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Modern Edwardian Fashion: Get the Look on a Budget

Hello Vintage Lovers!

Do you love images of the beautiful Gibson girl from the turn of the 20th century?  Today, I’m going to give you tips on how to dress with Edwardian flair, but in a more modern way. Edwardian fashion is making a real comeback. As an example, Harper’s Bazaar in the March, 2020 issue stated the following, “the new Edwardian, a beautiful old-meets-new trend in which fashion’s latest gilded age comes replete with high collars, puffed sleeves, delicate lawn dresses and an attitude that’s very much of the moment.”

Okay, let’s get right into some simple tips for helping you to turn into a modern Edwardian lady:

Step 1

Start looking at images from this period. The Edwardian period was technically 1901 to 1910 when King Edward VII reigned. You’ll see that there’s a lot of high necks in blouses, but sometimes the collar was even higher and often boned (talk about restrictive!). The foundation of this Edwardian silhouette was an S-curve or S-bend corset, named as such because of the S-shaped curves a woman had when wearing it. 

Nowadays, instead of corsets, if we wear anything at all under our clothing, it’s usually something a little more comfortable, like Spanx or similar modern shapewear.  It certainly would be difficult to live a modern life wearing such a corset!  Images like these can be found on the internet, in books on historic fashion, and in magazines of the time period.  Maybe you have some old photographs of your family from that time and that’ll really show you what women were wearing during that particular period.

A black and white photo of a woman in a corset.
A black and white illustration of the Edwardian corset

Step 2

Decide which styles you like best. Do you like the Lacy blouses, the flowing skirts, the Gibson girl pompadour hair? Take note of what it is that really resonates with you, as those are the things with which to start.  I’d love to know which looks are your favorites from this period, so let me know in the comments below.

A woman in a hat and blouse.
Two women in pastel-colored Edwardian dresses standing in front of a floral background

Step 3

Check your closet for items you may be able to use that might have an Edwardian flair. If you can’t find anything in your closet, you can always go to thrift stores, even online, and find some wonderful bargains of things like blouses or maybe a hat that speaks to you.   

I bought a pleated skirt thrifting once that would really fit in this period and I think I paid $6 for it, so you’ll be surprised what you can find to mix with the clothes from your closet to make it your own. You’ll still have that Edwardian feeling, but with a really modern look.

Step 4

Sometimes it’s hard to get into a new style like this if you’ve never tried it before.  A good way to start is with accessories. You might find a pair of earrings or a necklace that look Edwardian-inspired, or you might find a bag that may look a little bit like a turn of the century piece.   You really have to go out there and look. But that’s why I say to look at images first, as you’ll get a whole host of ideas on what kinds of things you can add to your wardrobe without taking too much of a risk, if you’re not ready for that.

Edwardian necklace

Step 5

Once you’ve decided on which piece or pieces you’d like to try, you can add it to any of your modern clothing. For example, a frilly blouse would make a pair of jeans from your own closet look much more unique and interesting. A plain tee shirt can give a long skirt that you found thrifting or online a modern edge. The main point is to have fun with it and really enjoy finding a style that is uniquely your own!

If you’d like more style tips and additional information on Spirits of Fashion, feel free to sign up for my monthly newsletter on my website here.

So, go out there and find your inner Edwardian lady!!

My best to you always,


Check out my YouTube video on this topic: