Monday Multiples: Queen Elizabeth

Thanks to Jimbo for providing the introduction and background research for this “Monday Multiples” series.

Jimbo’s Introduction: Mixing hats with different outfits is not a new millinery phenomenon.  Queen Elizabeth, everyone’s favorite and most prolific royal hat wearer, was leading the way 20 years ago!  Here is the same hat, worn with a different ensemble each time.  Granted, not the most fascinating of designs, this tan straw go-to hat could have been intended as the grab-the-closest-hat-hanging-by-the-door-as-you-make-a-mad-dash . . .  we all have one!

Hat: Almond braided straw with upturned kettle brim, trimmed with a multiple strand plaited hatband and rolled circle button at back. Designer unknown.

Look #1: With a pale turquoise tailored suit with stitched lapels worn on April 19, 1999 in Seoul, Korea, on March 29, 2000 in Launceston, Tasmania and on a March 22, 2001 visit to a London publisher.

Embed from Getty Images

Look #2: With a deeper turquoise wool bouclé coat worn to welcome a Chinese state visit on October 19, 1999

Embed from Getty Images

Look #3: With a black silk dress printed with ivory stemmed flowers worn November 14, 1999 in Durban, South Africa

Embed from Getty Images

Look #4: With an ivory bouclé double breasted coat with brass buttons and a taupe silk dress with ivory polka dots worn October 12, 2000 in Manchester

Embed from Getty Images

Which outfit do you prefer most with this neutral hat?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

20 thoughts on “Monday Multiples: Queen Elizabeth

  1. Here’s a heavier, wool(?) hat along with the coat from Look #2.

    May 7, 2002: Sunderland
    Embed from Getty Images

    • Oh, good grief! What do you suppose caused this outfit to happen? This seems so out of character. Was there no matching hat for the turquoise? Without the rare beige accessories, this hat seems totally out of place and out of character.
      It would be so interesting to get explanations of the Queen’s (and/or advisors’) choices.
      Thank you for finding these photos.

  2. A simple hat, but one that can take on a different look dependent on what it’s worn with. It’s interesting to see the Queen with the beige accessories, as it seems ages since we saw her with anything other than black bag and shoes. Without the beige accessories, the hat wouldn’t stand a chance with those turquoise outfits. Even with them, I don’t think it’s a very effective pairing. It’s a sort of indeterminate palette of colours, and now she tends to prefer bolder statements.

    Having said that, even though it’s similarly pale, I think the last outfit works very well, the colour combination looks elegant rather than blah, and the hat seems to take on a slightly more formal look through the influence of the clothes. It also looks good with the black dress, which is a definite enough colour that the hat provides a good foil.

    Although it’s so simple, this seems like a good versatile workhorse of a hat. It won’t ever be a favourite of mine, though – the very factors that make it versatile also make it unmemorable!

  3. Although I actually like the hat best with the black and tan dress, I’m going to vote for look 2, because she has all matching tan/nude accessories – not a black shoe or white glove in sight!

  4. I think I like the print dress the best, although all look good. This hat looks to me as if it might be the crushable/packable straw that was popular in the nineties. As almost all of these appearances are traveling or raining, it make sense that this might have been the emergency back-up hat for when there was an issue with the original plan.

    • Ooh, I like your “back-up plan” theory – gransgirl. You may have nailed it right on the (Royal) head!
      I like this hat a lot – very versatile and sturdy, and tan is not often seen on HM. The photos of the rear of the hat are revealing and quite nice. Lots of texture in the straw weave gives added interest.

  5. The outfit from look #4 has its own hat. Here is a picture of the hat with the dress. I have seen a photo with the coat but can’t find one right now.
    I don’t think I’ve ever seen the black dress with any other hat. Wonder whether there are turquoise hats ever worn with those outfits.

    Embed from Getty Images

    • Fairbanks, I found what you mentioned. Enjoy.

      June 19, 2001: Royal Ascot
      Embed from Getty Images

  6. For me it is the black silk or the cream outfit with the hat that works best on the wearer. More importantly each of those items flatter each other.

  7. The simplicity of this one is very appealing. All of the pairings work, but I’ll go with the black and white, it’s just what that print needs. Interesting…if she wore a print like this now, I’d guess it would be paired with a black hat trimmed with white flowers to pick up the print. This one is really surprising, not at all what we associate with HM.

    Great post, JImbo!

  8. Now this is a surprise. I used to think some of the Queen’s hats (the ones she wears now) are too matchy-matchy with their outfits but after seeing this hat I think the matching outfits and hats are better! The queen and this blog keep surprising me!

  9. This is interesting, as I think now HM has very specific hats that go with specific outfits. (Now that I’ve said that I’ll find a bajillion examples besides this one) I like the pairing with the black dress the best as the tan hat seems to accent the flowers in the dress, even though they are not the same color. The ivory is 2nd. Both turquoise coats are nice in and of themselves, but seeing them with the tan hat, I want some more coordination between them.

  10. There is much to like here! The hat itself is lovely, very plain, but it’s unusual for HM to have such a workaday hat without lots of adornment, and I’m for it!

    The turquoises are lovely colours, and the beige accessories so lovely… if only she would wear them more often. The black floral dress provides a really stunning pairing. And the white is very chic. I love them all! This hat could do with another outing now I think…

  11. I like the hat best with the black floral dress. The tan colour really enlivens this black and white print and seems to make the outfit even better than the sum of its parts.
    My second choice would be with the lovely ivory suit. A quietly pretty outfit.

  12. My favorite is #3, the black print dress. The tan of the hat makes the ivory flowers pop, much more so than a dark hat might have. I don’t particularly like the combination of turquoise and tan, so I don’t care for either of the first two, and the 4th is just too bland.

    Nice change to see HM with a tan handbag and shoes, something we don’t see that much these days.

    This hat reminds me of the Japanese hats we discuss here in the sense that you need to see the close-up photos to notice the details such as the hatband and the button at the back, both of which can’t even be seen from straight on due to being obscured by the brim.

    This is indeed an “ordinary” hat that any member of the public could probably emulate, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t attractive! Thanks for putting together these posts, Jimbo!

    • Boring? A very good, honest, working hat I’d say, made from sturdy, good quality straw braid. And one which has the added advantage of blending in with various outfits. Not glamourous, but neat and simple, something we should all have in our wardrobes!
      I agree with the general opinion that this hat looks best with outfit nr. 3.

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