Ascot Day 2: Earl & Countess of Wessex

The Earl and Countess of Wessex attended the races again today with the Countess in another new hat. A wide brimmed design in aqua straw, the hat’s brim dips down (a downsweep?!) low on the left side to frame Sophie’s face. The bespoke design links with its accompanying dress for the trim, a layered overlay in black and aqua ombre pleated crin that rolls into a spiral blossom just above the brim’s dip.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

It’s a magnificent hat on Sophie. The colour is stunning on her and the gentle shape not only frames her face in the most flattering way, but stands out against all the upswept brims we see. The black and aqua scheme set by the dress is a high contrast one that could easily yield a matchy, harsh lined hat but Jane Taylor’s stroke of genius in the ombre dyed pleated crin gives a softly romantic touch to a scheme where such an effect should be impossible. Several of you have mentioned a nostalgic “My Fair Lady” nod in several hats at Ascot this year- something that is clearly evident in this design while it simultaneously feels fresh and new.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Designer: bespoke Jane Taylor. Emilia Wickstead dress.
Previously Worn: This hat is new

The Earl repeated his black silk top hat- a hat that is in clearly better shape than others in his family! His pink silk tie, printed with jockeys on horses, adds another humorous touch.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images


I can’t wait to hear your thoughs on the Countess’ new hat! 
Photos from Getty as indicated

28 thoughts on “Ascot Day 2: Earl & Countess of Wessex

  1. Such a beautiful hat for Sophie, and I love the unexpected color scheme for this whole ensemble! I do wish the slope on the brim wasn’t so harsh and sudden, but it’s a minor complaint. Hard to believe this is a jumpsuit, and that Sophie would wear one!

    Definitely prefer Edward in pink instead of yellow concerning his ties; also glad to see he and Sophie don’t try to color-coordinate their outfits for outings like this (which drives me insane when I see it happen!).

  2. Well, I was just getting on board with this very interesting and unusual hat (not the jumpsuit, just the hat), when I saw this closeup topside view of it in The Sun https://www.thesun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/NINTCHDBPICT000414808430.jpg?w=960 (pic by Mark Stewart Ltd). What a massive disappointment! The pleated tulle trim looks to me like it has suffered overspray from being left on the floor of a panelbeater’s shop, or perhaps a spray-paint artist’s studio. I have no problem with a hat being spray-painted – but to me, this spraying looks so accidental, so unfocussed, that I can’t help feeling that from this angle the hat looks vandalised. Sloppy execution (or a punk aesthetic, whichever it is) is a dealbreaker for me with hats and so this one is not going onto my list of Ascot 2018 favourites.

  3. Such a bold look! I love the hat, the colour scheme and the shape of the dress. Not keen on the Snow White style sleeves though. Sophie has just got so confident in her looks hasn’t she.

  4. A rather Edwardian look for the countess. Unfortunately, although the color is extremely flattering to her, I can’t like either the hat or the dress. The left side of the hat looks more crushed than downswept, and the countess looks (to me) squashed under it. The black criss-crosses on the sleeves look harsh to me, next to the flowing lines of the dress and the intentional mood of the hat. The ensemble looks at odds with itself.

  5. When I first looked at this I thought “whaaat?” But the more I see of the whole look, the more I become a convert. It’s very soft and and floaty and romantic and I live it.

  6. I’ll be the lone naysayer, I don’t like this at all. There’s something about the angle of the upsweep as it comes across Sophie’s face that just looks off to me, like she’s wearing it too far back on her head. But seeing it from other angles, she’s clearly not. I do like the pleated crin and the ombre effect which is genius and very subtle. Excellent hairdo also. The jumpsuit/dress is awful. The black gauze on the sleeves is so clunky looking and there’s no other black anywhere else to tie it together. Ugh. Edward on the other hand, looks very nice.

  7. The hat is a wonderful ‘swoop’ and the Countess wears it well. The material is very interesting. A great visual statement. The black bands on the sleeves of the dress seem much tooheavy and distract the eye in the wring way. Perhaps the outfit with new sleeves. Interesting that it is a jumpsuit.

  8. I absolutely LOVE this whole outfit. The hat is stunning, again the My Fair Lady reference is perfect. I actually like the longer skirt, it nods to the gilded age look. I am surprised this is a “jumpsuit.” I agree though what makes it a jumpsuit as opposed to a split skirt? Unless split skirt is a US term and jumpsuit is UK term for the same style?

  9. I think this hat is a stunner! I love the ombre crin and the shape of the hat! I also love the color. It looks like a coral reef in the Caribbean somewhere. Thank you, HQ for your magnificent pictures. It is great to see the hat from all angles.

  10. I love the shape and concept of this hat. The blue color is pretty, but I find the black contrast rather harsh. Maybe gradations of the same color or a cream or white would be prettier. But I have to admit the black is dramatic.

  11. Love this hat! Beautiful and balanced. I don’t think the dress looks dowdy at all as some have suggested, but I think the trim on the sleeves is a bit ‘heavy.’ I also would have preferred the trim on both the hat and the dress to be navy rather than black.

    • I would agree on all points except that I believe this is not a dress but a jumpsuit. Ascot dress code was amended last year to allow jumpsuits. I would be OK with this but this particular outfit looks exactly like the typical too long dress that Sophie usually wears. I’m not sure why she feels the need to cover up so much as she has a great figure. The color scheme is great and I love the hat!

      • “I’m not sure why she feels the need to cover up so much as she has a great figure.” Well, just because you’ve got it in stock doesn’t mean you have to put it all in the window.
        I love the hat too – especially once I saw the ‘outside’ of it!

    • I wonder what makes this outfit a jumpsuit and not a split skirt. I would call it a split skirt, but I see the website calls it a jumpsuit. I am just wondering what would make the difference technically.

  12. Sophie’s hat is excellent and has that 1890’s Gilded Age feel about it ..but I’m still trying to work out how I feel about her outfit … DM said it was a jumpsuit 😕 if it is – the legs are way too short… I just hope it’s not !

  13. Now that is a hat! When I think of Royal Ascot or the Kentucky Derby, this is the kind of hat that comes to mind: large and dramatic. The color is lovely on her, and she can rock a long skirt like nobody’s business. I don’t especially care for the sleeves and bodice, but the long skirt is a winner. The top of the dress looks a bit over designed and mumsy. Sophie however, could wear a burlap sack and still look beautiful. Edward looks terrific. They do make a lovely pair.

  14. I love the hat. I don’t like the top half of the dress. I do love the swirly chiffon skirt. The Earl of Essex has such wonderful ties that are perfect for the occasion! However, I do believe I would try to yank that tie to the side a tad!

  15. Really like this hat on Sophie – but the dress is really dowdy looking. The blue with black on the hat works for me. However on the dress, the black cross-banding on the sleeve looks too heavy. I agree, it’s not matchy matchy – but it sure boarders on being close. The hat saves the day as you said from crossing that line.

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