IN TIME FOR THE ROYAL ASCOT, we asked our friends at The Hat Club to give us their expert advice:
- What advice would you give to people shopping for hats?
There are not many occasions where you have an excuse to wear a hat so when the opportunity arises, have fun! We would always recommend trying on lots of different styles as you may well be surprised. Often we have girls who come to the studio looking for something specific and they end up walking out with something quite different but equally fabulous.
Ask for advice if you are not sure about wearing a hat. Wearing a hat correctly will make all the difference – as a general rule of thumb if you do not have height on your side its not easy to pull off a very large brimmed hat, but rather a slice or a smaller headpiece can be just as effective.
- What other accessories would you recommend to pair with hats?
Don’t go overboard on accessories but the bag is important and this year, there are some really gorgeous clutches which, when teamed with a hat, are perfect. If you are going to match….match the hat with the bag. We adore the Wilbur & Gussie Edith Clutch bags – very striking in big bold colours, but so elegant. Often less is more so we would advise staying away from big earrings and opt for something simple, Alex Monroe or Davina Combe jewellery is often pitched perfectly.
- Which style of hats would you recommend for different heights?
1) If you are tall, you are made for large brimmed hats but never opt for a hat which is wider than your shoulders. There are lots of rules about always wearing your hair up with a hat but if you feel comfortable with your hair down and it looks good, go for it. Laura Cathcart has a stunning selection of wide-brimmed hats which are exquisite and also have that wow factor.
2) If you are smaller and more apple-shaped we would always advise a smaller headpiece, teamed with a bit of netting, the result is not only very smart but also a little mysterious which we adore. Juliette Millinery is a genius at these creations. Worn at a slight angle, they say a lot and are very easy to wear.
- Which hat out of your collection, would you rent to stand out from the crowd?
Philip Treacy is the master of all hats! He knows how to make a girl look good but also elegant. His jaunty shapes are totally unique but he also has the ability to make the wearer feel incredibly glamorous. Wear a Philip Treacy and you will automatically feel confident and are most likely to literally turn heads!
- What hat would you recommend for non-hat wearers/first time hat wearers?
It can be quite scary wearing a hat so go for something simple and classic. It’s very important to feel confident and comfortable so try on as many different styles until you find the one – and you will find the one!
- How do you recommend keeping a hat in place?
A number of milliners are turning to the headband hat to help secure it to your head, making it much easier to wear and more comfortable. When trying on a hat, make sure it does fit or if it doesn’t have it stretched or tightened if you can as it will make all the difference to how you wear it and feel in it.
If you have the time, think about going to the hairdressers who will be able to ensure it stays securely on your head and will also be able to masterly cover up any elastic or grips.
- How can you get the most out of your hat?
Unlike dresses which you will change according to trends and styles, a hat is an investment. If you are buying one, make sure you are going to get plenty of wear out of it and that you can also team it with a variety of colours and styles. Hats are expensive but there are some great new milliners out there at the moment who can help design something to go with an outfit for a specific occasion so shop around
- What events are you wearing a hat to this summer?
Hats are more popular than ever and there are plenty of events this summer which are perfect for wearing a hat starting with Royal Ascot which starts on Tuesday 18 June and runs until Saturday June 22. Five wonderful hat wearing days where you can be as extravagant as you want with your head candy.
If you are Royal Enclosure bound, just make sure you hat fits the necessary requirements which is a base of 10cm in diameter.
The Royal Henley Regatta is just around the corner and takes place from 3rd – 7th July and provides us girls with yet another opportunity to adorn a hat while there are also plenty of other race meetings coming up including Glorious Goodwood and the Coral Eclipse at Sandown Park at the start of July.
Garden party’s and weddings also provide the perfect opportunity to wear a hat or headpiece.
- What is your history/experience with hats?
All three of us quite simply love wearing hats. Following a last minute attempt to find something appropriate to wear for Royal Ascot last year and with a number of weddings we realised it was not easy to find something really striking to wear without it being rather expensive and The Hat Club was born.
Davina, who is the most creative of the three of us has always been passionate about hats and signed up to a millinery course and started to make her own headpieces for weddings. They were so well received by other guests that we now stock some of her designs in the studio which are very popular.
- Which hat would you pair with each of the below Austique dresses?