Monday Multiples: Countess of Wessex

Royal HatsOne of the most often worn hats in the Countess of Wessex’s millinery closet is a navy moulded straw percher with swirling cream and gold feather trim designed by Jane Taylor. For this hat’s seven outings, Sophie has paired it with four different ensembles:

Look 1: with a navy silk guipure lace-trimmed sheath dress and jacket by Bruce Oldfield worn June 5, 2012 for the Diamond Jubilee, September 15, 2012 during a visit to Canada, and for the Duke of Edinburgh awards on November 24, 2016

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Look 2: with a cream and navy pinstripe Emilia Wickstead silk coat dress for the 70th anniversary of VJ Day on August 16, 2015

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Look 3: with a navy wool Stella McCartney double breasted coat worn for a military homecoming November 24, 2016 and the Commonwealth Day service on March 12, 2018

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Look 4: with another navy double breasted wool coat (this one with pewter buttons) worn for a spot of carriage driving at the Royal Windsor Horse show on May 12, 2019

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Which look do you think compliments this hat best?

Photo from Getty as indicated

13 thoughts on “Monday Multiples: Countess of Wessex

  1. I love Look 1 but I prefer the nude clutch and shoe pairing rather than that navy Valentino clutch. I think the feathers placed on the navy hat creates a playful contrast to the slightly fancy suit that was for day formal.

    Look 2: I don’t fancy a cream dress coat with navy horizontal lines…I can only think of the pounds it adds on. I wonder if a cream hat might work better with a navy clutch instead…maybe this dress coat might work for Ascot with a much more fancier hat?

    I concur that theres a Look 4 (the carriage). Look 4 reminds me of a TV series about King Henry 7th and his numerous wives and one of the wives wore a hat with feathers while horse riding!

    Look 3 is much better without the scarf though.

  2. I agree with JamesB. #1 is also my choice, even with the light perhaps playing tricks on the color matching.
    Not one to let an opportunity pass without stirring up the pot, what about Sophie’s navy textured pillbox with suit #1 as an option?
    October 24, 2018
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  3. #1 is definitely the winner for me, even though I have minor issues with how the beige slip under the navy lace skirt photographs. Such a well-coordinated look! I especially like the side chignon from the Diamond Jubilee that gives some extra balance to the wonderful jaunty angle of this hat.

    I like the idea of #2, but I always thought this was a black & white dress, especially since its premiere at Ascot was with a black & white hat; I would’ve also chosen a navy clutch to draw out the navy of the hat more. Like Wies, I feel a bit confused season-wise with looks #3 and #4 – straw hat with a heavy coat seems slightly unbalanced; still a good look overall, especially with the scarf to pull out the colors of the trim (like Wies also said).

  4. This is a great hat and all the looks are lovely. The second one and the coat with scarf are probably my least favorite. Soph has a beige suit cut similarly to the navy that she first wore to the Cambridge wedding. She has paired that suit with several beige and/or blush hats. I’d love to see it remixed with this hat. I think the color contrast would make the shiny fabric a non-issue.

  5. I agree with the comments about that Look #2 because of the color contrast. I too appreciate mcncin’s comments on why the color looks off in the first look.

  6. I agree with Trickymum and Mcncln: I like look two the best, because of the colour contrast. A simpler shaped hat might be a more logical choice to pair with the graphic stripes of the coat, but when seen from a distance, this makes for a very fresh, crisp look.
    The hat has a beautiful shape and Sophie wears it well, but with the first outfit (the one it was originally made for I suppose) it makes the suit look a bit fussy. In the first picture, where the lower part of the jacket is hidden behind the purse, it looks beautiful. But in the second picture where the ruffle in the peplum of the jacket and the lace on the skirt are visible, the mix of materials and decoration is, I think, less successful.
    A straw hat with a wool coat feels a bit “in-between-two-seasons” for me, but with the scarf which picks out the colours of the trimming of the hat, Sophie looks very smart.

  7. This is actually 4 looks, not 3 — the coat shown in the last pics (carriage driving) is different from the previous navy coat – it has silver buttons in front and 4 silver cuff buttons, whereas the previous coat-dress has self-covered front buttons, and no cuff buttons.
    Blue-eyed Sophie looks great in navy blue, and this is a versatile hat. The problem with wearing this colour in straw, is that in daylight, just as with leather, the knobby texture and sheen of the woven straw surface reflect light and make parts of the hat look a lot lighter in colour than they truly are — in this case, a very washed-out grey instead of a rich navy. So, it makes the navy clothes seem as if they are a poor colour match. The effect is really noticeable from the front, because the hat surface in front is an unbroken flat surface. (Whereas with a typical Treacy navy wide-brimmed straw hat with self trim, the complex detail creates lots of areas within the field of view where the light isn’t reflecting, so the true dark colour is sufficiently apparent from every angle, and colour matching isn’t an issue.
    Actually I feel the pronounced shine of this hat is a pretty effect when put next to a garment of shiny fabric, e.g Look 2, the striped white suit. It’s got a great fresh summery feel. The fact that the suit is not overall navy is a big plus, as all colour matching issues are avoided completely.

    • great spot mcncln re the differences in the 2 navy coats = 4 looks! and i appreciate your notes on the finish of the hat and the changes to the colour..
      its a really lovely hat, and works with all of the looks – its great to see a good hat repeated, and especially worked with different outfits.
      my top spot is look 2, by far. i like the contrast with the coat-dress. it works much better than the off-white hat with dark feathers/trim worn to ascot 2015 – see hq’s ascot sophie inventory
      i also like the more wintry looks 3 and 4, and think they work much better with scarf than without.
      look 1 – this is a beautiful suit, though a little too ‘shiny’ for my tastes (making it a little old-fashioned).

  8. The first look by a country mile. That was such a great pairing and I remember at the time thinking how smart she looked. Number three second (think I prefer it without the scarf). And my feelings about looks look two remain, I just don’t think this hat matches well with the graphic stripes of the coat, a fabulous dramatic hat with minimal trim would look fab with it.

    She’s got her money’s worth out of this while look – she’s worn the dress with one of large angular hats to the Garter ceremony, and wore the suit with an oversized pillbox for the Dutch state visit. She clearly likes this outfit a lot! As she should.

  9. I really like this hat and prefer the 2nd look, with the white pinstripe. I feel the colour match to the first bright navy outfit was a bit off. The other navy coat looks fine, but the hat really looks great with the contrasting pale coat dress.

    • I agree. The hat seems too muted and dull compared to the shiny silk. It goes perfectly with the striped ensemble.

    • I have scrapped what I wanted to write 4 times already because I keep changing my mind. This is a tough one Hat Queen! The outfits are all fantastic, and this hat is so versatile, but it doesn’t work (on close inspection) with all the outfits. I love this hat. It’s a great style on The Countess, however, with the spray and the straw material, it makes it a touch casual. The first two outfits are very luxurious. From far away, the hat works. Close up, the hat is too casual. I think looks 3/4 are the best with the navy jacket, but prefer the scarf/jacket combo the best. It just blends everything together.

      I would like to see a beige jacket with this hat, like Gransgirl says, and see how that works. I realize that the photo below is black and beige checks, but this hat would look great with this type of jacket if it was beige and navy.

      Embed from Getty Images

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