Warning: spoilers ahead.
I love it when a lot of the action on "Downton Abbey" takes place outside, because this means one thing: the hats come out. In the second episode of "Downton"'s final season, both outerwear and hats are on full display. I also think that Lady Edith may be pulling ahead in the (totally fake thing I made up) "Best-Dressed Downton Sister" race.
Lady Mary Tries Knitwear
You don't see sweaters very often on "Downton," and I'm conflicted about how I feel about this one on Lady Mary. I like the loose, open knit, but I'm not sure the pearls do anything for the outfit and the proportions are tricky. Yes, I realize that was the style then, but my eye doesn't like it.
Lady Edith Is Winning the Wardrobe Race
This outfit on Lady Edith, complete with hair flower, is pretty great. Yes, the dress has the same proportions (read: generally long and shapeless) as Mary's, but I think it works better as a dress than separates. I'm also into the pattern and matchy-matchy earrings. Once again, like last week, Lady Edith seems to be power dressing in order to tussle with that mansplainer editor of hers, who really needs to be fired for his crappy attitude. Doesn't he know how lucky he is to have a magazine job?
Aunt Rosamund is the best. I like that she's a a mentor and advice-giver for Edith — she seems more down-to-earth than Cora. Edith should totally move to London, not only to be close to Rosamund for companionship, but also to borrow that amazing patterned coat once in a while.
Is there a more wonderful hat than the cloche? No, there is not. Here, Mary and Edith go head-to-head, so to speak, in two different versions. Mary opts for tonal while Edith indulges in a very Art Deco motif done in rick rack trim. It was a joke in the show that Mary and Edith were both in London at the same time to go shopping (as if these two would ever do an activity together!) but maybe they should. They both have wonderful taste in hats.
Cora, Mary and even little Marigold all put on their best brown coats to go visit the pigs. Cora's loose, flowy version seems much more forgiving than Mary's hip-belted one, but I still love when she goes androgynous — even if that belt placement might be problematic for anyone with actual hips.
Normcore Coats FTW
I think the reason I like the outerwear so much on "Downton Abbey" is that there's not any sort of nylon blend to be found. Or puffer jackets. (Yes, I realize nylon was only used for things like parachutes back then.) Wool and tweed just look so much classier, and Mrs. Hughes's coat in particular is really appealing.
Port As An Accessory
Let's face it: wine is a great accessory. Here, Mrs. Hughes holds some while having a heated discussion with Carson about where the wedding should take place. ("I am the bride. We'll be doing it your way for the next 30 years," she tells him.) Here, Edith is just doing what we've all surely done many times before: drinking off a bad day at work and complaining about her co-workers — in this case, the asshat editor.
Like Mother Like Daughter
Cora and Mary share similar coloring, so it's not surprising that they are drawn to the same palette occasionally. Here, it's a blue-grey floral, but with age appropriate sleeve lengths.
Hat Smackdown, Part 2
Let's put Mary up against Edith again, this time at the livestock competition in town. Does Edith's scarf-tied hat or Mary's grosgrain version get your vote? (Or George's?)