If you’re anything like us, you may or may not be binge-watching season two of “Bridgerton.” If you are, it may have led to a movie marathon starring our favorite heroines from the Regency era. With Jane Austen’s masterpieces “Pride and Prejudice,” and “Emma,” we can’t get enough of the regencycore trend these days. Whether you’re ready for your spring debut or walks in the countryside, this is the aesthetic you’ve been waiting for. Join us for a virtual trip to The Modiste to see how you can bring Bridgerton inspired style into your repertoire. Grab a cuppa, and let’s start our study session to discover if this fashion genre is up your alley.
What is Regencycore?
The regencycore aesthetic gives a contemporary sartorial spin to the fashions of the Regency era. In early 19th century London, King George III was deemed unfit to rule. His son assumed the role of Prince Regent in his place, ushering in the Regency era. Discouraged from making important governing decisions, the young prince spent most of his time enjoying the splendors of the court. The emerging Romanticism movement ushered in a renewed simplicity in style, love of nature and freedom of expression.
Moving away from the ornate gowns of the previous century, the fashion in Regency-era London embraced a classical style. Think long, loose, draped fabric for dresses from ancient Greek and Roman antiquity. The simple empire waist dress reigned supreme and often came adorned with signature necklines and puff sleeves. With silver screen adaptations of Jane Austen’s classics and Netflix’s “Bridgerton,” this silhouette is having a major moment. The hashtag #regencycore on TikTok has over 20 million views, creating an indelible impression on every fashionista’s wardrobe wishlist.
The beauty of regencycore lies in its simplicity and features five essential elements. The empire dress, corsets, intricate necklines, puff sleeves and a plethora of accessories. With a soft pastel palette, flowy fabrics and pretty patterns, allow us to introduce you to cottagecore’s dressier counterpart. “Bridgerton” inspired dresses and details are equally fit for a ball as well as more casual outings. Curious what to wear to a picnic in the park? You can’t go wrong with a regencycore inspired nap dress. Let’s break down the must-haves that would most certainly impress dressmaker Madame Genevieve Delacroix.
1. Regencycore Essentials: Empire Waist Dresses
This dress style has a fitted bodice that cinches at the bust line rather than the natural waist. Draping out from under the bust, the billowy fabric elongates the frame while drawing the eye up to the neckline.
2. Regencycore Foundation: The Corset
Historically used as a support garment, contemporary interpretations mimic the hourglass shape while providing more comfort. This statement-making fitted top is now meant to be shown off over your clothes.
3. Necklines: All or Nothing
From high and ruffled to square and sweetheart, necklines define regencycore dresses and tops. A low neckline begs for a vintage necklace that catches the light just right.
4. Regencycore Necessity: Puff Sleeves
Long, short or capped, the sleeves in regencycore get a hefty dose of drama. There’s no such thing as too much volume. The bigger, the better.
5. Accessories: Headpieces, Pearls and Gloves
Try an embellished headband for a modern-day crown. Pile on the pearls and, of course, no “Bridgerton” outfit is complete without a pair of gloves. Choose between delicate, longingly lace gloves for spring and leather gloves for fall.
Delight In the Regencycore Details
Now that we’ve established the signature pieces that comprise regencycore, it’s time to consider the defining characteristics. Specifically the distinct colors, fabrications, patterns and embellishments that give this trend a sophisticated yet ethereal vibe. The relatively simple silhouettes of the empire dress and corset calls for whimsical flourishes. From embroidered luxe textiles to bold blooms and pastel shades—it’s all in the details.
1. Colors: Light Pastels to Regal Jewel Tones
Fit for a queen, Regencycore colors range from light pastels and neutrals to rich and regal jewel tones. Back in the Regency era, dying fabric was expensive, so white and ivory were also frequently worn. Choosing a color story may come down to whether you’re on Team Bridgerton or Team Featherington. Looking for a Daphne Bridgerton dress? Stick to whites, pale blues, pinks and lavender. Enjoying Penelope’s cheery frocks? The Featheringtons stand out from the crowd in bright yellows, oranges and green. For a nostalgic jewel-tone look, channel Keira Knightley’s most iconic Elizabeth Bennet outfit from “Pride and Prejudice.” An emerald dress with a sweetheart neckline and empire waist will set hearts a flutter.
2. Regencycore Fabrications: Cotton, Linen and Silk Reign Supreme
Regencycore fabrics are a balanced mix of casual and refined. Relaxed occasions call for cotton, muslin and linen. Natural fabrications give an otherwise delicate look and feel to dresses, blouses, pants and skirts. For more formal occasions, reach for luxurious fabrics like silk, satin, taffeta, velvet and lace. The drape of these fine textiles adds grace and elegance to “Bridgerton” style dresses and outfits.
3. Patterns: Antique Regencycore Prints Take Center Stage
Get ready for a little pattern play when it comes to regencycore style. While solid shades feature prominently, floral prints take center stage. From joyful blooms to hand-painted florals and artful vintage ditsy prints—there’s something for every occasion. Branch out and add gingham checks to the mix. In fact, if you’re brave enough to try mixing patterns, floral and gingham are a match made in heaven. Just remember to keep your colors complementary and pair more prominent patterns with smaller prints.
