Hat From the Past

Royal Hats fifteen years to July 21, 2004 when Princess Claire attended National Day celebrations in a noteworthy toile suit with matching exaggerated fedora hat. Not surprisingly, this ensemble has only been worn once.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

Photos from Getty as indicated

29 thoughts on “Hat From the Past

  1. I love toile de Jouy. I once had toile de Jouy dining room curtains, a blue and white pattern combined with blue wallpaper.
    But I can’t help wondering: why? Why would anyone want to have a head to toe patterend outfit reminding of dining room curtains?

    • Despite its origin in wallpaper and curtains, Toile de Juoy can be lovely in clothing, as seen in one of my favorite looks for the Countess of Wessex: https://royalhats.net/2012/10/20/luxembourg-wedding-the-british-royals/ You’ll notice that she is NOT wearing a matching hat and shoes!

      The Getty caption for the second photo indicates that this ensemble was included in a showcase fro Belgium, so I guess it was created as an homage to Belgian decorative arts?

      • Thank you for finding that post from 2012, mittenmary. That is such an interesting hat that the Countess of Wessex is wearing with that dress, I wonder if she ever wore it again. (I tried to search on “Lady A”, but as you can imagine, the word Lady returns a great number of unrelated posts!) And yes, thank goodness that it was not covered in the dress fabric!

        I’m surprised there were no comments on the post. Was that when the blog was new?

      • What a beautiful outfit for the Countess of Wessex! And very well accessorised, with a great hat.
        The fabric of the dress seems to be a British interpretation of the classic French toile de Jouy patterns, very interesting.
        The second picture of Princess Claire’s ensemble certainly suggests that it was showcased as an exemple of Belgium crafts, but the colour combination (blue, white and bright orange) would seem more logical for a Dutch event like King’s Day celebrations (though I don’t think Queen Máxima would ever wear a “total look” like this!)

        There is a lovely Toile de Jouy Museum in Jouy-en-Josas, in the French country side near Paris. Anyone on holiday in France, who is also interested in fabrics, should certainly pay it a visit.

  2. I forgot to mention: someone who would look totally stunning in this outfit is Infanta Elena’s daughter Dona Victoria.
    The outfit, fedora and all, is of course right up Elena’s alley — but the fabric would need to be a darker base colour to suit her warmer skin colouring – say beige or ecru.

  3. I enjoy toile so much, clothing , room. Decor and wish it was more popular. In this case I could go without the coral trim.
    Love the entire outfit. Would wear it myself for sure.

  4. I have a soft spot for toile, but not as an entire ensemble! The shape of the hat is pretty wacky, too. You’re demonstrating the third part of your tag line, HQ: “The Bold, Beautiful and Bizarre World of Royal Millinery.”

  5. This isn’t a bad hat as a stand alone, but the matchiness of the whole ensemble, with the coral piping down the seams to match the hatband and gloves; and even the shoes are toile de jouy! Just too much. It smacks of fancy dress. Any of the separate pieces worn with a plain blue, white or even coral piece would probably look fine.

    • Yes I agree, the piping down the side seams of the trousers was a detail too far. To me, it made the outfit look home made. I don’t have a quibble with the hat at all, it suits her!

  6. This is one case where I feel that we could have done without the matchiness. I like the shape of the hat and its positioning, but would have preferred if it were the solid blue or off-white of the pantsuit rather than the exact print. (In addition, a solid color would have made the hat more usable with other outfits.)

  7. Well for someone who doesn’t wear hats very often, Princess Claire has a surprisingly interesting track record. See the same event 4 years later, 2008
    Embed from Getty Images
    I actually like the “blue china” ensemble and I think it would be a hit at today’s Ascot.( I’m just not persuaded that it is shown to best effect when worn as in this instance alongside military uniforms). The hat is a super interesting shape with its asymmetrical crown — see below
    Embed from Getty Images
    I’ve got two quibbles: the orange of the gloves and the orange of the hatband seem like a mismatch; also I feel that the colour scheme overall is too bright to suit Claire’s soft colouring and “natural” makeup style.
    I think this hat could be a fascinating choice for 2019, worn with a white dress, and maybe swapping the orange headband for one in white or aqua blue.

    • I agree, Ascot would be the one place one could pull this off. That said, I personally don’t like the matching shoes and hat as it’s toile overload (well, overload for me no matter what pattern!); if they were plain white or sky blue, then it would work. The other option could be tomato orange shoes, which would help pull in the gloves more; I think the tomato orange hatband was a good choice.

      The exaggerated hat shape is definitely demonstrative of the 2000s and while it’s not a favorite design, I think Claire wears it well, all things considered.

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