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When it comes to eye-catching outfits, Season 2 of “Bridgerton” has more than one “diamond of the season.” While the popular period drama’s sophomore season might not have as much bodice ripping as Season 1, there’s no shortage of candy-colored dresses with ornate bodices—in addition to scene-stealing jewels, shoes and more. After all, when it’s not setting viewership records on Netflix, “Bridgerton” Season 2 is setting trends with its fashion-filled episodes.
With the show already renewed for Season 3, the aesthetic inspired by the show’s early 19th century regency era styles—regencycore—is experiencing its own renewal as of late. So, if you’re wondering how to fuse “Bridgerton”-esque flair with modern style, we went straight to the source—and, no, we don’t mean Lady Whistledown. Here’s the scoop from “Bridgerton” Season 2 costume designer Sophie Canale on the show’s styles and their regencycore counterparts.
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What is regencycore?
Following “Bridgerton’s” breakout season last year, there was a sharp uptick in demand for corsets, empire-waist dresses and other styles influenced by the regency period. The history-inspired trend has stood the test of time, a longevity Canale attributes to its “elegance.” While there are “so many different kinds of ‘core,’” including TikTok-famous aesthetics like cottagecore, Canale says “a lot of the other kinds of ‘core’ looks are daywear, and I think with Regency core, it really is pushing the boundaries.”
Just as regencycore mixes modern and regency elements, the styles on “Bridgerton” aren’t entirely historically accurate. There were about 750 outfits created for the show’s principal characters, and actors had four fittings for each dress or waistcoat they wore. “It’s really nice to be able to play around with period silhouettes, but also add contemporary elements as well,” Canale says of the series’ “not period correct” style. Rather than source textiles from the regency period, Canale uses contemporary fabrics on the show—making it even easier to recreate the looks at home.
If you’re hoping to add some regencycore to your wardrobe this spring, consider these style staples.
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Try a silk dress or a style with an empire waist
Alert the ‘ton: Empire-waist dresses are on their way to being “in” again. “I was looking at different contemporary sleeve shapes to mix up the empire line dress [this season] that hopefully can be used in more of a modern, contemporary way as well,” says Canale. Because bling is a big part of the show’s splashy style, she adds, you could even accent a plain dress by sewing simple beadwork along on the empire line, i.e., just below the bust.
For a comfy spring style, try the Old Navy All-Day Mini Dress, which comes in four colors in sizes XS to 4X. On the other hand, if you’re hoping to copy the show’s corset looks without getting all laced up, snag Abercrombie & Fitch’s Corset Seamed Midi Dress, available in five colors in sizes XXS to XL or the UO Cora Linen Open Back Dress, which comes in three colors in sizes XS to XL. For another maxi dress option with the show’s signature empire waist, check out the Dreamweaver Maxi Dress at Free People, available in ivory and green in sizes XS to XL.
Get sparkly with genre-adjacent jewelry, particularly pearls
While you might have noticed the families on “Bridgerton” each sport specific clothing color palettes—the Featheringtons, for instance, are rarely seen without highlighter-hued dresses—their jewelry also has special significance. “I really wanted to refine the elements of being able to tell the families apart,” says Canale, who chose a different metal for each family that “kind of represents who they are as people.” There’s a “brash” gold for the Featheringtons, silver for the Bridgertons and rose gold for the Sharmas. Canale also took the characters’ generations into account, as the mothers “tend to have Georgian-inspired jewelry” at the balls, while she “[looked] at more contemporary references” for the younger women.
Although we can’t score styles from “Bridgerton’s” in-house jewelers, who Canale says made the majority of the bling this season, there are still plenty of ways to snag ball-worthy baubles. Because pearl pieces abound in the world of regencycore, consider styles like the Bitty Freshwater Pearl Choker at Pura Vida or the Real Freshwater Pearl Drop Earrings at Banana Republic. Add some more sparkle with the French Dispatch Floating Earrings from Anthropologie that feature brass and cubic zirconia, or the Persephone Pearl Necklace from delicate jewelry brand Catbird, which also includes delicate beaded blooms
Accessorize with bags and nobility-inspired accessories
Turn a sunny day stroll into a promenade with a “Bridgerton”-worthy reticule—a dainty drawstring handbag, that is. Match your dress to an eye-catching design like the Topshop Drawstring Bucket Bag, which features silver netting.
And while you might not have a tiara hiding in the back of your closet, you can further accessorize like the belle of the ball with crown-esque headbands like the Imitation Pearl Headband at Nordstrom.
Top off the look with stockings and kitten heels
While viewers—and Anthony—get a glimpse of Kate’s stockings during the hunting scene, the undergarments’ elegant embroidery isn’t visible. “A lot of our stockings were embroidered as well, but you didn’t get to see that because they never made it into a shot,” says Canale. Although you might not want to wear yours for a muddy tromp through the woods a la Kate Sharma, stockings are an “important as a base layer” for regencycore looks, says Canale, adding that the actors also sported short bloomer undergarments in keeping with the era.
Try a style like Sheertex’s Classic Super-Sheer Tights in Silver-Sparkle, which feature some diamond-like glitter the queen would likely approve of. Sheertex aced our durability tests when we tested the brand’s indestructible claims, and the tights are available in sizes X-small to 3X-large.
Dainty kitten heels—a “court shoe,” as Canale calls them—are also a key part of the aesthetic. For a pair that pairs well with almost any outfit, consider the Nine West Women’s Spark Dress Pumps in tan, which are available in women’s shoe sizes 5 to 12.
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