Royal Ascot Hats Part 2

Posted on June 17, 2011

Darlings, it’s time once again to check in on those crazy Brits and their even-crazier hats. We want our Brit cousins to just be themselves, so we will once again refrain from commentary. After all, this shit is above criticism. It’s sui generis, so we’ll be generous.

Okay, we can’t. The chick with the riding crop and the too-tight dress needs to be ushered out by security, the hat with the iPad should be burned, the teatime hat is adorable and the artist’s palette is pretty fabulous, the one with the hand holding the fan is creepy as hell, and we must, as gays, stand and salute any woman who has nerve enough to wear a flamingo on her head in public. God save the Queen, and God bless the British need to go a little nuts every once in a while.

[learn_more caption="Click for more pictures"] [/learn_more]

[Photo Credit: Getty, AP Images]

  • http://profiles.google.com/caitlinsteinert Caitlin Steinert

    Please tell me there’s more! These are fantastic.

    • Anonymous

      Most of these hats were worn on  “Ladies Day” at Ascot.  This always make me want to watch “My Fair Lady”  and Audrey Hepburn in that fabulous scene at the races!

      • Anonymous

        Ooooh, the choreography of that hat scene is one of my favorites of all times.

        • Anonymous

          You can bid on Audrey’s costume from the Ascot scene at the big Debby Reynolds movie memorabilia auction.  I think it’s tomorrow.  GT — you could bid on Dorothy’s blue gingham dress.  It’s up for auction as well.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NDIVLIMMNQG3BZAI6WBFFHRDHE Heather

    I have to say, I fully agree with all your comments.  For some reason, though, the queen’s makes me think the green thing on it is a small garter snake.  It creeps me out.

  • Anonymous

    Were Betty and the red dominatrix at the same event!?  Bwahahaha!

    That is some crazy fun they’re all having with those hats. I’m even more disappointed now with Beatrice and Eugenia’s conservative hats…from the other thread.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1294512334 Terri Griffith

    I’m going to skip the weird ones. The second hat is lovely. An old-fashioned bretton (sp?) which Princess Anne is also wearing. She looks great. and I love the Queen’s hat. She looks great for an old broad.

    • Anonymous

      The second photo is Carole Middleton, mother of the Duchess of Cambridge.

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

        I thought she looked familiar…I wonder if they get titles now that they are “Royal In-Laws”…

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3QHOT6GHMBNGPZHH53WM7FC3SQ Mike W

      I noticed myself that Princess Anne was looking particularly good. The color suits her well, and she was obviously enjoying herself.   

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

    The whip hat is such a ploy to copy Beatrice’s hat that it’s not even funny.  And it’s ugly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=811053804 Stacy Parker Cole

    The iPad one looks weird.. almost like someone pasted it on top of the pic. ??? Some of these hats are truly amazing.  That being said,  I wouldn’t want a bird on top of my head.

    • Tom Shea

      I agree. (Or iAgree.) It looks like a PhotoShop job.

      • Anonymous

         agreed. It has to be photoshop. There’s no way that’s actually how the hat looked. I think it was just the green hat plain and some wiseguy stuck that ipad on it using software for laughs. Its not actually on the real hat.

    • MilaXX

      Yup, cheap and ugly . It looks like she made it herself in the DIY garage.

    • http://soyeahsoblog.blogspot.com April and Maya

      Totally shopped. 

  • Anonymous

    From what i see, the main goal of some of the crazier hats is to distract from hideously ill fitting and inappropriate dresses.  And that gal in the red with the whips?  All sorts of wrong…..

  • Elaine Lang

    Oooh, Sophie!   I love your peacock feathers!   

    Betty’s hat is cute, but looks like it’s following a Palm Sunday theme.   (Although, I think they use pussywillows in most of Europe, so probably not an issue for her)

  • Elaine Lang

    Oooh, Sophie!   I love your peacock feathers!   

    Betty’s hat is cute, but looks like it’s following a Palm Sunday theme.   (Although, I think they use pussywillows in most of Europe, so probably not an issue for her)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=49702581 Susan Bullard Mayer

    The artist’s palette is my fave, followed by the red with the big flower.

    • Anonymous

      I <3 the artist's palette.  It makes an awesome hat.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=49702581 Susan Bullard Mayer

    The artist’s palette is my fave, followed by the red with the big flower.

  • Lauren Bradshaw

    I think I need to make a crazy arts and crafts hat to wear to the grocery store in Kansas.  I am sure I won’t get any odd looks, not at all.

    • Anonymous

      I wished I lived in England, and could wear wild hats!! I love wearing hats. Or I wish we would wear them again!

