For me the start of autumn is heralded by a few key moments. The return of burgundy and mustard to our wardrobes, the crunching of leaves under suede ankle boots and the dark nights drawing in allowing red wine to be consumed before 6pm without too much guilt. But the fundamental onset of the British autumn has to be the return of Downton Abbey on Sunday evenings. For those not watching the show, Downton Abbey is an 'English Country House' drama set in the early twentieth century. Now in it's fifth series, it follows the the upper class Crawley family and staff and is shown at the prime-time slot of Sunday evenings in the autumn up to Christmas in the UK on ITV and on PBS in the United States.
As I snuggled up on the sofa (not yet with the fire lit but it won't be long) for the long awaited first episode of the new season, I couldn't help but notice the number of stunning hats the ladies wore in just one single episode. And this is not a Sex and the City scenario, where the number of wardrobe changes the fab four got through in the space of thirty TV minutes is totally unrealistic, but a true reflection of the times. Whether for convention, religion or culture, back in the 1920s it was the fashion to wear hats and there was one for every occasion.
Sadly today you won't find me in a hat unless I am going to a wedding or spending the day at Ascot. And what a shame that is. When it comes to accessories, I like many women, can never have enough, so why have we done away with hats? They say that men stopped wearing hats because President John F. Kennedy didn't wear one, but why us women? Perhaps as with stockings and gloves, there is no longer such a strict social, religious or cultural need to wear a hat. Add to that, they are not always that practical for modern day living – who wants hat head after splashing out on a salon blow dry and you can see why hats are not up there at the top of the fashion charts. I believe they have simply fallen out of fashion.
But I am hoping that this autumn, the catwalks have spoken and we may be seeing the return of the hat. Vivienne Westwood, Tod's, Gareth Pugh, Acne Studios and DSquared2 all sent models down their catwalks in hats. And not just any hats – it seems bigger is better this season and the statement hat is making a bold return with Pharrell style hats worn high and proud. There is an old saying, 'If you want to get ahead and get noticed, then get a hat'. This is certainly true for Pharrell, whose Vivienne Westwood Buffalo hat even got its own Twitter account following its outing at this years Grammys and has brought the singer even more attention than he already had.
So, who will join me in donning a hat this autumn? Lets bring back a little Downtown-esque drama to our wardrobes with a hat or two. Next thing you know, I will be dressing in my finest eveningwear for dinner and expecting my husband to wear his tux to our next dinner party.
Best Hats for AW14
Gareth Pugh AW14
Acne Studios AW14