Monday Multiples: Countess of Wessex

The Countess of Wessex’s ivory lace covered beret-base percher is a delicately textured design with lovely dimension from its trimming- a silk rose, feathers and curling slim quills, all tinged in palest peachy-pink. Sophie has paired this exquisite Jane Jaylor design with four ensembles:

Look #1: With a blush Bruce Oldfield beaded bodice dress and crushed silk jacket worn May 17, 2014 for the annual General Assembly Meetings of The Church of Scotland

Look #2: With a cream silk belted dress with vanilla maribou colloar worn June 17, 2014 for the Order of the Garter

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Look #3: With a muted pink dress and streamlined cream coat worn  May 12, 2015 for a Buckingham Palace garden party

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Look #4: With a bubblegum pink Emilija Wickstead textured dress with high neck open around the back yoke worn for Trooping the Colour on June 09, 2018

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Which look do you think is best set off with this hat?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

16 thoughts on “Monday Multiples: Countess of Wessex

  1. This is a really tricky one. I think the hat is gorgeous and works best with Outfit #1.
    I don’t mind outfit #2, but the boa centers the eye and distracts from the hat.
    #3 looks too heavy to me. I wonder what the dress is underneath that coat and whether that would be fine on it’s own.
    #4 is the wrong color.

    • Shanon, I found a different hat for the #1 suit, from two years earlier. It may be even better. What do you think?

      June 18, 2012: Order of the Garter
      Embed from Getty Images

      • I like that Jimbo. Thanks for finding it, and thank you Hat Queen for the 3rd hat option with this outfit.
        I really like this hat featured today, but none of the outfits make it “shine” IMHO. I wonder if a dress like the lace dress Catherine wore to the Diamond Jubilee church service and flypast would work better with this hat. What do you think Jimbo?
        Embed from Getty Images

        With outfit #1, I do prefer HQ’s 3rd option, the large waved percher hat worn to Zara and Mike Tindall’s wedding 2011:
        Embed from Getty Images

        • Shanon, you found yet ANOTHER viable option here – I too like it. HQ’s 3rd hat is actually my favorite of her three hats shown to us.

          Check out the SHOES Sophie is wearing – it looks like absolute torture for the feet. In 1976, I bought a brown pair and a black pair of platform shoes, each with 3 inch heels – very stylish for the time. When school was out, I literally couldn’t wait to get them off my feet. My “dogs were barking” to beat the band! What we go through for fashion is laughable.

  2. Interesting to see these combinations. Look 4 is definitely the worst, flattering to neither hat nor dress. I’m always puzzled by how Sophie’s Emilia Wickstead dresses are always slightly off, ie a little tweaking would make them far more flattering to her (a common one is that the sleeves aren’t an attractive length, and just a couple of inches longer (or even shorter!) would work much better; another common one is that the neckline is high in an unattractive way, whereas a different cut would work well). So anyway, the upshot is, dress 4 isn’t the best on her, and it definitely doesn’t go with the hat at all, either the colour or the shape! I really like the combination in look 1, and look 3 is also a good one because the hat can be the main attraction, with the rest of the outfit playing a great supporting role. I’m not keen on the Garter look; the hat actually doesn’t look bad with the feather boa effect, but the boa doesn’t go with the cut of the dress at all! The boa needs something much lighter than the heavy design and material of the rest of the dress to make it a cohesive look.

    It’s fascinating as always to see that what is a lovely hat in and of itself can be made or marred by the outfit it’s worn with.

  3. I don’t love this pale hat, but it’s No. 1 by default for me. This outfit at least looks cohesive. I want to like the maribou dress in No. 2; I like the fun IDEA of it, but something in the execution just doesn’t work, with or without the hat. The hat does moderately well with the plain coat in No. 3 but it seems an uninspired outfit. Don’t think any aspect of the outfit works in No 4.

  4. I love this hat, and hadn’t realised just how many times it has been worn, and with how many outfits. #1 is my least favourite as i always found the suit too old for her – a little too mother of the bride. i love the fun element of look #2 and how it brings out sophie’s personality – the relatively simple hat sits well with the dress. #4 seems an odd pairing, but does somehow work. so my favourite is look #3 as the simplicity and clean lines of the outfit let the beautiful hat shine.

  5. My favorite is the one with the Maribou- fun Sophie personality coming through. I don’t care for it with the last one- just makes me think of the phenomenal hat she previously wore with that rich pink dress.

  6. 1 and 3 seem to be the best pairings with this hat. The hat is lovely; however, a darker shade of blush would be more flattering to Sophie.

  7. I like number 1 and 3 best. The last option, the pink of the dress is too deep. I think this post shows the creative way the Countess creates multiple looks using the same hats and dresses. She is great!

  8. I’m not a fan of this hat on Sophie, the way she’s worn it with her hair fully up. The shape (basic) of this beret and its placement is too reminiscent for me of military berets — and the updo, which is just how a servicewoman would wear her service beret, reinforces the utilitarian impression. For me the effect is unnecessarily severe, and the romantic trim isn’t big enough to counteract that.
    I think Sophie could soften the effect by wearing her hair down as she did below in 2010, where her down hairstyle adds curving lines to frame her face. (and the purple beret-base doesn’t look utilitarian to me because of its added curving lines.)
    Embed from Getty Images
    Of course, Sophie’s hair is longer now than in 2010, and she rarely wears it down with hats these days, so a down hairstyle is probably not an option. But the addition of cream veiling would definitely create a softer and broader frame for her face.
    Of the 4 outfits I agree that #1 is the best — though like trickymum, for me it’s only because of the open neckline with its flattering diagonals. Dress #2 is a puzzling look; I see no-nonsense T-shirt-length sleeves oddly paired with lush plumage, which is competing for attention with the hat – did someone think “Order of the Garter ceremony = time to bring on the ostrich feathers”?

  9. I particularly love the first one, but that’s probably more due to that stunning suit. I do think that the feather explosion dress is fine though. Number three is just okay, but I really dislike the combo with number 4. The hat is romantic and fussy. Dress 4 is modern and edgy; it worked with the oversized boater but for me it’s a clash with this hat.

    • I agree with you all the way, JamesB. I had to look up the boater you mentioned from Ascot 2017…. much better than today’s featured hat!

  10. Of the four outfits, the first three are all good combinations with this pretty hat, and the fourth is a shocker! I would be all for a more saturated colour with the hat, but this as a completely different shade of pink and the (horrible) dress appears to be knitted, which says nothing to the feathers and lace of the hat.
    Of the three good combinations, I think the first is my favourite, but probably nothing to do with hat/dress matching, but rather that I prefer the Countess in a lower neckline!

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