Shall We? Style and Image Lessons from Bridgerton

My guilty pleasure is the Netflix series, Bridgerton. I have not read the books but love watching the show for so many reasons: the fashion styles of the time are fantastic, the decor itself and the colors are amazing, and the storyline is enticing– strong characters, the love of family and a portrayal of life in Mayfair, England, in the 1800s.

But beyond this, being your Indianapolis Wardrobe Stylist and Image Consultant, I see many important lessons and principles we can glean from Bridgerton.

Shall we?

  • Colors and style matter. Remember in Season 3 when Penelope (Pen) decides to change her wardrobe. She is leaving behind the bright, floral, patterned fabrics of her girlhood and wearing instead pastels, sheers and more sophisticated fabrics and styles. This is intentional: Pen tells her friend and conspirator for her newspaper Whistledown, Madame Delacroix, the Modiste (dressmaker) “it’s time.” Pen needs to overhaul her girlish image and trade it for a mature, sophisticated version of herself. This shop is where all the girls go to find the most fetching gowns to catapult them through the social season.
  • Another interesting part of Madame Delacroix has a French accent, but it’s fake. But high society ladies still flock to the expert designer to live in the fantasy of sophistication that she provides. (Image is always key, isn’t it?)
  • Pen givers Madame Delacroix even more feedback: “I don’t want to see any more citrus, and I’d like sone fashions from Paris.”
  • In addition, Pen changes her hair and makes it more alluring and pretty.
  • It did not go unnoticed by me, a color specialist, that Pen is always dressed in some type of warm shade of springtime colors, whether they are extremely bright or not, they are always a more hue: bright citrus to more pale, fuschia to pale pink as well as teal, greens that really brought our Pen’s bright blue eyes., etc. I also noticed her wedding dress was a creamy pale blush color, perfect for a redhead.
  • Pen’s mother is not sure she likes the “morbid” prints Pen wears, and tells her: “This is the third season since your debut.” So colors change, styles change and fabrics change. This is an important first step in the style and image transformation.
  • But changing her wardrobe is not enough for Pen since that it just one part of her image. How she carries herself, speaks, converses and interacts with others needs some work. This is where the image part comes in. Next her dear friend Colin comes to her aid. He is going to tutor her in social graces so Pen’s lovely outside can match her inside confidence. Back in the day young men, and sometimes women, traveled the world to develop a more sophisticated personality. Colin’s travels are mentioned quite often in his newly cultivated personality.
  • Another main part of the story in Season 3 are ladies wearing basically “bespoke” clothing fitted to their shape and fabrics and colors that flatter to them. Music to my ears!

Thank you for my deep-dive into Mayfair and the Bridgerton series. (Photo by Ron Lach).

Keep it sassy, Indy.

Beth Divine, MA, AICI-CIC
Indianapolis Wardrobe Stylist