Ladies’ Hats in “Downton Abbey”

Many of you may have watched Downton Abbey, a British historical period drama which is set in the early 20th century. The story depicts the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their domestic servants in the post Edwardian era. Some of you are addicted to its rich storyline. Others may because of its spectacular cast and gripping performance. There are also some people probably find the costumes who are worn by the characters are very beautiful.

After watching all six seasons, you may be dazzled by the hats that ladies wear. In post-Edwardian Yorkshire, your outfit would not be complete without a hat. For ladies, hats should be worn on many occasions. For example, it would be rude not to wear a lovely accessory in the social etiquette of afternoon tea.

In the 1910s, women’s hats had wide brims and were often decorated with elaborate decorations. Feathers, flowers and lace adorned the oversized brims. These hats are perfect for leisure activities, such as garden parties. The higher a woman’s social status, the more appropriate it was to wear a large hat.

The most common hat in the drama is the cloche hat, which was popular in the 1920s. Hats fitted round and close to the head, but they were still characterized by wide brims, short crowns, and simple ornamentations. Now there’s only one cluster on one side, not a full head of flowers, or maybe a brooch. The style was simple and easy. The color of the hat was also very simple. Hats didn’t have to go with clothes, but they usually coordinated with an accessory, like a purse or pin. When it comes to cloche hats, the ladies of Downton Abbey have evolved over time. After the war, the hats’ brims were narrowed and their hats cupped the head. In the 1920s, cloche was a fashion icon. Today, the bell-shaped hats are popular among many women for winter. It’s easy to wear this hat whether your hair is long or short, and it can be decorated with trimmings.  

A wide-brimmed picture hat with round crown was often worn in the summer. Lady Edith in Downton Abbey wears a typical picture hat, with a wide silk ribbon around the hat. The shape of the brim mimicked a large bonnet hat with drooping sides, framing the face like a picture. A broad straw hat looked very beautiful on a sunny day.  

The musketeer hat was also called a Cavalier hat. It was made of straw in summer and in the winter it was constructed of rich velvet. The hat featured with the brim folded up creating points on either side. Lady Mary and her youngest sister Lady Sybil wear the musketeer hats with a flower ribbon to one side. The shape of the hat is similar to a bucket hat, because of the deep pull down crown, and with a wide brim that circled the crown.

If you are looking for Edwardian era hats to wear to a costume party or to make your street clothes appear in a vintage style, you can refer to the hats that worn by the three Crawley sisters in this drama.

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