Let’s face it. We don’t watch Downton Abbey for its gripping plot lines, or novel approach to story telling. We watch it for the setting, for the period details, for the clothing. But most of all we watch it for two things: Maggie Smith as The Honorable Dowager Countess Violet, and for the Hats.
Let us now watch the former fight with a chair, and also wear a hat.
Below, some of the most fabulous examples of millinery to be found on Downton Abbey.
As befitting an Earl’s wife, Cora has a large array of exquisite hats.
In fact, Lady Grantham has some of the loveliest Edwardian hats to be found in the show.
Meanwhile her daughters each sport their own version of the cloche hat, a big fashion staple in the 1910s.
When personalities come forth, we discover only Sybil really favors the cloche. Mary is fancier than the others with her large brim, since she is the eldest.
Speaking of Lady Mary…
Manly, yet feminine.
We know Mary’s the heroine, because, of the daughters, she wears the most hats.
She even has more hats that her mother!
I know that last one’s not a hat. But the whole outfit is such a lovely example of the pre-flapper era style. The “feather forerunner to the modern fascinator” is one of my favorite of Mary’s headpieces.
Edith…I knew Edith got shortchanged in general, but I was shocked to realise that extended to her hat collection:
At least Sybil has the excuse of being stuck in a nurse’s uniform the entire second season. They’re all such dark colors too. Perhaps she’s just not into hats? Even Lavinia’s two hats are nicer…
Though I prefer her hair jewelry:
Meanwhile there’s Sybil….
I know this technically isn’t a hat, but it was my favorite part of her “scandalous” frock.
She really favors the cloche hat. Meanwhile, Branson has wicked awesome goggles.
Nursing chic, circa 1917. You can’t be bothered with fashionable headgear with a War on…
Why We Watch: The Honorable Dowager Countess, Violet.
Let’s face it, Maggie Smith is just an excuse to flaunt headgear.
She may not take The Cup for the best flower, but she certain takes it for best hats.
Meanwhile, Isobel’s hats are staid so as to draw the comparison between the mother of the last Earl, and the next.
A study in contrasts…
Let’s not forget about Lady Rosamund off in London.
She prefers her hats to sit at jaunty 35 degree angles on her head.
But the rich aren’t the only one to wear hats. This was the 1910s. EVERYONE wore hats.
There are work hats…
Both dress uniform and everyday wear
And then there are hats for going to the village…
And Interview going hats.
(I miss Gwen. I hope she’s having fun in Westeros.)
I say, are Ethel’s hats as dull as Edith’s? I think they are!
Mrs Hughes has a fine hat. So, for that matter does O’Brien.
Even Daisy and Mrs. Patmore have stylish hats.
And I couldn’t leave this last observation out….
……………….We know she’s evil. She’s wearing a black hat.