      • Anonymous

        Let’s see if the Bitter Kittens can start a trend of crazy hats here.  Granted, it’s sort of like trying to make fetch happen, but it might be fun.

  • http://twitter.com/Varekai97X Jill Keller

    I wonder if the swan and the flamingo are friends.

  • Anonymous

    That creepy hand is made creepier by the fact that its nail polish matches the polish of the wearer. Ew.
    And you gotta give it up for the black swan as well. My favorite is the red hat (not the riding crop, the other one). That’s gorgeous and wearable.

  • Anonymous

    Love the teaset and the artist’s palette hats.

  • Trinh D.

    The iPad hat picture is currently my profile picture on fb!

  • Anonymous

    Mad hatters. I’d really like to know the social evolution of this particular tradition of wearing the most absurd thing possible as a hat – I’m sure it’s a fascinating story.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think the Ascot Ladies Day hats were always crazy, just very extravagant.  It seems like things loosened up a bit in the 60′s when people showed up in more trendy hat styles and outfits; I would probably trace the current zaniness back to Stephen Jones in the 1980′s, and his influence on millinery design.  ( This is just an educated guess; British posters might have more insight. ) I also kind of think that as hats become less common in everyday dressing women see the occasion for wearing one as an opportunity to be more silly, since they feel a bit silly wearing one anyway!

      On another note, my pet peeve is the trend of just popping a hat on un-styled long hair; it usually looks a little slapdash to me.  If you look at these photos, the most successful looks are the ones where the hat and hair are complimentary.  

      • Anonymous

        And many of the women with longer hair appear to be wearing hair nets!! Perish the thought!!!

        • Anonymous

          They would correctly be called “snoods” not hairnets and are quite right for wearing with a hat to an event focused on horses.

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

        I was thinking the same thing–a proper hat needs a proper hairdo.  And I do mean DO!  A few of them get it right–the woman with the red hat and dress (not the dominatrix nor the big flower poof,) the B&W with the snood and the woman with the fabulous lace jacket and black hat.  Even the woman with the artist’s palette looks great.   The one exception is the last lady in the pink.  At her age–she may wear her hair and her hat any way she chooses!  Gorgeous! 

        THe

      • Anonymous

        Google Gertrude Shilling. She died 10 or so years ago. But from what I recall as a child (my grandfather always watched horse racing) she was really the only one that used to do really over the top hats and that was long before Jones, Treacy etc. Her son David Shilling was/is a milliner (I think he concentrates on fine art more now) and he made her hats. They got increasingly and wonderfully insane over the years and were almost as much of an event as the meeting itself. It feels a bit like all the mad hats are sort of filling the void she left.

        Also, a lot of the hats are now worn to publicise something. Such as the whip hat  – to bring attention to the campaign to ban the use of whips in racing. Or the hat with the bug – malaria awareness.

        • Anonymous

          Corsetmaker – Thank you!  I had completely forgotten about David Shilling, but when I first started making hats in the early 80′s he was a big name.  I know I did a few similar geometric pieces based on those styles when I was studying – very 80′s Joan Collins “Dynasty” numbers.   This is going to send me back to my library to see what was published.  And Gertrude – love her!  The Guardian obit was great, ending with: “…she kept her hats in a special warehouse near her home. When all was said and worn, she had chutzpah.”  Just fabulous.

          I had no idea those theme hats were promotional in nature.  Puts it in perspective.  Not sure how o think about a cheery ladybug malaria awareness hat.   That hat should have had a net!

          • Anonymous

            Haha true! A lot are just people having fun with it without any agenda, but I suppose it’s a great way of making the papers.

            Glad to have helped jog the memories :) Gertrude Shilling was a true character.

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

    she could have done some amazing things with that ipad!
    perhaps an image or a video that goes with the hat’s design,
    but she wasted the opportunity with a random app.

    i want that artist’s palette hat!
    she looks so chic and i wanna see more of her outfit.

  • Anonymous

    I’m wondering if the woman with the iPad on her head works for William Hill and is letting people place bets off her hat.

    –GothamTomato

  • Anonymous

    Put a bird on your head!-Portlandia
    I had to email my former Brit boss the pic of the S&M hat.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UCLO5V2YD36T7QMPKOC7YXPOFU Erica

    The one with the hand creeps you guys out?  I’m scared of the one with the big bug, myself.  It looks too much like the big roaches we have in Texas for me.  But I do so want to wear a bird hat some day.

  • http://profiles.google.com/gillianholroyd gillian holroyd

    I like the orange circle-y-spirally one and I really like her pearl choker.

