'Downton Abbey' Stars, IRL

2.2.2012

By Mike Berlin

The costume-drama cast—sans costumes.

Egads! The entire cast of Downton Abbey found a time machine, traveled 100 years forward to 2012, and discovered a closet full of modern clothing and book of today's hairstyles! The results are amusing and unsettling, much like watching a cat walk on its hind legs and smoke a cigarette at the same time.

Paper (via New York) compiled a photo essay of immaculately dressed Dowager Countesses and Chamber Maids paired with pictures of them in real life, looking like us (but better, because they're professional actors).

Be forewarned—the effect of seeing Mrs. Hughes with a layered haircut and fuschia kimono top and matching clutch is extremely difficult to handle, especially since we like our early-20th-century royal fantasies to be untouched by the wretchedness of modernity and the absence of concretely defined social hierarchies.

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