Royal Ascot Hats Part 1

Posted on June 15, 2011

It’s that time of the year once again, ladies! Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse in England, where the British upper class allow themselves a little cheekiness and put on the craziest fucking hats you’ve ever seen and get shitfaced drunk in public. We don’t take this opportunity to critique; this is all for fun. But we have to admit, we’re quite disappointed with Princess Beatrice. Also, someone needs to tell Camilla that the giant hats don’t frame her face well. She should really go the tiny little Fascinator route. Seriously, Cams. You look like you’re wearing a linen toilet on your heat. But the rest of the Brits look fabulous. Here’s hoping the winds stay calm, because some of these ladies look like they’ll take off Sister Bertrille-style the second a good gust gets going.

Kick it off, Betty and Phil!

[Photo Credit: Getty, AP Images]

    • Anonymous

      Can someone enlighten me–what’s the difference between a hat and a fascinator?  Gracias.

      • Oze R.

        As I understand, a fascinator is more like head piece, smaller than a hat and without a brim. But U need enlightment too.

      • Anonymous

        A hat actually has a function and covers the top of the head.  A fascinator is purely decorative and is perched towards the forehead more, usually off to one side.

        • Anonymous

          Basically what I generally would have called a cocktail hat – and I’ve made and sold my share!   I’ve been making hats for thirty years and it’s only in the last 2 or 3 that I’ve heard the term Facinator used.  I wonder where it started?  

          I have to hand it to the Brits though – they do it up right!

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_T24URKJGBLJQPBWCRPU37IIHLU Krab Louse

            It is an English word that isn’t used in America.  It’s been around since 1750 and I know you’re not THAT old.  It is used quite commonly here in Britain.

            • Anonymous

              It’s used here, as well.  We just don’t rock the hats, except at Kentucky Derby time.  A fascinator is like having a headband with a “hattish” thing. The last two seem to be wearing them.

          • Anonymous

            I think the term ‘fascinator’ has been around since the 40’s, when they were big.

            –GothamTomato

            • Anonymous

              Yes, that was a great period for little quirky hats, but I can’t remember ever seeing the term used in any of my old books or publications.  This is going to send me back to my reference piles; Along side my millinery and fashion books I have a couple of stacks of The Millinery News, the industry paper from the 40’s and 50’s. I have to go look into it. Fascinating!And Krab Louse, sometimes I only FEEL that old!

            • Anonymous

              Aha!  My “A History of Fashion in Headgear” defines fascinator as: A soft frilly scarf or wool worn over the head for evening wear, in place of the hat. 18th-19th cent.
              In “The Hat: Trends and Traditions”:  Fascinator:  also see “Cloud”; a loosely made light scarf worn over the head and shoulders in the late 19th century.

              And in Wikipedia’s definition they end with : see Cocktail Hat, which made me feel a lot better!

              Anyway, it seems to me that besides being fun and pretty, the fascinator itself is popular again because it’s easier to wear re: hairstyle,  than a hat.  No “hat hair”!

            • Anonymous

              Sorry, answered above before I read this :)
              I think it’s a psychological thing too. People don’t generally wear hats now (Ascot aside) apart from at a wedding, so they’re self-conscious. The average fascinator is fairly small and often closer to wearing a fancy hair clip than a hat so they feel less conspicuous. That’s my theory anyway :)

          • Anonymous

            Cocktail hat! You must be in my age bracket.

          • Anonymous

            It’s current definition is pretty recent. The older use of fascinator was a sort of lacy or knitted shawl/headscarf. Now it’s one below a cocktail hat, one up from a hair ornament. As far as I understand it, it’s a bit of fancy, probably mounted on a headband, is a fascinatory. When the base becomes more substantial it’s a headpiece. Then beyond that it’s into proper hat territory.

      • rach_fraser

        I think tat the diffrnce is a ascinator doesnt cover your whole head ad generally needs to be fastened on somehow, whereas hts are bigger and balance onyour head. If that makes sense.

