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!
Photos from Getty as indicated; FDJD/Newspix/Corbis and FDJD/Newspix/Corbis
I would say, she just loves that shape, knows that she looks good in it and does not really wear hats in her private life. Hats have to be worn on certain occasions, and so she does but doesn’t really bother wich changing styles… I sometimes do buy a blouse or so in different colours when I like them and feel well in…
Just wondering if those huge pearls are the ones that Queen Victoria got with the Kho-i-nor but thought too big after having the earings made.
I wonder if Sarah is one of those people (like me!) who has great difficulty finding a hat that suits her, and feels comfortable. I imagine that she has found this the perfect style, and as she is not a fashion-plate sort of person, is happy to stick to what she likes. Three different colours to suit every hat-needing occasion, good, now she can concentrate on what really interest her!
I like the shape but as others have said, one would have been enough. Variety is the spice of life!
Is there different trims on the cream and black hats? It looks like something on top of the saucer.
Perhaps she gets a bulk discount. I do rather like that she’s found a look and is sticking with it. It worked for her great-grandmother, and in her more modest way, she’s making it work for her.
Buy two get one free!
Well done, everyone! Lady Sarah does indeed have triplets in this style. I can’t believe I forgot about the grey one. Interestingly, I think they all were worn for the first time in 2011.
Here is the gray one from Will & Kate’s wedding
I like her simple taste in clothes combined with some of her late mother’s stunning jewels. I like these hats, but I don’t like the visible hairband attachment. She should brush her hair over it.
I agree with Sassy that there is an original triplet in dove grey that appeared at William & Kate’s wedding; that one is my personal favorite (but that’s because grey is my favorite neutral!). I think this is a great shape for her, but I do wish she would bring back the wide-brimmed light lavender hat from Charles & Camilla’s wedding (which she also wore to the wedding of Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly) or the beautiful and simple black structured beret from Lady Rose Gilman’s wedding.
Anyone able to provide pics from the 3 events Jake mentions above???!!! Thanks.
Here’s the post on extended BRF hats: https://royalhats.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/british-royal-wedding-ten-years-on-extended-british-royal-family/
Lady Sarah at Lady Rose Gilman’s wedding (from Getty Images):
I think the wide brimmed hat Lady Sarah wore to Charles and Camilla’s wedding was actually a pale grey- you can see it here.
The black beret you mention has been seen numerous times- at Lady Rose Gilman’s wedding here, for Christmas Day in 2008 and more recently, at Prince William’s installation as a Knight of the Thistle in 2012.
I’m never quite certain if that wide brim hat is grey or a very pale lavender; I see both depending on which photo. But I also have this problem with a hat at the shop I work at; some people say it’s cream and silvery-grey, while I see it more as cream and a very pale shiny lavender. Guess my eyes are a little maladjusted compared to a lot of people. But thanks for providing photos HatQueen!
I think grey can often have a lilac undertone to it. Looking more closely at this hat, it certainly looks more lavender in some photos while more grey in others. Interesting!
The Beret wins!!!!! How gorgeous does it look with that smart suit at the wedding. Very chic. Thanks.
I agree with what Jake says: April 20, 2015 at 8:37 pm. The grey hat and the grey outfit are the best look of the three.
I think it’s hat triplets. At Williams wedding she wore a heather gray one to match her Jasper Conran heather gray dress.
I think you could be right Sassy. She teamed a very similar looking hat with a lovely grey, pleated, belted dress….and……same earrings, same necklace. I think we can safely assume she likes what she likes and given she is not in the public eye that often she probably sees no reason to change her style for the sake of it. I always enjoy seeing her when she is at a more high profile function I have to say. She is classically elegant as others have already said and I like that. Thanks for the post.
MrFitzroy does love that mini-Jardine Star-esqe brooch. Oh, and the hats are fine too!
I get it, really I do, but a change every so often isn’t too much to ask is it? I loved the grey and black look at the Royal wedding, it was chic and 50s and really unexpected. But enough already, at least mix it up a bit! Serous jewellery though, she gets props for rocking her diamonds in the daytime – that I AM on board with!!
I love the idea of vintage modern, although I’d need to hire someone to get it organized for me. Surely even mini-royals have enough money to do that. If my life were based on public appearances, I’d splurge.
Back to the hats: the white one definitely washes her out. The grey one is lovely. I’m all for wearing hats numerous times, but it is odd to wear the exact same outfit with the exact same hat, only with a color change of the hat. (shaking my head…)
Vintage does not mean drab… A brightly colored sweater, or even a soft pastel, over the white dress, would be delightful. And the white hat might work then. In fact, she could change the color of the sweater wih each outfit and have something interesting.
I do like her quiet elegance as well. She isn’t faddish, and she wears what she likes. I actually don’t mind these hats being the same, but if I could, I would tell her to keep the black hat and put away the white one. I really hadn’t noticed before that she doesn’t wear makeup, but I suppose that is in keeping with her simpler style. Perhaps it is a reaction to the younger royals who wear a great deal of makeup, and she just doesn’t want the attention. Regardless, she has a lovely smile and likely that gets her all the attention she needs or wants.
Quiet elegance- I like that. Being a bit of a cardi girl myself, I say 10 out of 10.
I do admire Sarah’s classic minimalist style, but sometimes wish she would just cut loose! A little discreet make up wouldn’t hurt either.