Credit: Liz Collins

You may know her best as Lady Mary Crawley, the eldest daughter on the PBS series Downton Abbey, but in InStyle’s February issue, Michelle Dockery slips out of her character’s corset and reveals the fashion tips that she’s picked up on the set.

Embrace color. “My character wears a lot of bold jewel tones. I never thought a color like red would suit me, but now I find myself wearing more of these colors off the show as well. I like giving a nod to Downton.”

Shake things up. “As the plot of the show moves into the 1920s, we’re getting away from rigid corseted gowns and into less-structured dresses with above-the-knee hemlines,” says the actress, who chooses designs by Christopher Kane to get “a bit edgy from time to time.”

Offer only a glimpse. “I’m quite into the French way—simple elegance with just a suggestion of sexiness, nothing vulgar.

For more on Dockery, flip to page 204 of InStyle’s February issue. And be sure to tune in to PBS tonight at 9/8c to catch the latest episode of Downton Abbey! On the go? Download the issue on your iPad, Nook, or Droid tablet!

Plus, see fun facts about Downton Abbey!

On Dockery: Jil Sander cotton jacket and skirt. Carine Gilson Lingerie couture silk and lace bra. Tiffany & Co. locket necklace. Miu Miu leather gloves and pumps.