    • http://profiles.google.com/paigemano Paige Mano

      Isn’t that the same hat Camilla wore to the wedding? That Marie Antoinette “hat” is awful.

      • http://twitter.com/Hussified Coleen D. Wybranski

        That is exactly what I was about to post – I think it is! Way to recycle, Cam.

        • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

          British royalty does tend to wear items more than once.  Maybe it comes from the palace having no closets?  :)

          • http://profiles.google.com/paigemano Paige Mano

            Recycling is fine, but you’d think maybe she’d have some other hats lying around that she hadn’t worn recently to a highly-publicized event?

            • Anonymous

              I think that particular hat looks so lightweight compared to others, and may actually not cause neck strain!  and a lightweight straw for a summer outing? Perfect!

      • http://twitter.com/Hussified Coleen D. Wybranski

        That is exactly what I was about to post – I think it is! Way to recycle, Cam.

      • lilibetp

        She recycled the whole outfit, actually.

      • Anonymous

        It’s the whole outfit she has on. I’m all for re-wearing, especially as they don’t get loaned their clothes, but it’s a bit soon and a bit too high profile.

        • http://profiles.google.com/paigemano Paige Mano

          Exactly! I’m sure the outfit is comfortable and appropriate for a summer outing, but come on. Surely she has other lightweight suits and hats she could’ve chosen.

        • Anonymous

          I am no huge Camilla fan but in some respects I love her approach to things and I say props to her for wearing the outfit again.  And not caring if it’s been seen too recently is great – I like that she tries to be appropriate but is not interested in trying to be known for her fashion choices.

          • Helen C

            She’s clearly all for being as comfortable as she can be at these events and doesn’t care about fashion at all.  

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CNDPMVO4W23R5TVC2QMTJ5BZE Heather

        I actually love that one – reminds me of Raja’s Marie Antoinette costume in the last season of Rupaul’s Drag Race.

    • Oze R.

      Pure joy, I needed some Ascot today! Thanks!

    • http://phantomminuet.blogspot.com/ MinAgain

      If you’re wearing a hat that you have to hold onto your head, you’re either wearing too much hat or need to invest in a good hat pin.

      @meowing:disqus As far as I know, the difference is size.  A fascinator is smaller and tends to cover less of the wearer’s head.  Fascinators are also worn at unusual, even precarious angles.

      ETA: Have I mentioned how much I adore the Edit function?

    • scottyf

      FABULOUS!

      But they still ain’t got nothin’ on the church ladies from the First Baptist Testimonial Tabernacle of Prayer on Missionary Sunday.

      • Anonymous

        Oh Scotty.  I love you!  You made my day by quoting miss Bobbie Gentry.

        And we’ve got to see those church ladies’ hats.

      • MilaXX

        Word, I’d love to see a proper church lady hat post. Neicy Nash had church lady hats at her bridal shower.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FNFWER3VPXZGG4B6QCJVIPYEDM AntonijaM

        Scotty!  Love!  Did you drop them into the muddy waters off the Tallahassee bridge? 

    • Amanda Fg

      THAT SECOND PICTURE!
      I wanna be her best friend, whoever she is.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_T24URKJGBLJQPBWCRPU37IIHLU Krab Louse

        That is Holly Valance.  She is a “singer” from Australia – originally on a soap opera and then recorded a remake of a well known Turkish dance song.  If dullness is your “thang” then she’s your girl.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_T24URKJGBLJQPBWCRPU37IIHLU Krab Louse

        That is Holly Valance.  She is a “singer” from Australia – originally on a soap opera and then recorded a remake of a well known Turkish dance song.  If dullness is your “thang” then she’s your girl.

    • Cydne Butler

      “Betty & Phil”  You guys SLAY me….  I just love the Brits for these crazy things, I think they are fabulous!

      • Anonymous

        Betty and Flip! 

    • http://feelingkindagreen.blogspot.com/ GreenGlow

      I love how bombastically weird these all are. As if to say “Yeah, we know it’s a silly custom.”

