Heading to Royal Ascot? Start dreaming about these hats…

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  • The best hats for Royal Ascot not only comply with Ascot’s strict dress code but make you stand out from the crowd and feel glamorous, too. Everyone loves to dress up for a day the races, but the Royal Ascot meeting is synonymous with fashion, elegance and style, which makes your outfit choice even more important.

    If you don’t ditch your horsey attire on a regular basis – let’s face it, we’re all out of practice when it comes to getting dressed up – and you’re looking for tips on choosing the right hat for you, jump down to our advice.

    Raceday hats can be awkward to greet friends in, there’s a high chance of ending up with a glaring, sweaty forehead, and at some point during the day your heart will skip a beat as you make a dash back to the loo where you left it.

    So if you’re going to put yourself through the trial of choosing and wearing a hat to go racing this summer, we say make it a goody…

    Here’s our pick of the best hats for Royal Ascot 2021 – from the budget-conscious high street options to those from top milliners with price tags that will make you weep (there’s no harm in dreaming…)

    Bundle MacLaren Jodi hat

    Bundle MacLaren Jodi

    Suitable for: Royal Enclosure | RRP: £900 |

    These designs are all handmade in a Fulham studio in central London — including this striking, stylish and sophisticated showstopper, which complies with Royal Enclosure regulations and can be made in any colour combination.

    View at bundlemaclaren.co.uk

    Camilla Rose Fouetté hat

    Camilla Rose Fouetté

    Suitable for: Royal Enclosure | RRP: £385 |

    This beautifully shaped golden sisal headpiece with a contrast ivory silk abaca hidden beneath the soft curves is secured using elastic to match your hair colour.

    View at camillarose.co.uk

    Hats By Cressida hat

    Hats By Cressida

    Suitable for: Royal Enclosure | RRP: £166.43 |

    Available in 40 colours, this ostrich fascinator on a headband is a great choice if you can’t find what you’re looking for in a particular colour.

    View at etsy.com

    The Head Bloomer Millinery pink flower hat

    The Head Bloomer Millinery pink flower hat

    Suitable for: Royal Enclosure | RRP: £145 |

    This handmade hat is a unique statement piece – perfect for summer.

    View at notonthehighstreet.com

    Iona Montgomery Ivy hat

    Iona Montgomery Ivy

    Suitable for: Royal Enclosure | RRP: £365 |

    This feminine and sophisticated showstopper is complete with gold silk ivy and crystals.

    View at ionamontgomery.co.uk

    Jane Taylor upturned brim perching hat

    Jane Taylor upturned brim perching hat

    Suitable for: Royal Enclosure | RRP: £1,130 |

    This unique honeycomb woven straw style gives hat, which is available in a range of colours, a beautiful and dramatic finish.

    View at janetaylorlondon.com

    John Lewis Whitney Flower side up brim occasion hat

    John Lewis Whitney Flower side up brim occasion hat

    Suitable for: Royal Enclosure | RRP: £135 |

    A high street pick, such as this oyster-coloured hat from John Lewis, are a great way to blend in without spending a small fortune.

    View at johnlewis.com

    Lock & Co Hatters Monica

    Lock & Co Hatters Monica

    Suitable for: Royal Enclosure | RRP: £1,195 |

    Lock & Co is one of the world’s oldest hat shops, and one of the oldest family businesses still in existence in the UK, but it’s always at the forefront when it comes to innovative designs for ladies’ headwear.

    View at lockhatters.co.uk

    Merve Bayindir Hera

    Merve Bayindir Hera

    Suitable for: Royal Enclosure | RRP: £1,300 |

    The Merve Bayindir Sunset collection will get the crowds talking — in a good kind of way. This season’s collection includes a range of styles inspired by sunset colours – from whites and pale blues, such as the Hera above, through to oranges and reds.

    View at mervebayindir.com

    Monsoon disc and bow fascinator

    Monsoon disc and bow fascinator

    Suitable for: Royal Enclosure | RRP: £50 |

    This ornate ivory fascinator with a disc and bow detailing is so classic that you can restyle it with several outfits year after year.

    View at monsoon.co.uk

    Phase Eight Pink Timone bow hat

    Phase Eight Pink Timone bow hat

    Suitable for: Royal Enclosure | RRP: £110 |

    This classic design with oversized bow detail will complete any raceday outfit.

    View at next.co.uk

    Philip Treacy

    Philip Treacy

    Suitable for: Royal Enclosure | RRP: Enquire direct |

    Philip Treacy is one of the world’s most in demand hat designers, but that doesn’t stop us dreaming. His SS21 collection contains a wide range of showstoppers and stunning, slighty more conservative styles.

    View at philiptreacy.co.uk

    Rosie Olivia Yuki

    Suitable for: Royal Enclosure | RRP: £525 |

    This quirky pink straw hat trimmed with leather roses and orange curled feathers is perfect if you’re looking for something bright. It’s designed to sit at a flattering angle to the right of the head and is comfortably secured with a discrete clear elastic that sits behind both ears, beneath the hair.

    View at rosieoliviamillinery.com

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    How to choose the best hat for Royal Ascot

    For most equestrians, Royal Ascot is an opportunity to ditch the horsey attire and don a posh frock (or a top hat for the stallions). For the ladies a hat can add personality to an outfit, but what are the secrets to getting it right?

    The meeting famously has strict dress codes to adhere to – particularly in the Royal Enclosure where hats or headpieces should have a base of at least four inches (10cm) or more in diameter. You might think this rules out a lot of options, but there are plenty of fascinators that are designed with these dimensions in mind.

    Unless you are fortunate to have access to a personal stylist, choosing an exquisite hat can be a tricky decision, so here are some tips for choosing the right hat for you…

    1. If you’re petite, a delicate feather fascinator or smaller headpiece (not wider than your shoulders) tilted to one side will work well.
    2. Tall ladies will carry off a larger brimmed hat more easily.
    3. If you have a round face, opt for  a headpiece that sits at a slant (such as a beret) with a design, such as long feather quills or flowers, to add height and elongate your face.
    4. Ladies with a heart or oval-shaped face are lucky enough to be able to wear almost any shaped hat.
    5. If you are choosing a hat that is made on a hairband, opt for one that can easily be disguised in your hair — this is often achieved by having silk that matches your hair colour wrapped around the band.
    6. If you have a side parting, wear your hat on the side that your hair parts so that you have the fullest side of your hair on show.
    7. If you want to be the centre of attention, bright against blocks of darker tones will definitely turn heads. No one shies away from bright at Royal Ascot, but there are plenty of softer pastel options available, too.
    8. Botanical leaf and floral designs are always popular and are well-suited to this outdoor occasion.
    9. Avoid going overboard with accessories — a statement necklace with a detailed headpiece will look fussy so opt for one or the other.

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