Reader Trish recently asked, “Great royal hats are easy to spot. They just stand out as great! I can’t figure out exactly what the formula is that makes a hat great. What do you think it is?”
It’s a difficult question, Trish. I think there are a seven factors that make a great royal hat- here are the first three:
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1. Is the hat attractive on its own? If not, it’s not likely to look better on a royal head.
2. Does it flatter the person wearing it? No matter the design, a royal hat must look great on the person wearing it. If only more royals thought about what millinery styles work best for their face shape or hairstyle and what colours go best with their hair and skin tone! Look at the four queens below – the difference a flattering hat (right side of each pair) makes is staggering!
The most beautiful hat is nothing if it’s too small or too large (as are the four hats above) for the person wearing it. Look at the two hats worn by the late Princess Margaret below- both are dramatic pieces in fuchsia feathers. The first one is a better size for her face and height; together with Margaret’s coat, the ensemble is balanced. The second overwhelms the princess and looks as if it is about to swallow her for lunch.
A hat also has to have balanced proportions within itself. Princess Alexandra of Kent’s two grey picture hats, worn here just two days apart, couldn’t be more different, thanks to the too-high proportion of the first hat’s crown.
Picture hats, by their very nature, can be a proportion challenge. When done right, however, they can be stunning.
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Jump over to this post for the remaining four factors that make a royal hat great. Thanks for your question, Trish!