Hat From the Past

Royal Hats 31 years on this day and a royal visit to Sandhurst Military College. The late Princess of Wales wore a military inspired Catherine Walker suit and tall, white Cossack shaped bumper hat, a look that seems firmly rooted in the fashion styles of the time.

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Photo from Getty as indicated

9 thoughts on “Hat From the Past

  1. I know it’s fashionable to mock the 80’s but I love this in all its exuberance. And it’s hardly 10 years ago that military style double-breasted jackets and coats were all the rage. Diana was having fun with this look and it was right for the occasion. The hat itself is rather restrained (I found pics – no bow at the back) which makes it a perfect partner for the not-so-restrained suit.

  2. Ah I remember this so well. This was peak Dynasty Di; yes it’s jokey, way too literal and a bit corny. But she was having fun (she was only 26!) and we lapped it up at the time.

  3. A very corny attempt at a military look that tumbled headfirst into pure operetta kitsch and really exploited the notion of Diana as ‘fashion icon’.

    • But the hat isn’t really any more corny than her other hats of that time – it’s the suit that does it. Raising the issue again of whether a hat can (or should) be evaluated separately from the ensemble it’s paired with.

      • Graham Smith was the milliner of this hat … he turned around Kangol from just making berets to making other special hats for Princess Diana – as well as this one !

  4. Gosh, I’m getting old, I remember when she wore that outfit, though I had forgotten that she wore gloves with it, which she so rarely did.

    I thought I remembered that this hat had a flat bow on the back. (I may be confusing it with a different but similar one, I’ll look.) Anyway, the hat itself was totally overshadowed by the outfit, and also, it seemed a little too big, even over Diana’s usually pretty pouffy hairstyle, so it doesn’t stand out for me at all — not one of my favorites at all. And I’m pretty sure she never wore it again with any other outfits.

  5. Oh I remember this outfit! It was a little over the top even for its time. Nice to see people having fun with fashion but this jacket may have crossed the line into pure costume. I liked the hat, though, even if it’s a bit exaggerated.

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