Ascot Day 4: York Family

Members of the York family enjoyed the races together today. Princess Beatrice topped her palest blue tweed dress with a wide brimmed hat. In pale peachy pink straw, the design features a wide, cartwheel brim and a shallow crown and is trimmed with a slim black hatband that loops into a lovely bow on the side. The hat is finished with pink tipped yellow spider lily flowers.

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It’s SUCH a great hat…. but I just can’t get behind its pairing with this dress (which on its own, is also great on Beatrice!). Even linking with the pink purse and shoes, I can’t see this hat and dress as a harmonious pairing. It’s a bit disappointing, really, as both pieces are so lovely on their own.


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Designer: Sarah Cant. It is the ‘Gloriosa’ design from SS2018. The Fold ‘Camelot’ dress.
Previously Worn: This hat is new 
The Duchess of York joined her former husband and eldest daughter in a navy dress trimmed with black lace on the sleeves and her repeated black straw upswept saucer hat trimmed with royal blue silk roses and straw twists beneath the raised side of the hat. The hat’s colour scheme works so well with Sarah’s auburn hair and while I’m not always a fan of outfits that mix navy and black, this one works.
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Designer: Philip Treacy. Roland Mouret ‘Ulverston’ dress 
Previously Worn: June 19, 2015
The Duke of York repeated the black silk top hat he’s worn so far this week. 
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Thoughts about this trio of hats?
Photos from Getty as indicated

23 thoughts on “Ascot Day 4: York Family

  1. At first I thought Beatrice’s hat and dress did go together better than what people were thinking, but having a moment to step away and come back, it’s now quite obvious that this is not the case. Both hat and dress were great choices, but not together.

    Love seeing Sarah Ferguson bring this hat back. While it looks good with this navy dress, I prefer the vibrancy of the black and cobalt dress she wore previously with this hat, although I do like her hair up this time as I think it shows off the hat better.

  2. I’m not blown away by Beatrice’s hat. Something about the shape I just don’t really like. It could have been better with a different dress but even then I don’t think I would love it. But it’s great that she tried a new shape.

  3. Lovely hats, but not shown to best advantage
    In Beatrice’s case I feel her hat is too big for her. She’s petite. Wide-brimmed hats can have a flattening, widening and shortening effect on petite women, which is why older women, who tend to be shorter, mostly avoid them. Note how Beatrice’s hat extends beyond her shoulders. She is wearing it in the horizontal, which is the plane with the most shortening effect. Compare the width of the hat worn by taller woman in pink talking to Beatrice in the 6th photo. Beatrice has successfully worn wide-brimmed hats at previous Ascots, but she tilts them, which cancels the shortening problem and creates height, and none extend past her shoulders (I think – it can be a bit hard to tell when a hat is on a steep angle). The downward facing brim is exaggerating the shortening effect,and I think that brim would hit her shoulder if she tilted the hat, so angling this hat would not be a solution.
    Sarah’s hat is carrying a significant amount of visual weight on her left, and I feel it is unbalancing her look. Following the examples of this style of hat we have seen Sophie of Wessex wear, I would like to see Sarah wear this hat more in the vertical, i.e. tilted further down over her right ear, to maximise the heightening effect.

    • Mcncln, I agree on the issue of the tilting of these hats! P. Beatrice’s hat could only be tilted (which would look more elegant) if the brim were shortened on the right hand side. Also another hair style might have given this hat a less girlish look.
      As to the Duchess of York: all Philip Treacy’s saucer hats of this style are worn almost completely vertical when modelled on his website, clinging to the side of the face more than sitting on top of the head. I imagine it is easier to fix such a hat correctly with the assistance of a hairdresser. Sometimes it takes a little help to achieve the “too good to be true” look.

      • Thanks for your insider’s knowledge Wies, I always wonder what a milliner would recommend to their client, in terms of placement and styling, when a client is choosing their hat. I really appreciate your contributions to the comments.