    • Anonymous

      I love the Queens hat, very fresh for her with a touch of whimsy.  Awfuls: That Marie Antoinette hair thing, the blocked stripe with fuschia, yellow, B&W, the huge yellow/orange lily thing, the fuschia pile of shit with butterflys.  Fantastic: the pale pink & mauve fascinator with the roses and gathered chiffon, the sweeping white hat with the purple hydrangea, the small white felt architectural peice (lady with glasses), the straw structured beret covered with black lace.

    • Anonymous

      I just love the fact that most of these women clearly gave far more thought to their Ascot hats than they did to the ones they wore to the Royal Wedding.  Cheeky doesn’t even BEGIN to cover how OTT silly and fab these are (with a few conservative and dour exceptions, Beatrice, are you listening?)

    • Kathryn Farrell

      The white hat with the purple flowers is my favorite, but that little old lady dressed in yellow with the hedge hat is my new hero. Brava, madame! :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=720742723 Sarah Winningham

      I love blonde Yoko lady the best.

      • Anonymous

        I thought she was Sir Elton’s mum out for the races.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RK5MAF2VNT32ULNYFIXDANTEC4 Terence

      Every duke and earl and peer is here
      Everyone who should be here is here
      What a smashing, positively dashing spectacle
      The Ascot opening day…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5Sq1Pax7h8#t=00m32s

      • Anonymous

        Thank you, Alan J. Lerner!

    • Anonymous

      I love it! These folks really do bring the crazy, don’t they?
      I’m always fascinated by how they manage to balance those giant hats on their heads. They must start training them from when they’re young.
      Confession: I would actually wear a few of these. The flower thing with the veil (after Cammie and Charles) and the big green one with all the confetti shit. Those two are fantastic.

    • http://twitter.com/ginpeck Gin Peck

      I’m quite worried for #14 in the daisy wreath. She’s outmatched, but what lovely lace gloves.

    • Anonymous

      I love the peacock one.  Surely I can find a reason to wear it somewhere.

    • http://www.facebook.com/marvin.nisperos Marvin Nisperos

      you just have to give it to that granny wearing a garden on her head! 

      playfulness at that age never goes out of style!

    • Anonymous

      I LOOOVE the black one with the giant lemon-green flower. 

      And the one with neon feathers.   

      Princess B dies look boring as hell, but princess E looks pretty good!

      And guys, I think we should take a moment and admire Prince Charles’ suits. Maybe I’m old fashioned and I know he’s not a people’s favorite, but man does he own nice clothes… when you think of hollywood twinks with their all black looks and struggling to pull off a tuxedo, this man’s closet is sartorial heaven.    

      • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

        I really like Prince Charles, personally.  But I know I’m in the minority. 

        • Anonymous

          I do too! He’s very low-key. The Diana craze made it politically incorrect to like him.. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1344922354 Eric Scheirer Stott

            He was something of an ass for a time but has settled back into a ceremonial role. He’s aged pretty well- but Camilla has not.

            • Anonymous

              The longer he and Camilla behave like quiet hard working royalty and seem to be trying to have good relationships with the younger generation, the more I soften to them. Eventually I may get over the public ass-ery and emotional family turmoil caused by their unwillingness to either defy the demands of his traditional role in the first place (and insist he marry her or remain a bachelor) and inability to live up to the choice he/they made (for him to marry a 19 year old reputed virgin who was unprepared for what she was getting into).

            • MilaXX

              Honestly Camilla has never been much of a looker to begin with. This is likely as good as it gets for her. It’s not bad and appropriate for the occasion.

    • Anonymous

      The gentleman in photo #7 reminds me of the poodle in Go Dog, Go. 

      • Stacey Moriarty

        “Now do you like my hat?”

    • MilaXX

      I love the Ascot hats. The crazier the better. I think Beatrice toned it down because of the beating she got over the hat she wore to the wedding. The lady in the daisy hat lookslike Chloris Leechman playing a character.

    • Anonymous

      aaah, memories! My first ever post on this blog (or any other, btw) was last year for the Royal Ascot…AND YOU COMMENTED ON MY REMARK!!!! – have been stalking you ever since..

