Monday Multiples: Countess of Wessex

One of many statement hats in the Countess of Wessex’s wardrobe is a black straw sidesweeping waved disk hat with pointed ends, anchored on a calot style cap and trimmed with a branch of black flowers. Sophie has paired this custom version on Jane Taylor’s “Lady A” design with three ensembles so far:

Look #1:  With a sleek black striped jacket and tailored skirt worn June 21, 2013 to Royal Ascot

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Look #2: With a red and black jaquard patterned Azzedine Alaïa dress worn March 9, 2017 to a memorial for members of the armed services who served and died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

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Look #3: With a vibrant green silk Suzannah tea dress worn for Trooping the Colour on June 8, 2019

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Which ensemble do you prefer most with this hat?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

18 thoughts on “Monday Multiples: Countess of Wessex

  1. As some others have said, this hat looks great with each of the three ensembles, as well as the Luxembourg wedding outfit (just in case it’s actually the same hat). I didn’t care much for all black at Ascot, though certainly it would have served well at some other (solemn) occasion. If I had to choose one, I would choose #2 which is such a stunning stand-out dress. Like Bristol, I have issues with the fit and collar construction of the green dress, though the Countess does look great in that color.

    As far as the nuns’ outfits go, LOL to MrFitzroy for finding that photo, I hadn’t thought of that show in years. Though I do need to say, having grown up within walking distance of a convent and gotten to know one of the nuns, who sat next to me in a class at the local college, they never would have been allowed to wear those high-heeled shoes!

    • Matthew, can you imagine my surprise, when returning to 5th grade after the Christmas Holiday, and all the nuns in my grade school had “kicked the habit” over the break! They also went back to their real names, so Sr. Mary Michael and Sr. Ann Marie were now called Sr. Mildred and Sr. Phillis. I had just seen my teacher ice skating in her full habit in December.

  2. This hat looks excellent with all three outfits, it’s so elegant in itself that it pairs beautifully with any ensemble that is pitched at the right level of formality such as these three. The first black outfit is not so striking, but it does have a restrained elegance. The second with the red dress is fabulous. The third one looks good too, but seeing that lovely green dress always irritates me because the execution just isn’t as good as the concept – look at the awkward set of the collar, for instance, or the heaviness of the bust area. Unfortunately I think with lots of the Countess’s favourite designers’ outfits, it’s the tailoring that lets them down; the ideas are great, but they simply aren’t “couture” in execution.

  3. MrFitzroy votes #2 — for the red dress….it’s really a wonderful combo, though certainly #3 and the green dress are just half a notch behind……both wonderful choices. However, having recently started watching some reruns of ‘The Flying Nun’….there is something very familiar about this hat….
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    • I LOVED that show. In seventh grade I used to stare out the window at school and imagine I was Sister Bertrille flying around the convent ( lots of seagulls at my school) . It was a much simpler time.

  4. 2 and 3, it’s a toss up between them I think, though my love for that green dress is strong, just such an amazing colour and shape on her.

    I’ve always found the black outfit a bit perplexing. It’s a bit shapeless and flat for Ascot. It’s not her best at all.

    I also can’t help thinking this could be the Luxembourg wedding hat retrimmed, as you said that was never seen again.

  5. While I really don’t care much for this hat— it is nice when seen directly full- face, but not so flattering seen from the side— I like it best paired with the red dress, for the reasons mentioned in other comments here.

  6. I’m for the red Alaïa. The black hat works so well with the red and black print, and the flowers echo the floral pattern of the jacquard. What a great hat — hope this one is in rotation when the royals start making appearances again…someday.

  7. This hat perhaps made its debut a year earlier, at the wedding of Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg and Princess Stephanie. It had feathers the first time around.

    October 20, 2012
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  8. Such an interesting hat!

    My favourite is #2, paired with that lovely red and black dress. I like it with the other two outfits as well, though, and I really had to scrutinize to find something to dislike! I decided the black suit in #1 needed to be more close-fitting and curvy to work perfectly with this hat. I also decided that the hat competed slightly with the black bow belt in #3.

    But overall, three nice choices, well done Sophie.

  9. #2 gets my vote – the red/black combination is just wonderful.
    #3 looks very nice, also. Sophie must have been well spotted on the balcony.
    #1 is a lot of black, although it would have looked nice for the 2017 memorial service outing.

  10. It’s a tie for me between dress #2 & #3. The dress styles are similar – I love the ’50’s vibe she goes for – and the hat complements colorful dresses more, allowing the dress and hat to each shine.

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