Hat From the Past

Royal Hats to 35 years ago today and a voluminous, flower trimmed turban worn by Queen Elizabeth on a tour of Sri Lanka.

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Photo from Getty as indicated

12 thoughts on “Hat From the Past

  1. Not a fan of any of this, it just looks so frumpy. Her 70’s looks were at least of their time, this looks dated for the early 80s, the dress is really unflattering and the hat looks oversized for one that is meant to be a turban/head hugging shape. When we look how she dresses now, it’s just far better, and even though not a slave to fashion, if references current trends far more. She was in this mode until the early 2000’s when the current team came in and updated her look.

  2. I love this hat.
    It’s the seventies synthetic-looking housedress I can’t stand. Not elegant and smart enough — with WAY too much going on, what with the lapel collar, bouffy full-length cuffed sleeves, flared skirt, belt– and pattern with a border, even.
    Remove the collar and belt, trim and narrow the sleeves to elbow length like the Sri Lankan women were wearing during HM’s visit, reduce the volume in the skirt, and you would have a simple day dress like this one she wore in 1996: http://news.images.itv.com/image/file/954845/stream_img.jpg
    However even with a makeover, I don’t think this dress would show off the hat the way it deserves. I would prefer to see this hat with an unpatterned dress, in any colour, with some black detail or accessories to pick up the black (?) panel underneath the white flowers.

  3. I rather like the dress fabric.
    My real question, however, is as follows. This hat looks to be white. Dress is blue and white. Hat — while not attractive to current (any?) standards — goes well enough with the outfit, I guess, because of white accessories and the white in the dress. For the past 20 years or so each of Queen Elizabeth’s hats obviously has been made specifically for one particular outfit. This white hat could have been (maybe was?) worn with multiple outfits. This mix-and-match practice is used by most people but not by the Queen of England. Many of the Queen’s current hats really can’t be worn with other outfits, and even those hats that could be worn with other outfits generally aren’t, except for odd occasions while the Queen is traveling. If the Queen was not adhering to a one-hat, one-outfit practice 35 years ago, when did this change? If she was adhering to a one-hat, one outfit practice, I really wonder why this hat was designed for this outfit.

    • It does indeed have a sixties vibe. HM has often worn hat styles long after they hit their peak in the fashion cycle, which is why it can be so hard to date her hats – or to find corroborating press photos.
      In those cases of HM’s hats on exhibit where the record of precise dates and locations of wear appears to have been lost (I must say that I can’t imagine how this could have happened), I suspect that some of the dates attributed are way off.

      • The hats she wore in the early 1980s puzzle me. There were a whole bunch of these 1960s/70s vibe turbans:

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        These seem even more out of date when contrasted against the styles she was also wearing during these same years (1980-1984) that were pretty fashionable for the time:

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        I suppose when one has as large a hat wardrobe as the queen does, it’s inevitable that some pieces fall out of fashion before they are retired. The early 1980s seem to have suffered this more acutely than other periods, I think.

      • It’s funny that she wore such current styles in the 1980s mixed with these 1960s leftovers. I agree that this makes the turbans look even more dated. It’s like Princess Beatrix today. Her hats are not very stylish but they are her style and that’s what she wears. If she mixed in some truly stylish hats, her huge pillboxes would look completely out of date.

        The turquoise hat in your stylish list (the first one with the veil wrapped around it) is one I have never seen before and it’s beautiful. The pale yellow one with the scalloped brim is also so pretty.

  4. Not one of my favorites, by a long stretch. It reminds me of a shower cap.
    I’m sure the dress was very expensive and well made, but it looks like nothing special to me, almost frumpy.
    In general, I think HM looks and dresses far better today.
    For example, she was absolutely radiant in the hot pink ensemble on the day before her birthday.

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