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Downton Abbey: Hats Of Distinction

Updated on February 20, 2016

Post Edwardian Hat Exposition

While it is so much more, the poplar PBS series, Downton Abbey, is a spectacular expo of post-Edwardian hat ware and these hats are not just there to look pretty - they work hard at expressing the essence of each character. There are the hats for poor folk, the hats for servants, the hats for aristocracy, the hats for "Americans", and the hats for girls gone bad (they'll be black or red).

While you may not have someone to button your dresses, fuss with your hair, or fluff the feather in your hat, you still deserve to walk with style and decorum. Of course, I live without decorum, but that's beside the fact. Even people like me can be transformed into that heady place of being perceived as having style and decorum - just by the placement of a hat on a head!

For those of you who can't get enough of Downton Abbey, there is regularly updating information about the program located further down on the page.

For those of you who can't get enough of hats, I have also written about the Hats of Coronation Street -- Click Here to go there now. I also include a link at the end of this article.

Please note that there are polls about your preferences throughout this article. Everyone can participate -- you don't have to be a member of squidoo, your votes are anonymous, and comments can be anonymous (unless you signed into squidoo when you comment).

Also note: Hats will be changing on a regular basis. If you don't see one that you like today, check back next week to find that special one you might like.

All writing is copyright by me - © 2013 Teapixie! :)

Photo Credit: By L. Prang & Co. (publisher) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Sinamay Asymmetrical Pillbox Hat Base By Shine Trim - Ivory
Sinamay Asymmetrical Pillbox Hat Base By Shine Trim - Ivory

And this would be a summer hat for the Countess. The simplicity of this hat invites the exaggeration of a massive feather with a beautiful flower. It is up to you what you would pair with it.

The Dowager wouldn't be seen in something this simple, someone would be delegated the job of designing this piece beyond imagination.


Grand-Mother Of The Bride, You Say?

SC Bridal Wedding Tiara Crowns 52569
SC Bridal Wedding Tiara Crowns 52569

Be like the Countess and wear your sparkle. Like Mary, in the season opener, the Countess arrived for the pre-wedding party adorned in her family tiara. Tiara's are timeless and a reflection of the fun and adventure a night on the dance floor can produce.

Don't pass up this opportunity to be the Queen of the event.


Can You Imagine An Event Where You Would Wear A Tiara?

See results

And if you are so inclined, you could throw yourself right into the spend-thrift adventures of those trying to save Downton Abbey, and sew your own "Violet" hat out of material that is woven with gold.

"Oh! How Gauche!" I hear you say. Yes, I sew, too. I was just kidding. Honestly, why would I put a pattern book like this here if I didn't think you might want to try it for yourself? I know the joy of making my own hat - it's spectacular. And even better when you have a pattern to work with.

I know about that pattern thing. My nieces do, too. I once made them hats without a pattern, heh.

Don't ask.

Are You Inspired By The Fashions Of Downton Abbey?

See results

Which Hat To Wear Today?

Somedays I spend longer than I should, choosing my hat. This happens on the days when I am looking to change how I feel.

On Downton Abbey, a character's hat changes to express the coming storyline, to betray the secrets carried by a particular character, or to set the ambiance for the actions about to be enacted. I love watching to see what Violet is wearing on her head - it is clearly an expression of her opinion about a character or the storyline.

When you tune into the program, watch the hats. I'm not kidding - this is real. You'll see.

For us regular folk, without a mansion to save, it is amazing how the selection of hat and boots can transform a drab day into one with sparkle. I have this one hat that is faux fur. When I choose to wear it, I always wear my ankle boots and my British ankle-length felt coat.

On the days I wear this hat, people in the world talk to me or just smile at me. I feel happy in the hat and it must show, and my happiness seems to connect with other's happiness.

How fantastic is that?

And it's all because of a hat!

I can't stress enough the value of wearing statement-making hats. Looking for a little extra power in that interview? Looking for a little extra impact in that negotiation? Don't overlook the power of a hat.

Think about the impact of the hats on Downton Abbey for expressing the power of the different characters. Don't think you are beyond such impact in your daily life.

