Fashion with Character: The Bennet Sisters of ‘Pride and Prejudice’

Bennet Sisters

Jane Austen introduced the five Bennet sisters to the world in 1813 when her beloved Pride and Prejudice was first published and after being around for just over 200 years, the girls are still hot in demand. Thousands of tourists flock to the Jane Austen Museum in Bathe and the country estates emulated by the beloved Pemberly, and each year brings with it new P&P memorabilia in the form of book spin-offs, film adaptations, mini-series and more.. While we devour the story because of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy’s perfect love, the sisters and their humorous dynamic are responsible for much of the true entertainment. With five sisters you’re sure to encounter a wide array of personalities and with these different personalities come diverse and individual styles. It’s so easy to get caught up in a whimsical longing for the era in which the Bennet sisters would have live- one filled with corsets, petticoats and perfect ringlets- but it’s even more fun to entertain what these girls would have dressed like in modern times.

Ah, the fair eyed Lizzie Bennet. Austen herself said that Elizabeth was one of her all time favorite characters and it’s easy to see why. Spirited, witty and confident, Lizzie makes for a heroine that all girls alike can admire. A modern Lizzie would have an effortlessly chic wardrobe. Her dresses would be smart with just the right amount of sex appeal. With a mind like Lizzie’s, she doesn’t need to depend on her wardrobe to capture anyone’s attention, but she’d pick pieces that manage to make her stand out nonetheless with stripes, geometric patterns and fun bohemian colors. She’d have the cozy essentials for long walks through the English countryside. And of course, a pendant monogrammed with a “D” to show her undying love for Darcy in a subtle way.

Jane Bennet is the sweetest and kindest of the Bennet sisters. Always angelic and the image of innocence, Jane would undoubtedly be fond of long flowy skirts and pretty dresses perfect for a tea party. Lots of colorful pieces and lace would also be found in the eldest Bennet’s closet. While Jane is the ultimate girly girl, Mary would be one of comfort. The most studious of the sisters, Mary is drawn to cozy pieces that are perfect for curling up in. No book is better accompanied than with a cable knit sweater and a pair of favorite leggings. Mary would embrace her love literature and showcase her favorite works in her clothing- such as with a fun P&P sweatshirt or The Lord of the Rings leggings.

Kitty and Lydia Bennet are two girls who are all about fun. Flirty and rambunctious, these two are always getting into trouble while still coming out smelling like a rose. The youngest sisters would be all over fun patterns, short hemlines and have more pairs of high heels than all five sisters combined. Kitty being a bit tamer and sweeter than Lydia would flock towards fun floral patterns and sweet polka dots while her sister would have a bit more of an edge, mixing leather with geometric patterns and glitzy details.

Being big fans of a good party, a Bennet sister makeover wouldn’t be complete without touching upon modern ball attire. With so many options out there, it would be so easy to find each sister a current gown to match with their 19th century personas. For Elizabeth, an edgy long sleeved red gown with a deep v-neck and a mile high slit would be the perfect combination of refined elegance and sexy. Jane would stun in a vintage gold gown, while the ever modest Mary would feel comfortable in a sequined cap sleeved gown. Never ones to shy away from attention, Kitty and Lydia would be in favor of anything fitted and shiny or short and flirty.

Having captured audiences for the past two centuries, the Bennet girls have proved they have staying power and will continue to entertain for generations to come. In each of us there is an Elizabeth, a Jane, a Mary, a Kitty or a Lydia. In a house with so many females, personal style is a crucial factor that allows you to stand out as an individual. Let your inner Bennet shine in an outfit inspired by your favorite Austen character.


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Sarah Fenerty
Blossoming writer, artist, and elephant enthusiast.
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1 Comment on Fashion with Character: The Bennet Sisters of ‘Pride and Prejudice’

  1. This is so fascinating! Even as styles change in fashion, the characters can stay the same. On my blog, I’ve written an article about how we can still take so many of Elizabeth Bennet’s characteristics and apply them to our modern lives. Love love love your post! Thanks for inspiring!

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