  • Anonymous

    Of the tasteful variety, god save Princess Anne. And yet again in PURPLE! Of the outrageous variety, I like the black one (9 from the bottom, in the gal with the yellow and black outfit). Of the ridiculous I like the artist palette hat. This gal looks like someone dared her to shock the crowd at Ascot (because she normally is rather a tight-ass) and this is what she came up with.

    Does Ascot only happen once a year? This is great fun.

  • Anonymous

    I have shocked myself by loving the purple/orange exploding feather hat. And the melting flesh effect that lady in the red leather has achieved is pretty gross. I love the black hat the lady in the yellow & black suit is wearing. Did we see someone else in that hat at the royal wedding? it looks really familiar to me.

    I used to have quite the hat collection and wore them all the time. I wish I had occasion to now. I’d loved to be in line at Safeway in one of these get ups.

    • Anonymous

       Yes, her :) It’s Sophie Winkleman, she’s married to a royal.

  • Ella B. Mudge

    Is that Liz Hurley in the third photo up from the bottom?  If so, she needs to comb her hair and her jacket is squishing her bazooms.

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

      I was wondering the same thing. I THINK it’s her.

      • Anonymous

        and pissed.

    • Anonymous

      I thought the same thing…I know she’s getting divorced (shocking, I know) but girl usually works it better than this!

  • http://profiles.google.com/insertbrackets Tory Adkisson

    I love these coked-out hat-splosions! It is so uniquely, bizarrely British!

  • Anonymous

    OH MY GOD, the red hat with the flower (directly above the Ipod hat) is FABULOUS. I want!

  • Anonymous

    OH MY GOD, the red hat with the flower (directly above the Ipod hat) is FABULOUS. I want!

  • Anonymous

    Lady Gaga eat your heart out!

  • Anonymous

    Gawd, I love these! Even the really bad ones. The Kentucky Derby pales…

    • Anonymous

      I was thinking the exact same thing about the Kentucky Derby! Perhaps the attendees of the Derby need to imbibe some Jack before choosing their hats…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NMIFZ6A7BHP66M546AO77BWVQ4 Bonnie

    I do love the Brits for their hat mania.  Any woman who’s nutty/ballsy enough to wear a black swan or flamingo on her head gets my vote!
    bitchybitchybitchy

  • Anonymous

    Wackos…walking with birds, teacups, ipods and whatelse on their head…

    There are some trully awesome nontheless.

  • http://twitter.com/vesperbeauty Vesper Beauty

    That iPad one would’ve been much more interesting and witty if it had a picture of a hat on the screen.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nicole-Walraven/527225623 Nicole Walraven

    love the palette hat, so well executed!
    you guys seem to be having some issues with broken images lately. i only got about half of those pics.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nicole-Walraven/527225623 Nicole Walraven

      nm, reloading the page fixed it.

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t think it was possible for a crazy hat to look out of place at Ascot, but the Whip Lady… looks way out of place at Ascot.

    I love the artist’s palette hat, and that gorgeous red one right above the iPad.

    The iPad is awful in itself, but could it auger a whole new world of insane millinery? Not just crazy looking, but computerized and interactive crazy millinery?  Diana Eng… the crazy British aristocracy needs you!

  • katherine.corr

    No way! I read this blog every day and ADORE it real hard. Imagine my suprise to see a hat made by my friend Jayne Elwell the Liberatarian! She made the Black Swan beauty for her friend. Check out the rest of her stuff, it’s wonderful! http://www.thelibertarian.co.uk/  

  • http://profiles.google.com/trashilove { edi } ilovetrash

    the chick w/ the riding crop is a middle aged professional who is making enough money to have someone craft her a faux treacy {or, perhaps, have a custom treacy made}. still, i dont know whether she needs to be advertising her business this publicly –i mean, i dont like the ipod hat, either–
    &
    princess anne is the kate middleton of my tiring childhood. the only thing i can really remember is that she was kind of testy & married some guy w/ a horse.

  • Glen Coleson

    The purple one with the feathers is my favorite. With that black hat on the women in yellow pulling up a close second.

  • Anonymous

    The Queen looks marvelous.  I loved the tea party hat but I think the flamingo & black swan were my faves among the wacky ones. (Though the woman wearing the black swan has such a face of self-centered, toffee-nosed privilege that the poor thing must have to be Mother Teresa incarnate to counter the first impression.) 

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

    I think Babs looks great for her age! And I’m digging the hot pink mess in the last picture!

  • http://twitter.com/shinobi42 Shinobi

    The hat with the fan and the hands on it confused me for at least 30 seconds.

  • Anonymous

    It’s as if, after a year of being proper and obeying etiquette, their heads explode.

    The Princess Royal looks fab in lavender.

    They need to post some serious gays (big, burly, impeccably dressed) at the entrance to keep the trash out, though.