Photo Credit: Angelica Kauffmann, Self-Portrait, 1780-1785 Public Domain

Only the Best For Lady Mary Crawley

Sakkas Womens Vintage Style 100% Wool Cloche Bucket Bell Winter Hat with Flower
Sakkas Womens Vintage Style 100% Wool Cloche Bucket Bell Winter Hat with Flower

Now, this is the hat-est of hat ladies. Be sure you read that right - not hatest, HAT-est. :)

This character, while in the most stressful of positions as heir to the family debt, seems to expess her angst through purchasing hats. I was very impressed with the red-feather fascinator that she stuck on her head with the red dress. It seems that those women do an inspirational job of giving massive bird feathers new life.


Make Your Own Post-Edwardian Era Felt Hat!

How to Make Felt
How to Make Felt

No. Mary wouldn't be seen making her own hat, no less placing it on her head by herself, but I'm hoping you might consider it. Learning how to felt is extremely exciting. It can be as easy as throwing old woollen sweaters in the washing machine and then working with the miniature versions of those sweaters to make things like hats, bags, and coats.

This book is a go-to item for anyone interested in making beautiful and warm hats.

Kakyco Organza Ribbon Horse Hair Hat - 026476
Kakyco Organza Ribbon Horse Hair Hat - 026476

Did I say "ethereal"? Wow, Can you see Mary wearing this paired with a slim-fitting organza dress? She is so au courrant.


Princess For A Day

Bling Jewelry Royal Wedding Inspired Halo Rhinestone Tiara Silver Plated
Bling Jewelry Royal Wedding Inspired Halo Rhinestone Tiara Silver Plated

Here it is, the Kate Middleton look-alike tiara. In the 3rd season opener of Downton Abbey, Mary could be seen sporting her family jewels on her head.

I'm inviting you to do the same.


Which Of Mary's Hats Would You Wear?

See results

The Future For Lady Edith Crawley

Simplicity Trilby Summer Beach Sun Straw Fedora Hat w/ Band, 742_Ivory S/M
Simplicity Trilby Summer Beach Sun Straw Fedora Hat w/ Band, 742_Ivory S/M

With the resentment and spunk that Lady Edith Crawley expresses, a white fedora will work to express her strength in the face of tradition. How many of us can see ourselves in her angry face? It is amazing how a person's state of being can usually be explained by 'behind the scenes' experiences.

Lady Edith doesn't get to wear the tiara. So, it's up to her to make her statement with her attitude and to reflect that attitude through her attire.

Pop this signature-making statement hat on your head and you'll be in control of your day.


Which Crawly Family Character's Style Would You Copy?

This is a secret vote. No one has to know who you are, or who's style you would like to emulate. But if everyone votes, everyone, you can help develop a picture of how viewers respond to the Crawly Family style/character depictions in the story-lines.

Think of this as a chance to tell the writers which characters you would like to see spared from death or disappearance from the show. !!

There are other votes for staff and acquaintances following this vote.

Again, Which Crawly Family Character's Style Would You Like To Copy?

See results

This is a tough one because everyone is usually wearing their uniform! It is important to recognize that character and style are very, very closely linked. Think about how each person wears their uniform, or attempts to wear their uniform. And what about what they wear on their afternoon off (if they get one)?

Your opinion really matters.

Which Downton Abbey Staffer's Style Would You Like To Copy?

See results

Acquaintances come and go. We all know this. But sometimes the impact of a certain character can't be forgotten. Consider which characters impacted you the most - would you emulate one of these characters?

Make your opinion count. Everyone gets to vote - squid member or not.

Which Family Acquaintance's Style Would You Like To Copy?

See results

Get Your Vintage Hats Here!

If only we could wear original versions of the old hats and be able to rely on their durability. Sadly, this is not the case and, often, it's better to keep actual vintage hats in museums. In honour of vintage hats and styles, I have selected vintage reproductions that you can purchase and wear daily.

If I could buy the hat for you, I would. Why? Because I am dying to see a comback of daily hats. One of my dearest, most stylish friends has returned to wearing hats as a way of saving her coif from the elements. Honestly, it's the wave of the future.

