Online Searches for Vintage Clothes Featured on 'Downton Abbey' Rise

Maggie Smith Elizabeth McGovern Downton Abbey - H 2012

Maggie Smith Elizabeth McGovern Downton Abbey - H 2012 says searches for old school frocks were up 273 percent in April over the year-ago period, with searches for top hats rising 617 percent.

LONDON – U.K. hit TV show and costume drama Downton Abbey is making a fashion statement by sparking online searches for vintage clothes featured on the show, according to one web site.

Data gathered by, the China-based online marketplace for businesses, shows that there has been a dramatic rise in global searches for the type of vintage garb worn by actors on the show. But the site attributes the jump in searches not only to the series, but also last year's Royal Wedding and the recent Queen's Jubilee.

The show centers on an aristocratic British family during World War One and airs in over 100 countries around the world. The program showcases British fashion that was popular a hundred years ago, leading to "huge interest in the show’s wardrobe and boosting the vintage clothing industry," Alibaba said.

Molly Morgan, senior manager, international corporate affairs, EMEA, said: "Period drama clothing and accessories are in fashion, and it is apparently due to a combination of the Royal Wedding, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the very popular Downton Abbey series. We’re even seeing trends of Downton Abbey parties popping up around the world, creating consumer interest and extra sales for small businesses in the vintage clothing industry."

The site recorded a year-over-year increase of 273 percent for April in searches for vintage frocks, a 136 percent rise in elbow-length gloves searches and a 190 percent uptick in searches for sequin headbands. It didn't detail whether people used "Downton Abbey" as search terms in some of the cases. It also didn't say whether sales of vintage items were up as well.

According to, it isn't just about the ladies though.

The site also reported a rise in global online searches for men’s accessories and clothing, noting a 617 percent increase in searches for top hats and a 427 percent rise in those looking for cravats.

Morning suits are also an increasingly popular garment, with April searches up 67 percent compared to the year-ago month.

Other popular items searched on include cigarette holders (up 538 percent), feather hats (up 133 percent) and fascinators (up 97 percent).