Inventory: Countess of Wessex’s Red Hats

One of my goals for 2018 is to complete more royal hat wardrobe inventories. With no better time like the present to work at achieving this goal, we’re jumping in today with a look inside the Countess of Wessex’s millinery closet at all of her red hats. Red does not seem to be Sophie’s favourite colour as she has worn just three designs in this hue during the course of her royal life:

1.    2.Nov 19, 2007 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats

Designer: unconfirmed; Philip Treacy
Introduced: April 4, 1999; November 19, 2007


Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan
Introduced: December 25, 2009

As far as I can determine, each one of these designs was worn only once, at the events pictured above. The shapes could not be more different, giving a most random look to this collection. The shape of #1 is outdated to current fashion sensibilities; the upswept brim of #2 is lovely but the harsh Homburg bumps on the crown seem at odds with the large flying bow. As lovely as #3 is in theory, its large scale and placement ends is simply awkward (bouquet plopped on head).  Seeing these hats reminds me of the time, prior to her wonderful collaboration with milliner Jane Taylor, when Sophie’s millinery looks more than occasionally looked like they were wearing her, instead of the desired opposite. I’d love to see what Jane Taylor would design for her today, in red.

Photos from Tim Graham, Tim Graham and Max Nash via Getty

21 thoughts on “Inventory: Countess of Wessex’s Red Hats

  1. I definitely thought there would be more in this category, but since you stated burgundy was making a separate post, that makes more sense. I’m gonna be in the minority, but the only one I like here is #2, which I think deserves another outing.

  2. Even though I love hats (even if i don’t wear them) & despite following this blog for some years, i obviously still don’t know enough about hat fashions cos #1 looks the best & most wearable to me.
    #3 would work well with an updo & placed at the side of the head.

  3. None of the hats are especially great on the Duchess. The first one is very basic and does not show her completion well; and second one is to big for her small features; and the third one is a beautiful hat but does not seem to suit the outfit she is wearing.

  4. I love the first look. And I don’t think it is that out of style since Duchess Kate wore a very similar shaped hat last March when she wore the Lock & Co. Tiffany hat in blue. I also like the red floral fascinator although I agree that a better placement, maybe on the side of an updo like Princess Madeleine has worn, would have improved the appearance. The second hat is just an allover unattractive shape, like a lot of the too tall cartoonish hats Countess Sophie used to wear.

    • I thought much the same. The first one does look much the same shape as one we’ve seen on Kate. And yes to the 2nd being unattractive – Sophie did go through a phase of wearing very oddly proportioned, unflattering hats.

  5. I agree that the overdone homburg crown on the second hat clashes with the more sensual bow. I am not sure what the intent was, but the junctaposition of these features did not work.
    I don’t mind the third hat if it had been styled differently. To me it looks more like a warmer weather fascinator. The coat is too formal for such a piece.

  6. I don’t care if it isn’t in style now – I love #1. #2 has potential but that loopy trim reminds me of Mickey Mouse ears, which kills it. #3 looks too small but I love her hair in that picture.

  7. I actually loke 2&3 a lot. I could have sworn 2 got an outing at church but I could be mistaken. 3 is lovely and I suspect with her longer hair and better styling now she could really make it work again.

  8. My favorite of these is the last one, I’m not usually a fascinator person, but I actually like the big size and plopped bouquet look. It’d never be a favorite and I’m grateful that she has so many wonderful hats, but I wouldn’t be averse to seeing that third one again.

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