t they look like peacocks?
Now if you have seen the Kate Beckinsale Emma version, you might have noticed that there are several P&P costumes in that one.
Kitty’s dress is worn by Harriet:

Jane’s gold dress is worn by Emma’s aunt. Forgot her name.
Another Jane Bennet dress worn by the aunt:

Jane Bennet’s dress worn by Jane Fairfax
Maria Lucas’ dress worn by Harriet Smith:
Oh yes, isn’t Maria Luca’s yellow gown preeeeety? Well all the P&P dresses are.
What about the older generation?
Lace caps and frilly chemisettes- well, perhaps not
pretty as the youthful, cheerful dresses, but nonetheless still very attractive!
Mrs Bennet always has chemisettes and never a low collared dress, except during the balls. She has millions of curls (I think you can easily see that Alison Steadman is wearing a wig, but never mind- she’s so hilarious) and lace- she loves lace.

Yes, I created these pictures. ;)
What about the rich, queenly Lady Catherine de Bourgh? Actually her clothes are less fine and fussy than I expect the owner of Rosings Park to wear. Not very designative and a bit too simple for a Lady de Bourgh. She does however wear deep, rich colours- stately and royal. And stiff, starched, shiny silk (hey- four words starting with s! Wow! )

Her walk-with-Lizzy-in-the-garden-costume is more “rich-looking”, as I call it. There is fur, a big bonnet with feathers and little stuffed bird (poor bird) and a huge muff- yes, it suits her well. Can you imagine L.C with light colours like the Bennet sisters wear?
Oh and isn’t her hairstyle disgusting?
Well, this post will now come to an abrupt ending!!
I hope you agree with me and love the Pride and Prejudice costumes- aren’t they just perfect!!! (*gleeful sigh*) Sorry for not saying anything about the men’s clothing- they are just coats and breeches and so on. Ladies certainly have far more interesting clothes- huh! I’m so glad I’m a lady. (But still I cannot deny that I do think that the men look very handsome indeed in their Regency garb. Very lovely. I’m in love.)
Well, thank you Emma for letting me write this and for organising this cool fashion event- it is/was really excessively diverting!



  1. Ah, what a lovely collection of costume pictures! I love Lizzy Bennets dresses in P&P95. I really like her green pelisse, myself. And my favorite bonnet of hers is the one she's wearing in the photo you posted of the blue pelisse.

    I love noticing when period costumes are used in multiple movies! I am terrible at picking it out myself, but once someone points it out, I love to take notice.
    One thing about Emma though, she doesn't have an aunt in the book. It's been ages since I saw the Kate Beckinsale Emma but if I remember correctly, that is Mrs. Weston (formerly Miss Taylor), who was Emma's governess until she married Mr. Weston.

    I don't notice the men's clothes too much, either, but Mr. Darcy has a very fine green coat that he wears with a green and gold striped waistcoat. They are what he puts on after he runs into Elizabeth dripping wet from his swim, and I think they are very nice!

    I enjoyed this post immensely!

  2. My favorite Lizzy essemble is the blue jacket one as well(and I want the hat and jacket). And I like Georgiana's matching one also. I like that sheer jacketish piece too. I wished Lizzy didn't wear quite so much cream and white and washed out colors. I liked the color Charlotte's ball gown. I also liked Mrs. Hurst's scalloped pearl necklace and Mrs. Bennet's pearl necklace. I have seen Pride and Prejudice and that version of Emma (my favorite one) several times, but I don't know if I ever notices the outfits; they look different on different people, and I am oblivious sometimes.

  3. Thank you my dear for letting me write this guest post!

  4. I loved this Guest post, beautiful pictures and costumes. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Absolutely fantastic, lovely, gorgeous, stunning...you can never have too much '95 P&P! ;-) Lovely job, Naomi! :-)

  6. Lovely post!
    I just had to mention that Lizzy does wear pink! I think she wears it when Mr. Collins visit. It's one of my favorites. Here's a picture:
    I love Lizzy's blue pelisse too! And her brown bonnet in the first picture is gorgeous. I love that color. Maria's yellow dress is so dainty and pretty. I love it. :)
    It's definitely sad that some of the dresses are immodest. Of course, for Lydia to wear an immodest dress it isn't very surprising ;) but I think it sad that a couple of Jane and Lizzy's dresses are just a bit more low cut than they should be!
    Anyways, great post! :)

  7. Yes Nathalie- I know that dress looks a bit pinkish. But for me that's red :)
    Yes, it's a pity some of the dresses are low cut.
    Thank you everyone for reading my guest post!

  8. Naomi~
    Haha, that's fine! :) Just thought I'd mention it. :) Thanks!


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