      And I am thankful that there is a part I in the title because I am waiting to see if that cutie with the velvet top hat snuck in again!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1303837450 Lauren Dorsee Dillon

      So much fun! I love hats. I want to move to the UK just so I can get away with wearing crazy hats as often as I can.

      But what happened to Beatrice? She went from boisterous to boring. Boo!

      • Anonymous

        I’m just guessing here about Princess Bea but the hat for the wedding had to set her (or her Dad) back quite a pretty penny and here she went more low key.  I can relate to the spluge and save method.  Also, after taking so much (undeserved, IMHO) crap for her hat at the wedding perhaps she just wanted to be understated this day.  She really has an interesting and pretty face, it is rare she looks bad.

    • Anonymous

      Even the Duchess of Cornwall has a nametag ?!? (Can’t see if the Prince does or not.)

    • http://twitter.com/karenrubyleo Karen

      I wish there were more occasions in life that called for insane and ridiculous hats, wouldn’t the day be much more interesting if everyone wore one of these?!

    • Amanda in Austin

      Are Beatrice and Eugenie contractually obligated to go everywhere together, sort of like the Olsen twins?

    • Anonymous

      I love them. Especially the lime green flower with veil and the peacock. It’s a bit distressing to see all the English ladies with walnut tans
      Genie and Bebe seem to be on a conservative bend. Too bad. I like their crazy hats.

    • http://www.facebook.com/CatherineKatz Catherine Katz

      Anyone catch the giant chip clip holding the boa/collar/animal? together on #12?

    • Glen Coleson

      I think the Woman who ripped out one of her hedges, tied some bows on it and slapped it on her head wins the day. Though that preposterous pink number is pretty fab.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michelle-Shields/1200782178 Michelle Shields

      Betty and Phil! 

    • Anonymous

      ooooh how fun! I love the pale yellow flower on black one and the green with the crazy little feathers the best, and love the sunglasses on the first girl.

    • http://twitter.com/artfulhome1 Christy Bishop

      Don’t they frighten the horses? Or is that the object?

    • Anonymous

      Loving this!  I wish hats were more of a ‘thing’ here in the U.S.–and I love that British ladies aren’t hesitant to get their fashion freak on when the occasion calls for it.  Fabulous!

      (and seriously, did Charles not spring for Camilla a new hat?)

    • Anonymous

      I just love looking at the hats from Royal Ascot! They are so over-the-top and fun! 

      I have to ask; however, is the lady in the last picture wearing lip liner that is darker than her lipstick??

    • Anonymous

      I said from the moment I saw it that Princess Beatrice should have held back on the picture frame hat for Ascot!!

    • Anonymous

      Wow, Prince Charles as a silver fox really works. Who knew?

    • Veronica Diaz

      This is what is wrong with America.  We do not have enough places where you can wear crazy ass hats.  Can someone please make hats acceptable again.

    • aussiegal77

      I LOVE ROYAL ASCOT!  More photos please!  Love all the hats – even the boring ones =D

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JSGAZPEESHQT47ATH55GNOHHBY Erin

      I can’t get a scarf to stay on my head.  How on earth do they do it?

    • Anne Slovin

      Ha!  I love the guy with the top hat/martini glass/balloon.  Awesome.

      • MilaXX

        the birthday party hat? yes it is awesome

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504396442 Katy Rose Taylor

      Royals outdone by randos.

    • Anonymous

      I’m also so disappointed in Beatrice and Eugenia!  The perfect opportunity to go all out with crazier hats than worn to the wedding…and they caved/conformed to traditional hats.  Perhaps someone got in their ear and told them to tone it down…or the didn’t appreciate the attention they previously got.  I loved their boldness before…now…ho hum…

      Love the white scrolly top hat on the woman with the yellow rimmed sunglasses! 

    • Anonymous

      I am also grooving on the little lace gloves. If I were rich enough to have them in cotton/silk (not polyester) I’d say to hell with the images of old lady lace mitts they bring up and buy me a dozen or so. And as my hands continue their inevitable slide, I’d wear them more and more often.