  • Anonymous

    It’s as if, after a year of being proper and obeying etiquette, their heads explode.

    The Princess Royal looks fab in lavender.

    They need to post some serious gays (big, burly, impeccably dressed) at the entrance to keep the trash out, though.

  • Anonymous

    It’s as if, after a year of being proper and obeying etiquette, their heads explode.

    The Princess Royal looks fab in lavender.

    They need to post some serious gays (big, burly, impeccably dressed) at the entrance to keep the trash out, though.

  • Anonymous

    Queen Betty looks fab! My favorite is the one with the exploding red dots. The veil on the lady wearing it gives her polka-dot eyes and how cool is that!

  • http://twitter.com/shessomickey Amanda Mickey

    Is… is that an iPad?!

  • Anonymous

    Totally fun. I most enjoy the older women! Thanks for posting.

  • Anonymous

    Okay, you know what? I am officially over it. Enough, you crazy birds.

  • Anonymous

    Okay, you know what? I am officially over it. Enough, you crazy birds.

  • http://twitter.com/LadyGoRed Lady Go Red

    I made the Windswept Tea Party hat! So pleased you find it adorable! I’ve got more fantastic hats on my website….www.LadyGoRed.com

    • http://profiles.google.com/phyllis.craine Phyllis Craine

      You are a genius!

  • Anonymous

    I love these crazy Brit hat posts – such fun!! 

  • Lauen newman

    Oh Brits. You so entertaining. 

  • Lauen newman

    Oh Brits. You so entertaining. 

  • MilaXX

    Love the wackiness of it all. Completely agree that Ms. Whip & chains is trying to hard. She looks like she would be working the pole rather than attending Ascot. The chick with the blue and orange feathered hat looks like she forgot the rest of her dress and the hat & fan hat is just plain creepy. However the tea party hat is whimsical and I love granny in the bright pink last shot.

  • MilaXX

    Love the wackiness of it all. Completely agree that Ms. Whip & chains is trying to hard. She looks like she would be working the pole rather than attending Ascot. The chick with the blue and orange feathered hat looks like she forgot the rest of her dress and the hat & fan hat is just plain creepy. However the tea party hat is whimsical and I love granny in the bright pink last shot.

  • Lisa

    I have to admit, I’m really in love with the one that’s done up like a painter’s palette!

  • Cindy Claussen

    So the Queen basically has the same matching suit and hat, in probably hundreds of pastel shades. This looks exactly like what she wore for the wedding. Must be nice!

    • http://profiles.google.com/phyllis.craine Phyllis Craine

      I think in her dotage this is the suit style and hatform she has pretty much settled on…it works well for her, she looks beautiful.

  • Anonymous

    Okay, so what kinky Brit lord brought his dominatirx doxey to the Ascot Races, crop in hand? Princess Margaret looks wonderful!  And Betty looks great too!    And that final picture displays a true ediface of millinery.  Bravo to those wacky Brits I love them all!

  • Anonymous

    The Ipad one looks completely photoshopped. 

  • Ruth Poulsen

    My 6 year old thinks that the last hat looks like a black spider crawling out of the flower. Creepy!

  • http://profiles.google.com/phyllis.craine Phyllis Craine

    The teatime hat reminded me of a ride a Disneyworld….but I still like it!

  • Anonymous

    Brits are so repressed 99.9% of the time, and then suddenly these freakazoid hats appear–it’s like their sole crazy-ass outlet.  People, let it all hang loose every so often so you don’t feel the need to wear dismembered hands on your head once a year.  Please.  

    • Anonymous

      Repressed? really?!

  • Anonymous

    Dear TLo, 
    More Brit posts, please! Seriously, I love that the Brits seem to be popping up on your blog more and more lately. They’re almost always a million times more fashionable and adventurous than us Americans. And their TV shows are much better, too.
     
    Also, while I am always in support of a latex dress, you’re in the presence of the Queen. Put a shirt on.

  • Anonymous

    Miss red latex frock and whip hat – she’s a playboy model and the hat was worn to publicise the campaign to ban the use of whips by the jockeys. http://www.animalaid.org.uk/h/n/NEWS/news_horse/ALL/2506//
    She’s done other stuff like that for PETA etc.

  • Shannon Maxham

    The flags around the “Tea Set” hat make me think of a stationary weather front. Two hats past that – the orange curly-q number – makes me think of tortilla soup. :) But to be honest, most of these are just crack-tastic. When the British lose it, the really go round the pipe.

  • Anonymous

    Love!  Now I have to save money so I can go to one of these and wear a giant crazy hat.

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

    The woman in the red PVC dress is just nasty looking.  From her underarms to her upperarms needs a cover up for the sake of those looking at her.