Lady Mary and Lady Edith Go Hat-to-Hat on 'Downton Abbey'

A headwear smackdown between the sisters, with bonus coat cameos.
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Cora's hat game is pretty great as well. Photo: Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2015 for MASTERPIECE

Cora's hat game is pretty great as well. Photo: Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2015 for MASTERPIECE

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

Thoughts about this sweater? Screengrabs: PBS/Masterpiece 

Thoughts about this sweater? Screengrabs: PBS/Masterpiece 

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

With Rose gone, Edith is becoming Downton's resident clotheshorse. Screengrabs: PBS/Masterpiece

With Rose gone, Edith is becoming Downton's resident clotheshorse. Screengrabs: PBS/Masterpiece

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?

#squadgoals

Cool Aunt Rosamund. Screengrabs: PBS/Masterpiece

Cool Aunt Rosamund. Screengrabs: PBS/Masterpiece

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. 

Cloche Smackdown

Ooh, hats! Screengrabs: PBS/Masterpiece 

Ooh, hats! Screengrabs: PBS/Masterpiece 

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. 

Brown Coats

Brown does not have to equal boring. Screengrabs: PBS/Masterpiece

Brown does not have to equal boring. Screengrabs: PBS/Masterpiece

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

The older generation can really wear a coat. Screengrabs: PBS/Masterpiece

The older generation can really wear a coat. Screengrabs: PBS/Masterpiece

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

Red wine is so chic. Screengrabs: PBS/Masterpiece 

Red wine is so chic. Screengrabs: PBS/Masterpiece 

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

Screengrabs: PBS/Masterpiece

Screengrabs: PBS/Masterpiece

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

More glorious hats. Screengrabs: PBS/Masterpiece

More glorious hats. Screengrabs: PBS/Masterpiece

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?)