Countess of Wessex in Chic Black and White

Royal HatsLast week, the Countess of Wessex attended the General Assembly Meetings of The Church of Scotland in a pale grey hat worn with a black and white silk dress by Emilia Wickstead printed in an English country toile motif. Sophie has worn this dress with two very different hats, yielding very different looks:

Look 1: With a dramatic Jane Taylor black straw wave shaped hat with pointed ends, trimmed in Lady Amherst feathers  at the Luxembourg royal wedding, October 20, 2012

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images


Look 2: With a black straw Rachel Trevor Morgan saucer hat trimmed in a pinwheel of silk ruffles at a June 6, 2013 Buckingham Palace garden party (see a front view of this hat from another outing here)

Look 3:  With a pale grey picture hat with flat crown and mushroom brim trimmed with feathers and silk organdie ribbon  Jane Taylor at the General Assembly Meetings of The Church of Scotland on May 17, 2014  and on June 2, 2015 at a Buckingham Palace Garden Party celebrating the centennary of the Women’s Institute.


In some ways, it is unfair for me to ask which hat pairing with this dress you prefer because the hat we saw this week is obviously an attempt to dress down this outfit (done very successfully!) – I suppose this is less of a “this or that?” question and more of a “formal or less formal?”query. I remain curious, however, about which hat do you prefer with this Emilia Wickstead frock?

Photos from Getty and The Church of Scotland  

20 thoughts on “Countess of Wessex in Chic Black and White

  1. I think both hats look good on Sophie, but the black one is the more dramatic and original. I prefer the dress worn with the black jacket, as I find the print a bit too busy. It’s good to see Sophie has improved sartorially enormously in the last few years, and seems to have gained a lot more confidence. It’s always nice to see royal ladies in hats, and with appropriate hairdos, and I do hope the Duchess of Cambridge can take inspiration from her and “hat up.”

  2. I like both of them for different reasons. The black hat worn to Luxumbourg is a bit more edgy and goes with the print and the neckline. The grey saucer hat takes it further into retro land, especially with the addition of the jacket which changes the silhouette somewhat. In fact with the jacket and this hat, I see a Lady Sarah Chatto vibe and can definitely get behind that.

  3. Impossible question:) I love them both for such different reasons. But I have to vote for the original black-hat appearance. That one wowed me at the time and will always hold a spot on my list of Sophie’s greatest hits. I am reminded that she also wore this dress to a garden party last year. I must check back for what hat she wore that time as well.

    • Good memory! She wore this black ruffled saucer hat by Rachel Trevor Morgan. I didn’t include it here because there isn’t a good photo of it.

  4. The print on this dress is somewhat bizarre, but from a distance, one can see it as just a black and white irregular pattern and I find it very attractive. I love the whole look at the Luxemburg wedding, Sophie has rarely looked more elegant, and that’s partly the splendidly exuberant hat. Having said that, her other look with the grey hat is also excellent, just not outstanding.

  5. Absolutely and undoubtedly the black one in Luxembourg. It isn;t only beautiful, it’s quite directional and funky – Sophie is dressing much younger in her late 40s than she did in her 30s and it suits her so well. That dress divides opinion I know, but I absolutly love it; it’s a great shape on her and really festive and fun, I think she looks absolutely fab. I do like the light picture hat too, but it’#s not quite as spectacular – and I’d like it worn at more of a tilt too. Still – a good look.

  6. I really like both of them a lot – as you said, different occasions so I can’t really make a call here, but I can say I am not a fan of the dress much at all. Keep the hats Sophie and ditch the frock!

  7. I like both hats much better than the frock. I love a picture hat and the pale one works very well with the outfit. But, I love the edginess of the black hat as well. Is it the same shape as the hat that Queen Max wore recently? Like a giant leaf on her head? LOVED that hat!

  8. The black hat wins for me! What threw me off the most, though, are the shoes! I DETEST the wide ankle strap shoes! Thank you Hat Queen for this one, I thought that dress looked familiar!

    • I agree, the black hat is truely a wonderful whimsical work of art and would be hard to beat. However, the grey is, in fact, quite beautiful and could almost be called a Picture hat, a style that Sophie hasn’t really embraced . . . until now. And how well it suits her, both in colour and style, not to mention perfectly complimenting her dress. IAs OoS points out, also achieves it’s purpose in dressing down the ensemble.

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