Try to think about which Downton Abbey character might wear each hat. ;)

A Beautiful Woman

Now, you tell me that this hat doesn't change the way you see this woman? Look at the power in those eyes.

She is bracing against the cold, cold ocean winds on the deck of a cruise ship. This is one of my favourite series of photos of someone wearing a hat because they so clearly express the impish, fun nature of this person.

Truly, wearing a hat can further express your true essence. Adding a scarf to this one didn't hurt.

Photo Credit: Teapixie! :)

The Downton Abbey rage is spectacular.

I have a secret hope that many people will begin wearing full-on hats again. It will be an aesthetic feast to walk down the street and see the unique and definable choices that are on display.

Would you wear any of these hats? Will you be purchasing one? Or are you in love with Downton Abbey and just can't get enough. All and any comments are welcome. I read every single one.

Are You A Downton Abbey Fan Or Do You Just Live For Hats?

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    • Teapixie LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Tea Pixie 

      5 years ago

      @anonymous: I so agree! :D

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Very cool hats!

    • Teapixie LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Tea Pixie 

      6 years ago

      @DoctorOrEngineer: So glad you enjoyed this article. It is fun to play "dress-up" as I hunt for new hats to profile. :D

    • DoctorOrEngineer profile image


      6 years ago

      Love! Love! Love! Excellent article! I will definitely look into these Lady Mary hats. Thanks!

    • Teapixie LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Tea Pixie 

      6 years ago

      @KimGiancaterino: Dust off those hats and pop them on your head! Start the trend.... :)

      Thanks for taking the time to look through this article.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      6 years ago

      My sister-in-law adores Downton Abbey. We will probably watch the episodes back to back at some point. I do love your lens and the way you've presented these lovely hats. I have a few, but am nostalgic for the days when people dressed up more, including hats.

    • Teapixie LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Tea Pixie 

      6 years ago

      @NibsyNell: I am sooooo glad to hear it. I really do love hats and am trying to include new hats here as I find more new ones. If you look around on this page you'll see that I have also included links to milliners - and their work is exciting. I will include more milliners as I discover more.

    • NibsyNell profile image


      6 years ago

      I love Dowton Abbey and the hats/clothes that feature in it! Love your selection here. :)

    • Teapixie LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Tea Pixie 

      6 years ago

      @ecogranny: Ah yes, but as British dramas go, I suspect that someone else will end up in gaol. I think they do it to keep us on the edge of our seats. I read, somewhere, that people were saying "Oh, Downton Abbey has gotten boring because everyone is married off." Any thoughts out there?

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      At one time I had rather a large collection of hats and still love wearing the few I keep. But I admit, I watch Downton Abbey for a whole lot more than the hats. So glad they finally wrote Mr. Bates out of prison.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for the information about Post Edwardian Hat Exposition

    • Teapixie LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Tea Pixie 

      6 years ago

      @Aibrean82: Hats can be funny - it's a little of that "fake it 'til you make it" thing. Sometimes just putting a hat on our head can help you feel a little more confident. It can feel like a risk, but it is a safe risk.

      I will be profiling more hats, so check back. I have included a link to a British hat designer, on the right hand side of the page above, and I will look for more milliners to profile!

    • Aibrean82 profile image


      6 years ago

      Love Downton Abbey, and love hats although I actually don't have the confidence to wear them. But maybe if I found that ONE perfect hat that I feel really reflect my style. I especially like Mary's hats, so I would be looking for something like that.

    • Teapixie LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Tea Pixie 

      6 years ago

      @JaskeMann: JaskeMann, sometimes you are a hat person, even if you don't physically wear hats. As a gamer, you are always trying on a "new hat" as you enter into a game. :)

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and imagine all of the characters getting new hats. And for leaving a little squid love behind.

    • JaskeMann profile image


      6 years ago

      Excellent lens. I found it interesting, and I'm not even a hat person.

    • Teapixie LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Tea Pixie 

      6 years ago

      @Joanna14: Thank you, ever-so-much, mutter!

    • Joanna14 profile image

      Christine Hulme 

      6 years ago from SE Kent, England

      A nice selection of hats that tell a story and portray a side of Downton Abbey that many of us might not have otherwise paid much attention to. NIcely done!


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