Hat From the Past

Royal Hats to a royal visit to Los Angeles on this day in 1988. Royal dress for foreign tours often includes a nod to the host nation or city- the trim on the Duchess of York’s black wide brimmed hat took this to a whole new level.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Photo from Getty as indicated

19 thoughts on “Hat From the Past

  1. This look is so 80s, but Fergie embraced it hardcore, and I love her for it, especially as she was fond of those wide brims! I wonder if this is a Stephen Jones creation; it looks like something he would do.

    • I’m going to be a bit of a renegade here and express the opinion that there was such a negative opinion of Sarah’s fashion sense at the time that everything she wore was criticized even if it was nice. Putting aside the bows on the braid and just looking at the hat, if Maxima wore this hat tomorrow, people would be loving it. (IMO)

      • As I was only two months old at the time of this hat outing, and started becoming a royal hat watcher only in the mid-to-late 2000s, any perspectives/criticisms/praises I offer on hats worn before 2005 are purely in hindsight, so there’s my bias. As for Sarah Ferguson, I enjoy the fact she embraced large brims and bold colors during her official royal years; any criticisms I offer about her are general for the time period (also, I hate looking back at what I wore until about 5 years ago, when I finally started understanding and finding clothing that really worked for and fit me, so . . .).

  2. Wowza – to top off all that excess,there’s even a black bow at the waist, which we can’t see in the posted photo: https://www.gettyimages.com.au/license/51403628
    There is such a world of difference between the ways Duchess Sarah and Princess Diana interpreted ‘eighties style.
    But looking at the post pics, I can’t help thinking, ” So that’s where Beatrice gets it from :)” does this hat and ponytail remind you of Beatrice too? https://royalhats.wordpress.com/2017/06/22/royal-ascot-2017-day-3-princess-beatrice/
    and even Eugenie!:https://royalhats.wordpress.com/2016/06/18/day-5-royal-ascot-princess-eugenie/
    Honestly, I think this hat is surpisingly modern and undated, and I would love to see either of Sarah’s daughters wearing it at the next Ascot- (if the hatpin letters could be made relevant, of course :))

  3. I always loved the fun style Sarah had and with her long hair she did some cute things. I wish she could have been faithful to Andrew so we could have seen her more mature style. With Eugenie’s wedding coming up hopefully that is exactly what we will see….a mature, elegant mother of the bride!

      • Yes, you are right for whatever reason their marriage didn’t work ( and there are always two sides) I miss her fun sense of style! And am anxious to see her in the mother of the bride role at Eugenie’s upcoming wedding!

  4. I remember this as if it were yesterday! All the elements of this look are great. But poor old Fergs didn’t know when to stop did she. It s a shame looking back on those years; they’re such a young fun couple, but just the excess consumed them.

    Still, the fashion is (most of the time…) fun!

  5. I live in Orange County, CA, a “suburb” of LA and was busy working, raising 2 children and going to nursing school classes in 1988. I didn’t have much time for fashion or the royals but I have to say that, for it’s time, she got it right IMHO. The black and while color scheme was trendy, the hairbows were on the mark and the lace top with the big shoulders was perfect. I even remember having a pair of black pumps that match what the Duchess is wearing! Stilettos belonged to hookers and exotic dancers back in the day. The LA on the back of her hat was cute and that 80’s were nothing if not cute.

  6. The duchess did not have a gift for simplification. She never seems to have examined photos of herself to see what worked and what didn’t. The hat in itself is appealing, and the initials, if the rest of her ensemble had been simpler, might have been amusing.

  7. I like the hat and the hatpins (yes, they’re tongue in cheek but why not) but this is the 80’s when one single good idea was not allowed to remain single so a galore of lace, ruffles and bows had to be added for companionship. Styled with a simple (!) black or black-white ensemble this would have hold up a lot better to the ravages of time.

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