American-Imperial State Visit Concludes

The American state visit to Japan concluded today with a photo op and farewells. Empress Masako wore a beautifully cut, textured white suit topped with a white bowler hat variation with the straight-sided, domed-top crown we’ve seen her wear many times before. Covered in what looks like white silk, the hat is trimmed in a wide hatband that either pinstriped in a pale, neutral stripe or made of multiple layers of overlapping white ribbon- until we get a closer view, it’s too hard to tell.

Embed from Getty Images

The mix of textures on suit and hatband, combined with her exquisite pearl necklace, comes together for another quietly elegant look on Masako. Yes, the colour is a bit restrained but she wears it well and the soft palate has created a consistently stately look on her this visit- a look she has carried with poise and confidence. I just wish there was more than just a hatband to tell all her ivory/cream/white hats apart. I’m starting to suspect some are repeated, but with different hatbands…

Embed from Getty Images

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: Not with this hatband. But…maybe with another one? Stay tuned for an upcoming post where we’ll explore this more. 

What do you think of this look on Empress Masako today?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

11 thoughts on “American-Imperial State Visit Concludes

  1. As a person who loves color, the all-white ensemble is a bit boring for me, but Empress Masako remains elegant and polished here, and I especially like her necklace. I would like to see the Empress with her hair down sometimes as she has beautiful hair and has looked good in the past pairing a down hairstyle with her hats.

    Not surprised to see Melania Trump sans hat on this visit, but I wonder if she will wear one on the state visit to the UK?

    • Even Queen Letizia, who NEVER wears hats, wore one for the Spanish state visit to the UK! I think the influence of Queen Elizabeth is very strong and as a result, my money is on a hat for Melania next week.

  2. I agree with all the above comments. I’m very much enjoying following the new Empress.
    Pity the First Lady wore no hats on the visit.

  3. I tend not to comment on the hats of the Japanese royals (Princess Hisako excepted) as they rarely interest me.
    But in this instance I’m surprised at how much I like what I’m seeing here.
    Some small but significant styling changes have made a big difference in how this hat shape works for Masako. The lowered and indented neckline, the removal of bulky lapels to expose more neck area, the replacement of the classic pearl necklace with a modern station necklace, the sheen on the fabric, the on-trend simplicity of the single button jacket closure, the shorter jacket cuffs – all these combine to create a visually “lighter” and more “open” appearance which I find very appealing. The clean lines of the hat have a more modern look, I think because they connect more strongly to the sharp clean lines of the outfit.
    And I can’t not mention Masako’s poise and gracious demeanour, which are evident in all the photos of this state visit – this royal has real presence.

    • You have articulated beautifully what has been going on sartorially with the new Empress. Subtle, but important changes have occurred since she became the Empress, and I suspect she will continue to evolve her own style as her mother-in-law also did. The admiration I had for her is growing by leaps and bounds. It is going to be interesting to watch the changes!

    • Such great observations- I don’t think we talk enough about how clothing impacts the look of a hat and I completely agree- this suit is so beautiful, it elevates the hat which, as you say, looks more modern in return.

      I think many of us are rooting strongly for Masako and so far, she’s doing us proud. I hope that she continues working at a pace that works for her.

  4. Empress Masako looks elegant and relaxed. I would love to get a closer look at the hat. The hats of the Japanese Imperial family are always flawlessly executed. Delicate silks and no sloppy finishings to be seen anywhere!

  5. in a year’s time we can have a look back at her first year as Empress and see her hats style evolve
    she clearly feels comfortable in this style and it suits her

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