    • Anonymous

      Yowzah! Those are some kooky hats!! I actually like Camilla’s hat. Those hats that defy gravity stuck to the side of the wearer’s head look silly to me.

    • Carmel Steindam

      When I am older, I would like to be either #12 or #14. They are pretty awesome.

    • Margaret G.

      The dress Princess Beatrice has on is the same Phillip Lim that Amber Heard wore in http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/2011/05/red-carpet-rundown.html this Red Carpet Rundown…you can see full length pix on google images. funny how different a dress can look depending on the styling. 

    • MilaXX

      That hair & flowers hat looks straight out of the Bronner Brothers hair show.

    • Anonymous

      Love the two large yellow flower hats – and very much like the purple hydrangea 

    • Anonymous

      Love the two large yellow flower hats – and very much like the purple hydrangea 

    • Anonymous

      Lovely to see Brenda smiling so often these days — not sure I’ve seen her smile this much in my whole life (and I’ve got a few decades on me).  Hope to God it’s genuine — and not on the advice of some flack the Firm has hired.

      And my, doesn’t she look minty fresh here — positively Rustle of Spring! 

      • Anonymous

        I’ve been thinking that myself lately. She was particularly smiley at the wedding and in Ireland. Not like her!

    • Patricia Biswanger

      I wish I knew who most of these people are.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_T24URKJGBLJQPBWCRPU37IIHLU Krab Louse

      Yes, Princess Beatrice really blew it.   She didn’t even bother to “church it up.”

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_T24URKJGBLJQPBWCRPU37IIHLU Krab Louse

      Yes, Princess Beatrice really blew it.   She didn’t even bother to “church it up.”

    • Tamara Hogan

      LOVE the black hat with the lime green flower and the face netting… And I think the Queen looks absolutely adorable.

    • Tamara Hogan

      LOVE the black hat with the lime green flower and the face netting… And I think the Queen looks absolutely adorable.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_T24URKJGBLJQPBWCRPU37IIHLU Krab Louse

      The man in the top hat is my father.

    • Anonymous

      I was really hoping you two would cover the Derby hats but this slightly makes up for it.

    • http://twitter.com/vickiminch Vicki Minchener

      Unfortunately Camilla wouldn’t have been allowed to wear a little fascinator as to be in the royal enclosure ladies are required to wear a hat or substantial fascinator!

    • Anonymous

      These people are crazy and I love it. Beatrice and Evangeline or whatever her name is look terrible. My favorites are the gals in the vintage sunglasses and hats – FAB-U-LOUS!!

      I’m spending July-August in London and I can only hope to see some of this millinery somewhere.

    • Anonymous

      The older women are totally rocking it. DId you see the lace gloves? How about that one with the funky Bakelite (esque) round glasses? Hotcha!

      • Anonymous

        The lady in those fabulous ‘funky Bakelite (esque) round glasses’ looks familiar to me. So cool. (wearin’ sort of a deconstructing cowboy hat, isn’t she?) Anybody know who she is? A designer? Architect?
        The big-flower hats are lovely.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6PUVFQ7YCZZFZRIER6BEJ4HVYE Amye

      As an aside, does anyone think that Prince Philip looks like The Warlock from Rankin & Bass’s ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’?

      Apologies as I know he just had his 90th birthday, but it’s the whole pose & everything!

    • Lisa

      That’s some crazy stuff, man!  I wonder how annoying wearing one of those really huge crazy ones gets after about an hour or so?

    • Anonymous

      God bless them, every one.  Hooray for eccentricity!  So refreshing. 

    • Anonymous

      Thanks you for this. My internet was out for close to 24 hours. I am gorging on pointlessness right now, and this is so beautiful and fun.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1214755227 Meira Niibori

      I just wish you would include names or at least number the photos so we can discuss them more easily.  =(  I love crazy hats!

    • elzatelzabelz

      Um…yeah…so..wow. Slightly disappointed that Eugenie didn’t wear soem cracktastic hat this time-sad panda.

