Huge revelation coming: I’m a girl who loves Pride & Prejudice. It’s such a shame that I’m in the minority on that; I really wish more girls would start liking this book, it’s quite good…
In Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet, the second eldest daugher of a poor country gentleman, has little physical description. She’s touted as being “not half so handsome as Jane [the eldest daughter], nor half so good humored as Lydia [the youngest daughter].” The most detailed description we get of her comes from the narrator, assuming the mind of Mr. Darcy
Occupied in observing Mr. Bingley’s attentions to her sister, Elizabeth was far from suspecting that she was herself becoming an object of some interest in the eyes of his friend. Mr. Darcy had at first scarcely allowed her to be pretty; he had looked at her without admiration at the ball; and when they next met, he looked at her only to criticise. But no sonner had he made it clear to him and his friends that she had hardly a good feature in her face, than he began to find it was rendered uncommonly intelligent by the beautiful expression of her dark eyes. To this discovery succeeded some others equally mortifying. Though he had detected with a critical eye more than one failure of perfect symmetry in her form, he was forced to acknowledge her figure to be light and pleasing; and in spite of his asserting that her manners were nothing of those of the fashionable world, he was caught by their easy playfulness. Of this she was perfectly unaware; — to her he was only the man who made himself agreeable no where, and who had not thought her handsome enough to dance with.
Since that description doesn’t give us much to work with style-wise, I’ll take my cues from Chapter 4 of The Making of Pride And Prejudice by Sue Birtwistle and Susie Conklin. What? It came with the deluxe DVD set of the classic BBC version of the story. You know you own it (or wish you did).
For Elizabeth I wanted to create a wardrobe that complemented the direct and practical aspects of her character. I chose colours that had an earthiness to them – a lot of browns, for example. I particularl liked her in a curry colour. I think the sraw bonnet, the one that has a scrunchy look, really suits her character, too…Overall I wanted a nice, straightforward look that was pretty but not fussy. And since Elizabeth is a very active girl, it was quite important that she had clothes that allowed her to move very easily and naturally.
That description, coupled with the style of empire waists and short jackets of the time, leads to this as a contemporary version:
And if you’re a Pride & Prejudice fan, check out olivebite’s new giveaway: http://olivebites.blogspot.com/2010/04/giveaway-brookish-mr-darcy-proposal-mug.html