One thing which makes me a 21st century Victorian lady is my obsession with hats! I rarely leave the house without a hat upon my head. In fact, on the rare occasion when I depart my home hatless, I feel rather odd. Like something is missing. You see, hats give me a shot of confidence and make me feel pulled together. Polished. Ready to face the world. Hats are my secret style weapon. Indeed, a truly great hat can take an already pretty ensemble and transform it into one that is marvelous and memorable.
Nothing proves this more, in my mind, than the costumes of Downton Abbey! While the gowns as a whole are quite lovely and the jewels rather sublime, the hats are the cherry on top that grab my attention, episode after episode.
Therefore, in celebration of the final season, I present to thee a selection of my favorite Downton Abbey Hats on Parade!
Classic in black and cream, this hat brings to mind the horse racing scene of My Fair Lady. “Every duke and earl and peer is here. Everyone who should be here is here. What a smashing, positively dashing spectacle. The ascot opening day.”
The cloche is a fitted, bell-shaped hat for women invented in 1908 by milliner Caroline Reboux. Popular from about 1922 to 1933, its name is derived from cloche, the French word for bell. I adore this one’s crimson hue and rich velvety texture!
Lady Violet in violet! Shall we take a moment to admire this monochromatic marvel? Indeed, we shall, for the hat could not match the dress more perfectly.
From feathers to suede button, this hat is darling!
This one is shaped similarly to a gentleman’s bowler hat, but in a diminutive size. As for the decorations, quite a lot is happening—feathers, glittering brooch, silver ribbon and tulle. Yet muted, complimentary colors retain the hat’s elegance.
I believe it’s time for more My Fair Lady lyrics! “At the gate are all the horses, Waiting for the cue to fly away. What a gripping, absolutely ripping, Moment at the ascot opening day.”
Another cloche! I love how the folded brim frames the face and the way the simple, patterned ribbon ties in the cobalt of that glorious coat.
A lovely duo, Cora in lavender and Edith in cream, bring to mind spring time, crumpets, and a cup of Earl Grey. The epitome of tea party chic! Side Note: This is one of the few pretty hats poor Edith has been allowed to wear on the show. Seriously, the dear can’t even catch a break in the wardrobe department!
Here we have a structured hat in a unique, angled shape, accentuated by the expertly placed feathers and beading. Quite dramatic!
If you haven’t guessed, I’m rather in love with cloches! It’s my favorite style to wear, which is why I own three myself. Wish I could add this purple velvet number to my collection!
No, I haven’t forgotten Lady Sybil. (Actually, we’d best not open that tin of worms as I’ve yet to fully forgive Mr. Julian Fellowes. *grrr*) This lilac and white hat is airy, fresh, and sweet. Perfect for summer. And Mary’s tan hat with Robin’s Egg blue sash is ready for a picnic in the sunshine. Yes, Edith, you look nice, too.
Watch out Downton, a fashionista has arrived from across the pond! *snap* Seriously, this piece of art may be the most GORGEOUS hat I’ve ever seen! And with the gloves, red lip, and that delicious coat . . . Martha is all like, “You may sing God Save the Style Queen at your convenience.”
Wait one moment…Lady Violet challenges Martha with a regal hat in purple silk, which in combination with matching blouse, transforms her into a rose-cut amethyst. Add a festooning of cloud-like feathers and this heavenly hat places Violet on the fashion throne.
Hark, it’s a Downton miracle! Edith gets to wear a second beautiful hat—two whole pretty hats—AND she’s almost smiling!
An exquisite millinery bouquet! Cue further indulgence in my love of musicals. “In your easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it, You’ll be the grandest lady in the easter parade!”
With the style face-off quite settled, Martha and Violet return in splendor, each rightly crowned the fashion queen of their respective continent.
Oh, I love a top hat! And the black netting adds a feminine touch to this lady’s riding hat.
Before you correct me in the comment section, I am fully aware this is not a hat. But I just had to include it because turquoise and Sybil and reasons!
That concludes our parade. Which Downton hat was your favorite? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section! And for those now in the mood for a cuppa, pop over to Lipstick & Gelato for my guest post on more Ways to Simplify a Tea Party.