Ascot Day 2

Royal Hats  Welcome to Day 2 of Royal Ascot 2013. I apologize for the late uploading of this post and promise that we’ll be back on regular schedule tomorrow! Katie Vale of Katie Vale Designs joins our commentary again today – Here is our review of today’s hats.

Queen Elizabeth in an Angela Kelly design

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Embed from Getty Images

Katie Vale: The green trim on the brim is too wide, so it makes the hat look unbalanced.  If the brim was a tad bigger then it would work more I think.  I also think that the flower is in the wrong shade, and as such it looks like it’s just been plonked on the side of the hat.  It doesn’t go with the rest of the design.  The base and trim are pastels and then the flower is brightly colour.  It looks like two different hats rolled into one.

Royal Hats Blog:  I have great difficulty criticizing the Queen (she is an amazing woman who has earned the right to wear whatever she darn well pleases) but I can’t find much nice to say about this hat. The colour scheme is silly, the shape is out of proportion, and the mint green wide fabric stripes are awkward (and I don’t like the green fabric with the pink straw). Katie’s ideas would make vast improvement but in the end, I’m not sure this hat can be redeemed. It looks like a formal clown’s hat to me.

The Duchess of Cornwall in a Philip Treacy Design

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Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Katie Vale: Once again we see her in a large cream brim hat.  I’m not a fan of this hat.  It looks like the brim has been caught in the wind and been flipped up!  However, I do love that she is not afraid to wear a massive brim, as so many people are these days.  So that makes me very happy!

Royal Hats Blog: Of all Camilla’s large cream hats, this one is my least favourite. Like the Queen’s hat, the proportion of this brim is off. I usually like twisted ribbon tails but these ones, along with the upturned brim, make Camilla look like she is stuck in a wind tunnel.

The Countess of Wessex in a Jane Taylor design

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Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Katie Vale: Gorgeous!  Absolutely love it.  The disc isn’t flat, it has a wave to it.  And then the delicately placed sinamay spirals, just add an interesting design.  I think her outfit overall works really well, with the neutral tones and a hint of pink.  I’m happy!

Royal Hats Blog: I want to like it… and I think I do. I’m still on the fence because it’s so dramatic and the shape reminds me a little too much of a giant potato chip. I agree Katie- this works because it is paired with a tailored and very neutral dress. The pink spirals certainly are  fun!

Lady Helen Taylor

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Katie Vale: I’d have thought that a felt hat in this weather would have been too hot to wear.  However, she carries it off.  I love the colour and the shape creates an unusual beret style.  We saw some colour blocking yesterday and this outfit just shows that it really can work with any colour pallet at all.  In theory this shouldn’t work, Aqua & Mustard shouldn’t go together but it does!  And I can’t find fault in this outfit at all!

Royal Hats Blog: I like many individual pieces here on their own- the turquoise beret (perhaps without the weird stem sticking out of the top), the turquoise earrings and nail polish, the colour blocked dress. Together, and with those utterly ridiculous sunglasses, she looks like a Cirque du Soleil performer. Sophie Wessex’s hat is looking better and better…

Viscountess Linley in a Stephen Jones design

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Embed from Getty Images

Katie Vale: I really like the neutral tones.  And the delicate material is very effective.  It sits daintily on her head.  But I feel there could have been a little more shape to the design.

Royal Hats Blog: Serena wore this to William and Kate’s wedding in 2011. I loved it then and I absolutely love it now. It’s feminine, interesting, detailed, attractive, and absolutely beautiful on her.

The Duchess of Gloucester

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Katie Vale: I like the bronze colour & the use of straw, but I think it’s a little too bland for Ascot. I see Ascot as the chance for everyone to go wild 🙂 its very similar shape to the turquoise felt one, but that was striking due to its colour & outfit. This is a tiny bit subdued but I appreciate the classic and elegant feel to it.

Royal Hats Blog: Brigitte has worn a number of these straw berets over the past year (she wore this particular hat and dress for the Service of Thanksgiving during the Queen’s Jubilee last year). It’s a lovely shape on her but I find the colour of this one, with her hair and complexion, quite flat. I agree Katie- This is Ascot, the time to wear wonderful and wild hats!

Princess Haya of Jordan, Sheikha of Dubai in a Stephen Jones design

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Katie Vale: Oh my! I’m in hat heaven! Stunning!!! Monochrome is such a key look this year. I love the Jackie O pillbox and the placing of it right at the back of her head. A much better choice than yesterday. This is elegant, yet eye catching due to the contrast of her hair! It’s funny as its small & subtle, like the one above bit it just compliments the outfit so well! Do you think she read this blog about her hat yesterday? 🙂

Royal Hats Blog: Hat heaven? With this thing? I’m not sure that a small white pillbox with a juvenile bow is the best thing to pair with a checkerboard dress (where are we anyway? The Monte Carlo Grand Prix?). I also find the placement off to one side very odd and prefer pillboxes worn square on the back of the head. I do adore a classic pillbox hat but this one looks cutesy and trite paired with this awful dress.

