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“Brooches Wield Power” and Other Lessons Learned from Downton Abbey

It may be a cliche, but almost everything sounds better with an English accent, especially when draped in beaded gowns and finished with finger waves. Here, our top style takeaways and life lessons learned from Downton Abbey.

Luminous skin is everything.

No doubt our skin would look pretty awesome too if we had the relaxing schedules of the Crawley women. But since we're working girls (and are grateful for it!), we rely on hero products like dr. brandt® flaws no more® BB cream with signature FLEXITONE®, Mally Beauty Cancellation Concealer System, and Benefit High Beam to make our skin look as refreshed and radiant as if we'd slept eight hours and had servants tending to our every need.

There's honor in being a gentleman.

Bates. Carson. Matthew Crawley (sigh). Need further proof? Head on over to the Birchbox Man Guide, where February is dedicated to the Gentleman's Code.

Dinner demands a new outfit.

OK, so we're not donning white tie and floor-length gowns, but there's something very civilized about pausing before the evening meal to change clothes. Although we're not about to lug various outfits to the office during the week, we do try to revamp our wardrobe on weekend evenings and during vacations. And when a full outfit switch isn't possible, we simply change up our jewelry (these gold hoops from Gorjana are our current go-to) and throw on a colorful, chic headband, like this one from L. Erickson.

Life is about second chances.

Left at the altar? Find a better option (isn't a smart newspaper editor more exciting than a boring old nobleman?)! Widowed and depressed? Learn to manage the family estate! Framed for your wife's murder? Yeah, that one was a doozy.

Brooches wield power.

We love a statement necklace, but bring back the brooch! Somehow Lady Grantham's zingers are even zingier when paired with a power brooch at the collarbone.

Tradition is important, but rules are meant to be broken.

Some of the best moments of the entire series revolve around transgression: Lady Mary and the Turk (if that’s not a great name for a band, we don’t know what is), Lady Sybil getting caught up in an election riot, Lady Rose getting down with a jazz frontman, Matthew daring to question the family estate’s management practices, Mrs. Crawley upending the storied rose competition of the local flower show. Because as enjoyable as it is to watch a depiction of times gone by (the costumes! the customs!), there’s a lot to be said for modernity.

Photo: PBS

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