I’m always happy to see Lady Sarah Chatto at British Royal Family events. Her sleek, streamlined style often carries a 1950s vibe and this kind of ‘vintage modern’ personal style is unique in royal circles. In recent years, Sarah has frequently stepped out in two versions of the same Stephen Jones saucer hat- one in cream and one in black. I suppose life as a ‘mini royal’ does not warrant many hats and ordering a favoured style in two classic colours is an easy way to manage a millinery wardrobe. In a world of marvellous hat design options, however, it seems curious to me to have multiple versions of such a distinctive shape. When she appeared at Easter two weeks ago in another version of this same style, I found myself even more perplexed.
Version 1: Cream straw at Ascot, June 2014
Version 2: Black straw for Zara Phillips’ wedding on July 30, 2011Embed from Getty Images
Version 3: Black velvet crown and piping on a slate grey straw brim worn for Easter at Windsor on April 5, 2015
Version 4: Dove grey straw worn for the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, April 29, 2011
Update! Version 5: Navy straw with cream straw underside worn June 10, 2016 for Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday Service of Thanksgiving
Lady Sarah’s style is elegantly understated and while this hat fits this aesthetic very well, I can’t help but be surprised to see five versions of it, especially in a millinery wardrobe that is quite small. I suppose this is an efficient way to approach royal dressing- find a style that works and stick with it!