Dressing Downton

Friday, March 25, 2016

A couple weeks ago I found out about a special exhibit at a local Chicago museum - Dressing Downton. I LOVE Downton Abbey so I was really excited to go check it out. I went this week and it was as great as I imagined.

First, The Driehaus Museum is the perfect backdrop for a Downton Abbey exhibit. The museum itself is an old palatial home from the Gilded Age of America. It wasn't that the space looked like Downton but since I'd never been to the museum, I was just expecting white walls with a bunch of mannequins lined up so this was a pleasant surprise.

The exhibit itself was really informative. There was an audio guide that would discuss the pieces of clothing in each room and how the time period defined the styles. I found it really interesting. The guide book also had a lot of good information about the clothing. The show used a lot of original pieces for filming but would try to incorporate vintage fabrics and gowns as they could. I took a lot of pictures so take a peek!

The dress on the right is one of Sybil's maternity gowns. The costume designers made the dress after finding the trim.

Dinner outfits that Matthew & Lady Mary wore. This dress was gorgeous. Beautiful velvet with a beaded overlay. So pretty.

Another gown of Lady Mary's. The bead work was amazing. I feel like being able to wear these dresses had to be one of the best parts of working on this show! 

This dress was Cora's and the audio guide explained that the billowy pieces on the skirt were rectangle shaped and sewn to lay the way you see in the picture.

These were Barrows & Mrs. Hughes costumes. I love Mrs. Hughes so I liked seeing her dress.

Branson's chauffeur uniform. Seeing it made me feel all swoony thinking about when he and Sybil first fell in love. I love Branson.

A dress of Granny Violet's. Again, the beading was so impressive to me. Gorgeous!

A nice lady took a picture of me before I left. The clothing behind me is a dress that Rose wore and the tux of Jack Ross, the jazz singer.

If you're a Downton Abbey fan, I highly recommend checking out this exhibit. I don't normally love museums but I listened to everything on the audio guide and read all the signs! Haha, when I told Loren that he couldn't believe it! This exhibit has been extended and now runs until May 29. I'd recommend getting a ticket in advance because it does sell out. I bought mine a week ahead of time. Here's a link to the ticket website: Dressing Downton tickets.

Thanks for reading (and looking at all these pictures)!

Love, K


  1. I approve of this Museum post! Glad you liked it.

  2. So jealous of this! I recognized all the dresses! What are we going to do now that Downton is done!! :(
    <3 Monica


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