    • Anonymous

      I like Camilla’s hat and how the sun hits it and makes it translucent.  It’s one of the few I did like.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1464580879 Sarah Oleksyk

      The third hat down, the “tower of hair flowers,” reminds me so much of Amber von Tussel’s mother’s hair-bomb at the end of Hairspray. Once you see it, you can’t un-see it!

      • http://www.facebook.com/CatherineKatz Catherine Katz

        I saw that too!  I’m glad I wasn’t the only one!

      • Anonymous

        Absolutely! Where’s Debby Harry when you need her? (I hope you’re talking about the Ricki Lake original and not the musical.)

    • Anonymous

      I like the woman with the daisy chain on her head.  And the Tigerlily above her.

    • Anonymous

      sosume, but I like Camilla’s hat.  Otherwise, I LOVE the last three hats.  Green, pink and peacock feathers.  Very fun!

    • Anonymous

      Holy CRAP.  Forget Ascot; it’s Diffendoofer Day in Merry Old England.  I swear they followed Dr. Seuss around, collected his shit, and made it into a hat collection.

    • http://twitter.com/MarieanneDH MarieanneDH

      Love it!  The old doll with the daisy chain just tickles me to death.

    • Anonymous

      divine

    • Anonymous

      I like Camilla’s hat, too, though it seems a bit subdued in this crowd. ;p

      God save the Queen, I just love her to pieces, and she looks great.

      Never change, British aristocrats.  Never change.

    • Anonymous

      Lady with the black net veiling and giant yellow flower above has the perfect expression. The netting really makes that hat, doesn’t it? The yellow flower screams, “Yo, LOOK AT ME!” and the the netting is all “Yet, I am coy and mysterious. You know me not, despite the floral effulgence up top. Come into my world if you dare.”

    • http://twitter.com/anggieholics Anggi Pramita

      Someone just chopped off flower bush from garden, glued some yellow ribbons, and slapped it on her head. Going green is a good thing.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3AJ237ND3GAHDQJZ4TLCO4WLRA Emily

      OMG, I love that giant daisy one — it’s bigger than the little old lady wearing it!  Ha!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=720946720 Carolyn Smrcka

      I like to see that The British aren’t immune to tanorexia.

    • http://twitter.com/kmc1138 Kathleen Coyle

      Love love LOVE Lady-Gaga-In-50-Years.  (Sorry, I don’t know who she really is).

    • Shannon 1

      Whose funeral did #14 plunder to get the flowers for that hat?

    • Anonymous

      May we have names, please? I don’t know who everyone is.

      • Anonymous

        Most of them are just random people once you get past the royals. The press just look for the wildest hats.

    • Margaret Schultz

      I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous

      I love the huge daffodil-yellow one.  The wearer is stunning.  Suits her perfectly.

    • Anonymous

      The only disaster is #13 — hat AND dress; except for that one, numbers 11-17 are all pretty exciting. (I hate to use numbers — names, please, if you can)

    • http://profiles.google.com/sauchih Sau-Chih Feng

      OMG, the ridiculous hair-hat is hilarious!

    • http://twitter.com/Stevesotherhalf Svanhild Salmons

      All the hats made me smile.
      But BEADED CHIP CLIP? Honey, no.

    • http://www.facebook.com/tom.r.markiewicz Tom Markiewicz

      who is that fantastic old bird in yellow, number 14?? she’s a stitch!

    • Anonymous

      Well, they are truly royal. And the existing post really discloses the best of pictures of the best designed hats. The all existing hats are really looking so creative and classy. I have really found the lots of creativity from this post. This one is extremely looking one of the great experienced post about the great hats.

    • johny anderson

      Royal hats have different designs and colours. So it attracts the people towards the hat owner. Different type of hats are used to improve the look as well as style.

    • Phillip Wilde

      Princess Bea looks like she’s going to a funeral.

    • Fashion Accessories

      I really love this source. As I have found one of the extreme pictures for the incredible hats from this source. It’s truly looking one of the precious experienced post to see the Royals. Thanks for sharing.