Hat From the Past

Royal Hats While we are all recovering from the over-hat-stimulated, post-Ascot coma, I thought you’d all find this look back to what fashion looked like at Royal Ascot 110 years ago a remarkable one.

9 thoughts on “Hat From the Past

  1. What I most notice is what appears to be a whole stuffed bird (or two) on the hat of the woman on the left. Millinery taxidermy (the use of bodies of whole wild birds “prepared for the millinery trade”) was a huge industry in that era, and it generated uncontrolled wholesale slaughter of wild birds, both native and exotic, that left many species close to extinction.Thankfully, those days are past.

  2. Thank you HQ for your great blog, specially recently over Ascot. These photographs are really interesting and these outfits a tour de force. However I have to register some sadness – the Victorian and Edwardian fashion for whole birds or wings on the ladies’ hats ( see the one on the left) lead to the wholesale slaughter of many birds – some of whom are now extinct in the UK and many whose number have never really recovered. Oh what we do in the name of fashion.

  3. Thank you for a wonderful Ascot.

    And with slight modifications, the hat on the right might work for the Duchess of Cornwall.

  4. The first thing I think of when I see these outfits are how hot they must have been. They are gorgeous though! As always I loved the Ascot reporting. Thank you!

  5. I add my thanks Hat Queen. These hats are astounding. They must have been very heavy and difficult to wear, but the dresses would have been a nightmare to keep clean. Imagine all those grass stains!

    • Apparently it was common to add a wide band of plain, hardwearing fabric to the underside of the skirt where it drags on the ground, to protect the dress. This could then be removed when it got grubby/tatty and replaced with a fresh band of cloth. But the above dresses look too long for that to have been a fully effective ploy. Conspicuous consumption, I guess.
      I like the hat on the left – very dashing. The other is a little too much like a pavlova for my tastes.

  6. Just want to say thanks HQ for your marathon efforts reporting about Ascot! As always a joy to read your blog!

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