Has Bridgerton Lost Its Historical Accuracy in Season 3's Costumes?

Has Bridgerton Lost Its Historical Accuracy in Season 3's Costumes?
Image credit: Netflix

The new clothes were extremely extravagant, making Season 3 even more expressive.


  • Bridgerton has never been known for historical accuracy, but its costumes have tried to capture the atmosphere of the Regency era.
  • In Season 3, however, the designers began to incorporate more modern elements into the costumes.

The second half of Bridgerton's third season has finally arrived after a month of anticipation! After all the tossing and turning of Colin and Penelope (well, it's more about Colin, since no one else seems to be able to lie on a bed and dream of love for his friend as dramatically) and the incredibly steamy scene in the carriage that had fans' hearts pounding, we were treated to more drama, more turmoil in London high society, more acceptance, and of course, more passion!

Bridgerton Season 3 surpassed all expectations as it proved to be even more lavish and ornate in design, as not only Pen and Colin blossomed, but all the other characters flaunted their colorful outfits. As such, the characters' costumes were even more memorable than in the previous two seasons, thanks to the colors, materials, and silhouettes.

However, for some fans of both Julia Quinn's novel series and Shonda Rhimes' live-action adaptation, this decision turned out to be less than satisfactory. Some viewers noted the extent to which Season 3 backed away from any attempt at historical accuracy. Let's break down how much of that is true, and why the designers decided to scrap the costume ideas in Bridgerton.

Season 3 Extravagant Design Transcends Accuracy

The fashion of the Regency period was concise, combining the ideas of classicism and romanticism. There was always refinement along with simplicity, grace, and subtle displays of status and wealth.

Not to say that the first two seasons of Bridgerton were historically meticulous in terms of costume design, but there was still a strong sense that we were watching an adaptation of a Jane Austen novel rather than a modern TV series. In the case of Season 3, the story could be set in the so-called Belle Époque at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, or in the 1940s, for example, and the difference would not be very noticeable.

Probably the most notable were Cressida Cowper's (Jessica Madsen) costumes, which seemed more out of The Hunger Games than Bridgerton. The choice of color, silhouette, and of course texture was very uncharacteristic of the show.

Has Bridgerton Lost Its Historical Accuracy in Season 3's Costumes? - image 1

Why Are the New Costumes So Different from Previous Seasons?

It's all about giving the Netflix design team a tremendous amount of creativity and allowing them to visually express their personal vision for the characters. According to John W. Glaser III, one of the show's lead costume designers, all they knew before Bridgerton began production was that there would be a heavy emphasis on color and fabric.

'All we knew was that it was 1813 and that there would be no women's bonnets. That kind of gave us a clear vision as to where we were going. And I always say that our initial inspiration boards were very clear where it shows a fashion reference, it shows an historical reference, and hopefully a painting in there too, which sums up exactly where we went,' he told InStyle.

Inspired by historical sources and period art, the creative team developed their own vision as the seasons progressed and were very flexible in how they conceptualized the characters' clothing. It was the lack of strict adherence to historical accuracy that helped create such a memorable expression.

'This is a show about beauty, glamour, enhancing the characters, and to help tell the story. So, how we get there is not always in a traditional way but in an abstract way. We bring that abstract vision, and we focus it in.'

Source: InStyle.