More Multiples: Countess of Wessex’s Double Hump Stovepipe Cloches

 When the Countess of Wessex last stepped out in a hat in mid December, it was in her burgundy felt stovepipe cloche with flying bow. The distinct points on the top of this design’s crown make it a unique shape; interestingly, Sophie has two other hats, also by Philip Treacy, with this same unmistakeable feature:

Hat #1: Mad of ecru straw, this hat first appeared at Ascot on June 19, 2001

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Hat #2: A variation in snakeskin printed straw trimmed with a spray of striped pheasant feathers on the side. First worn for the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s wedding in 2005.

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Hat #3: Boldest version in deep maroon felt with a flying bow. First worn to the Cheltenham Races on March 15, 2006.

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While I love to see an unusual millinery shape (they certainly keep things lively for us!), this one feels firmly rooted in the  in the early 2000s when oversize hats were the rage. Compared to today’s face framing halo bandeaux and perchers, the shape feels a bit harsh.

What do you think of this Philip Treacy experimental shape? Which version of this hat do you think worked best?

Photos from Getty as indicated 

15 thoughts on “More Multiples: Countess of Wessex’s Double Hump Stovepipe Cloches

  1. I applaud the hat-confidence that these hats convey, it’s always lovely to see someone embracing hat wearing like this. Having said that, it really isn’t my favourite shape. I absolutely love the colour and texture of the third burgundy one. However, I think the most successful of these is the snakeskin one, as the interesting but paler colour palette makes the imposing shape impose itself a bit less!

  2. I love cloches of all kinds. Today’s bandeaux are not my cup of tea. I like perchers, but not all the time and for every occasion.

  3. I so want to like the snakeskin and maroon felt hats because of the beautiful fabrics, but I just can’t because the shape of the hats are so unflattering. I can’t even like Beatrice’s purple version 😦

  4. Another one
    Embed from Getty Images

    • You’ll see in the photo below this leopard printed straw hat has a rimmed crown, almost a variation of a pork pie hat.
      Embed from Getty Images

  5. An interesting shape but not a very flattering one. I like the # 2 version best (or dislike the least) because the snakeskin print makes it look less massive than the other two.

  6. I never liked this hat either. Princess Beatrice had a purple one, exactly like Sophie’s maroon hat, but I think it was “over the top” for her, also!
    Christmas, 2005
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    • Beatrice seems to have placed the hat with the humps a bit more front and back, while Sophie’s are more side to side. I like Beatrice’s placement better, though on both of them, the “low on the forehead” look gives the impression that the hat is too big.

  7. It’s hard to look at these hats objectively after such a long time. The shape is so exaggerated and cartoonish – I can’t even remember if at the time they looked normal – even if they did, they’re not ageing well. It also shows why Sophie has hit more of a stride hat wise – relying less on bold, out there toppers and wearing more feminine and much more beautiful styles now. Credit to her for sticking with the burgundy one; but she’s got a huge millinery closet, it’s time for it to go to the back…

  8. I’m not a fan of the shape, but I quite like the color of #3, and I really like the snakeskin print and feathers in #2.

  9. Not my favorite shape, but I do like the way she styled the deep maroon one best. It’s a great color and the contrast of the cream coat with a scarf to tie it together looked balanced color-wise. Size wise the hat seems so big even though I love Maxima’s picture hats still. The larger brim is passing the test of time better than the larger crowns in these three hats.

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