What is the formula for a great royal hat? Tough question! Yesterday’s post named the first three factors that I think define royal hat greatness– here are the remaining four.
Click on any of the photos to jump over to original feature posts or photo sources for additional information.
4. Is the hat well made? Quality and craftsmanship are important. Unfortunately, the most well constructed hats can be ruined by the wrong embellishments. Anything that looks like it was created in a few minutes with a glue gun is not all right.
5. Does the hat fit with the bigger picture? In the end, hats are a fashion accessory and they need to compliment the rest of the ensemble. Here are some obvious mismatches:
Dressing in the same colour or pattern from head to toe remains a popular approach to royal hat wearing. When one balances the shape, style and size of the hat with the rest of a monochrome outfit, the hat beautifully sets off the entire ensemble. The following four pairs of monochrome outfits and hats show one pairing that works well (on the right) and one that does not:
‘Bigger picture’ also relates to the occasion a hat is worn to. The most fantastic hat doesn’t look great if it appears at at the wrong event. Most of us agree that Princess Beatrice’s hat was not the right choice for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding. Had she waited two months and worn it to Ascot, however, it would have put her on the best dressed list. The hat the late Princess Grace wore to a wedding in 1970, shown below, gets it right.
6. Does it somehow relate to current style? Royal hats don’t need to reflect cutting edge fashion but they do need to either transcend time or link with current fashion. Queen Elizabeth is a great example- she introduces a few new hats every year and the subtle changes in crown height or brim shape on the new pieces updates her look and keep it relevant. While I admire Princess Anne for trotting out 30+ year old hats, most of them are painfully dated.
These factors (along with those named in Part 1) are what I think it takes to make a royal hat great. I hope this answers your question, Trish! I’m most curious to hear your thoughts, dearest readers- what do you think makes a royal hat great?
Question 4 photos from: Wireimage, WPA Pool and Antony Jones via Getty
Question 5 photos from: Julian Parker, Julian Parker, and Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty; The Daily Mail; Princess Diana Archive/Stringer, Tim Graham, and Michel Porro via Getty; Patrick van Katwijk/dpa/Corbis; AFP, Michel Porro AFP, Julian Parker and via Getty
Question 6 photos from: Press Association; Max Mumby/Indigo, Mark Cuthbert and Chris Jackson via Getty
Question 7 photos from: Chris Jackson, Mark Cuthbert, Chris Jackson, Alexander Koerner, and Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty; Patrick van Katwijk/dpa/Corbis; Chris Jackson, Max Mumby/Indigo, Photonews and Tim Graham via Getty