4. Embellishments: The Regencycore Finishing Touch
The finishing touch for any regencycore garment is the embellishments. Flamboyant flourishes and dainty details make the ‘fit. Above all, look for intricate embroidery, applique and lace. “Pride and Prejudice” Regency-era fashion embodies a refined and approachable style with colorful sashes and scarves. For “Bridgerton” outfits, dazzling sequins and beaded floral appliques add shimmer, shine and sophistication. To top it off? Choose from pearl hair clips or an embellished headband. Round out your look with a feather-trimmed clutch. Talk about putting a feather in your cap.
Swoon-worthy Styles for a Contemporary Regencycore Aesthetic
Wondering how to bring “Bridgerton” fashion into your everyday rotation? It’s more simple than you think. The regencycore aesthetic borrows from many contemporary styles. Simply mix and match dreamy romantic styles with a little boho-chic flair to achieve a flowy silhouette. Add a hint of the cottagecore and desert daze trends to incorporate exquisite embroidered details and blouses or balloon sleeves. And don’t forget about the Peter Pan collars from dark academia or a pair of preppy style high-waisted wide-leg pants. All in all, regencycore incorporates elements from all of your favorite fashion movements. Are you curious about how to wear “Pride and Prejudice” outfits and “Bridgerton” clothes in real life? We’ve got you covered.
Casual Regencycore Outfits
Lucky for us, we don’t have to wait for a coming-out season, like the Bridgertons and Featheringtons. Our season is year-round. And we would be remiss, dear readers, if we didn’t start with incorporating regencycore into our day-to-day wardrobe. Mimic high waistlines and dramatic necklines by stocking up on pieces that give a chic nod to the era.
Are weekend trips to the farmer’s market on your calendar? Then opt for a maxi dress with a classic “Bridgerton” aesthetic. A floral feminine-tiered number in a lightweight cotton fabrication will certainly do the trick. For finishing touches, add strappy flat sandals, a straw tote and a few delicate layering necklaces. Now that’s an outfit even Lady Whistledown would approve of.
Denim can also easily fit into this dreamy style. Reach for high-waisted jeans in a light wash and a wide-leg silhouette. Then, pair them with a fitted top featuring a square neckline and puff sleeves for a night out with friends. These days, you don’t need your finest to promenade, like the ladies of “Bridgerton.” Take inspiration from iconic Vivienne Westwood corsets to achieve this look. All you need is a fitted top with just the right details. Voilà! Go ahead, check off your daily to-do list in modern regencycore attire.
Soiree-Ready Regencycore Looks
Are gold-foiled envelopes arriving in the mail to signal a wedding for your nearest and dearest? Maybe your inbox has a sleek Paperless Post invitation to a summer garden party. Either way, it’s time to get inspired with “Bridgerton” dresses and your regencycore finest. While we may not be part of the ton coming out to society, we do want to look our best.
Wedding attire for women depends on the time and location of the ceremony and party. Regencycore dresses are perfect for daytime backyard bashes and formal ballroom events alike. If your invitation requests that you dress to the nines, don a floor-length gown in a silky fabrication with a flowy drape. Stand out in the crowd in soft jewel-tone hues like amethyst purple and citrine yellow. Dive into the pearl trend with a choker necklace to give a regal feel to your ensemble. A chic envelope clutch and slingback heels are all you need to round out your look in style.
If less formal events are popping up, consider adding regencycore flair to your look. For garden party attire, wear a petal pink, grass green or sky blue jumpsuit with a pair of espadrille wedges. After all, the wedge heel is ideal for lawns and uneven terrain. Look for ruffle details on the jumpsuit straps and a square or v-neckline for a striking silhouette. Heading to a graduation party and wondering what to wear as a guest? Opt for a skirt set in a brushstroke floral print to toast the hard work and accomplishments of the grad. This dynamic duo is party-ready in a flash with stilettos and statement earrings.
Work the Regencycore Trend into your Business Wardrobe
As some of us transition back into the office, our wardrobes are getting a much-needed makeover. With more relaxed dress codes and workleisure becoming a mainstay, why not add a bit of regencycore to the mix? Depending on the type of business attire you wear, it is indeed possible to incorporate whimsy and elegance to your work wardrobe.
For warm-weather office dressing, start with a pair of linen pants in a straight-fit to ensure a billowy hem. From there, opt for a tie-neck blouse or classic button-down shirt. If you go with an Oxford shirt, pop the collar and accessorize with a statement necklace for a bit of regencycore flair.
When the mercury dips, reach for rich and wooly textiles to keep you warm on your commute. A turtleneck sweater with ruffle shoulder trim in a timeless neutral hue sets the tone. Next, pair it with a pleated midi skirt. This polished and professional outfit is equally at home in the boardroom or the corner bistro. Lastly, don’t forget a pair of leather gloves to complement your overcoat. Show off your individuality with a regencycore twist that would make both Elizabeth Bennet and Queen Charlotte proud.
Are you ready to add regencycore styles to your repertoire? If so, take your style quiz and ask your stylist to send everything from puff sleeves and pearl details to empire waist maxis. While you wait for your five-item Fix, head over to Stitch Fix Freestyle™ to instantly buy pieces curated for your style and size. Remember, shipping and returns are always free.