        • Thank you. Question is: do clients listen? Actresses learn to judge the effect of their costumes, or clothes, on others. How to wear a dress, how to move, how to pose, how to use an accesory to the best effect.
          I have seen actresses during fittings, specially senior ones, playing with the fold of draped neckline, tilting the brim of a hat half an inch more, studying themselves in the mirror and suddenly turn into devine creatures, rather than hardworking elderly women. But it takes quite some excercise!

          • Fascinating observation about actors, Wies. God is in the detail, as the saying goes. I imagine that fewer junior actresses these days have the hatwearing experience to understand the finer points of hat placement in the way you describe.

  4. I agree Beatrice looks great in this dress and hat but this look goes in the category of blah. This could have been a stunning hat with a different dress and vice versa. The dress could have been a wow with a different hat. I also have to say Beatrice seems to be loving this box style of purse (haven’t we seen others in different colors?)

    Sarah looks good. I actually love the way royal blue and black can be put together. I am not sure it this is the best way to do it though. Sarah looks great in a tight suit but I would love to see her in something in a different style.

    How great to see her in the royal box.

  5. I like both Beatrice’s hat and dress, just not together. I think if she had her hair in a sleek pony it would have looked great with this hat. Sarah looks great in this hat, usually I don’t like black & blue together but here it works. Dress is just ok & I feel bad saying that because I really love Sarah and want her to do well.

  6. I wonder how this pink hat would have gone with the colorful print dress Princess Béatrice recently wore to the Serpentine. This dress would have gone well with the blue boater she wore last year. And while I’m imagining a switch around, Princess Eugenie might have done well pairing her origami flower hat with the kimono style wrap dress, and putting the wide brimmed plain hat with the busy floral print dress. At any rate nice hats all around.

  7. The DM had a picture of Prince Andrew in his hat …he’s laughing uproariously with Fergie and Beatrice ! Fergies hat is cute but the royal blue roses on the black straw don’t quite go with the navy dress in my opinion and I really like Bea’s hat but not with that dress – I’m not being facetious when I say I really wonder if they have a problem “seeing” colours … I have a friend who can’t see them either but she says she’s not colour blind 😕

  8. Just a note to say thank you for covering the Ascot hats in such detail; it’s been such a pleasure checking out the lovely ensembles. It must be hard work!

  9. It really seems as if Beatrice got dressed in the dark. What disparate items! The yellow flower really doesn’t go with anything. Very odd. Sarah looks quite elegant until you realize she isn’t wearing stockings. At a certain age, stockings are a must, especially for formal events. The blue flower adds a touch of lightness to her rather somber ensemble.

    • As I mentioned earlier, stockings are not a requirement in the Ascot dress code. I’ve heard enough from you all on the subject- back to the hats, everyone.

  10. Perhaps I’m suffering from Ascot hat overload, but Beatrice’s looks merely nice to me, certainly not the standouts she sported for Days 1 & 3. The yellow spider lily is an elegant touch for the finish.

    The style and color of Sarah’s are indeed very good with her hair. I’m surprised to see that she is bare-legged, though. While that is certainly acceptable in much of the rest of the world, I thought it was still taboo at Ascot. Does anyone know?

  11. I don’t know whether it’s a trick of the light or an illustration of the vagaries of photography, but it seems to me there is a pink cast to the fabric of Princess Beatrice’s dress. Perhaps the outfit looks more unified in person? In any event, each element is appealing, but from the present evidence at any rate, neither does much for the other. (And both really suit the princess, so it is a pity.)

    • I think this is the same dress Princess Beatrice wore, in pink, at Trooping of the Colors. I think the dress is great, however, I agree the hat pairing is less than desired.

  12. I agree with you on Beatrice, great dress, fabulous hat; just not a great marriage. The colours are too close. This hat can handle a more dramatic dress. Also not loving her poker straight hair with it, it just seems to pull
    It down, a more natural look would be better.

    Liking Fergie’s look, it’s not stellar but she looks nice and well put together.

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