All in all, it was less spectacular day of millinery than we saw yesterday for opening day. I’m hoping that some of these ladies are saving their best hats for Ladies’ Day tomorrow! Some of you might be interested in these other noteworthy hats today: Lady Jane Cecil, Brix Smith-Start, Caroline Dalmeny, and Denise Lewis

Photos from Getty as indicated

22 thoughts on “Ascot Day 2

  1. I agree with Katie re: Lady Helen Taylor! It shouldn’t work, but it does. This outfit really stood out for me, I love the quirky individualism right down to the glasses. To me it says, this is somebody with a sense of style who knows who she is – even if it’s not everybody’s cup of tea. I prefer her look to many…oh so boring repetitions!

  2. Gotta love the days of Royal Ascott! – That said – your objections to QEII’s hat for me can be tossed aside – not the same rules for Ascot as other occasions. I am wondering if the wide green brim tape is due to the brim can be turned up as it is here or pulled part way down. I think it’s designed with that in mind. Turned down you need the width on the band I am thinking. And for Ascot I like the bright color in the rose – no so matchy matchy. Not a fan of her dress however or the coat over it – real ‘dutchy’ looking my mom would have said which in her mind was not flattering and along the line of frumpy! But the mint color on her is pretty. Sophie’s hat is brilliant – LOVE! Camilla, who I am getting to appreciate a lot (she has been a hard working busy royal – too bad most outside of the UK still resent her over her being the ‘other woman’ that Diana had in her marriage). But Camilla needed to work a bit harder on pulling a day 2 Ascot outfit together. Her dress was horrible (almost as bad as QEII’ss.) While I like Cams in her big hats this is a least fav of mine. Checkerboard dress???? EEEEEKKKK! Only for a charity horse race maybe. She clearly wanted to catch the camera’s eye!

    • I really think the lavender straw used to create this hat is not pliable (in it’s finished form) and would not be able to be pulled down. It is an interesting explanation but I think it’s more likely that we have another Angela Kelly design with very poor proportions. I do love the term “dutchy”! That is marvelous!

      • As HatQueen has said this brim wouldn’t have been able to be pulled down. Once blocked in this shape the brim wouldn’t be able to pulled down or repositioned. It sets quite stiff and the material would split and crack if pulled at.

  3. Quite a let-down, hat-wise from Day 1. Sorry Your Majesty but the hat is a disaster, I like Sophie’s hat, but her dress is almost industrial. It looks like it should be worn by someone serving food on a cafeteria line. I like pillboxes, so I like Princess Haya’s, especially with big button earrings and big bangs swept over – very 60’s. Agree with HatQueen on the wonky placement though.

  4. I don’t like the big flower on Queen Elizabeth hat. I rather like Sophie’s hat, but it is a bit too much and her dress looks rather stiff and more suitable for an older lady. Lady Helen’s outfit is just a mess. Lady Armstrong-Jones looks very charming and ladylike The Duchess of Gloucester is wearing an outfit that makes her look much older. .Princess Haya looks with her hair and make up a bit like Eva Longoria, but what an unflattering dress for her short figure! I can’t image she can’t hire a good stylist.

  5. I really like the Duchess of Glocester’s hat and Princess Haya’s hat. They are both traditional hats that are very flattering.

    • Yes!! And for the very interesting commentary. I really enjoy reading your different opinions and it’s so interesting to hear more about the hat materials.

  6. Sophie, Camilla and Serena for the win for me. I love that silhouette on Camilla; the color of Sophie’s hat was perfect; Serena’s hat was close to the head but very sweet. Lady Helen…..not quite my cup of tea.

  7. Look at all that color blocking! I agree the Queen’s hat is a mess but I love the white pillbox at the bottom and the blue beret. WOW.

  8. Lady Helen Taylor : I found her look crazy but on the whole successful on the first picture – only two colors, a kind of science-fiction look with those glasses, nailpolish and futuristic beret shape (including the stem).
    But as soon as I got a glimpse on her whole dress, the favorable impression was definitely over. This dress is just awful: the colors, the fabric, the length… nothing to redeem!

  9. I actually like the Queen’s hat, although I think the comments about the green stripe on the brim being too wide and the flower colour not matching are spot on. Still, I like this candy pinky lilac and green as a colour-scheme. Camilla’s hat; big, yes, but very simple clean lines, so I like it. Sophie’s was the best of the day, really dramatic in a good way. Serena’s petal thing is very summery and again a sort of 1950s thing to her outfit, I thought. Lady Helen; I love the vibrancy and boldness, but don’t really like any of the component parts! Duchess of Gloucester’s little straw beret is nice, if unexciting.

  10. The Queen’s hat is silly. It has too many fusy feathers and the flower does not match. I also do not like pink and lavender together. Helen looks dreadful and so does the last lady in the checkerboard. I just don’t know what these women are thinking.

  11. Big news of the day is despite being quite awful, HM’s Angela Kelly hat….actually looks like a hat! Not a fabric covered anvil, but a real crown and brim hat! That in itself is quite a thing. Plus an outfit by a new designer and a heretofore unknown brooch, and HM had quite an exciting day! One must beg to differ on Lady Helen, that Smurf Blue hat was lifted from the Queen of Denmark and it does neither of them any favors. Though Helen’s accessories are more Tellytubby than Smurf.

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