5 Hat Tricks From Chapeau-Loving British Women

When it comes to wearing hats with flair, style and utter confidence, no one beats the Brits. Whether it’s a whimsical or formal chapeau, they make hat-wearing look like an effortless endeavour.

As we celebrate spring, why not take a few style cues from these women on how to pull off wearing a hat with stylish aplomb.

Scroll through our slide show below for some hat tricks from the pros. 

 

QUEEN ELIZABETH II

The world’s most famous hat-loving personality, the Queen, is rarely ever seen out in public without a hat. The monarch’s hat is often bold in colour, perfectly matches her outfit and is structural in shape. And despite the wide brim, it should be noted that her hats never cover her face – a strategic style move that allows her face to always be visible to her subjects. Sure, the 90-year-old has decades of experience donning chic chapeaus but she makes wearing a hat seem effortless.

The conquer your hat fears, follow her straight-forward formula and opt for strong but simple shapes and pair it in the same hue as your outfit.

JOAN COLLINS

Unlike the Queen, the actress’ hat contrast her outfit and has a lowered brim over her eyes that can provide some alluring drama. When the eyes are partially covered, a hat adds a touch of mystery to wearer. But to avoid such a contrasting accessory look as if it was just plunked on her head, note how Collins pulled it together by painting her lips the same scarlet colour as the hat.

ISABELLA BLOW

The late British fashion editor, muse and International Style Icon was renown for her love of a good hat – which would range from the sublime to the ridiculous. Her passion for hats was such, there was an exhibition back in 2002 in London – “When Phillip met Isabella” – that featured hats designed for her by celebrated milliner Phillip Treacey (seen here with her at the opening.) And at her funeral procession in 2007, a specially-designed hat in black, in the shape of a sailing ship, was placed on top of her coffin.

Her approach to a good topper seemed to suggest: if you’re going to walk around with something on your head, you might as well go all out and make it noticeable, dramatic and over-the-top. While few of us have the confidence to do so, you can at least, treat a hat as the exclamation point to your outfit.

DAPHNE GUINNESS

Heiress to a beer dynasty, a musician, model, philanthropist and a fashionista of couture-level excess, the multi-pronged Guinness dresses in a rather baroque theatrical manner that includes towering hoof-like platform shoes. But we love how she made her hat the single focus by pairing it with a classic black tuxedo jacket. A hat is a special thing – don’t be afraid to wear it in a showcase manner.

THERESA MAY

The British Prime Minister wore a navy hat in March to attend the Commonwealth Day celebrations service and reception at Westminister Abbey.  A large dark coloured hat, such as black or navy, can appear funereal, especially in heavy felt or wool. But May’s hat helped toned down the sombre effect with the mix of lighter materials. While the crown appeared dense, the wide dramatic upturned brim was less opaque in a straw-type fabric, which helped prevent a total eclipse of her eyes. A sparkly brooch also added a more celebratory effect to this hat.