Heading to Royal Ascot? Start dreaming about these hats…

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  • The best hats for Royal Ascot not only comply with the strict Ascot 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 (which takes place between Tuesday 14 and Saturday 18 June in 2022) 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 a little out of practice when it comes to getting dressed up – and you’re looking for tips on choosing the right hat for you, scroll down a little further because we’ve got you covered.

    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.

    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.

    Best hats for Royal Ascot 2022 for all budgets

    Accessorize Charlotte fascinator

    Accessorize Charlotte disc fasciantor

    RRP: £60 |

    This fascinator will complement a minimalistic dress for a really elegant look.

    View now at accessorize.com

    Bundle MacLaren Jodi hat

    Bundle MacLaren Jodi

    RRP: £1,050 |

    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 now at bundlemaclaren.co.uk

    John Lewis Kira Twist Flower Fascinator

    John Lewis Kira Twist Flower Fascinator

    RRP: £35 |

    Available in red, navy, magenta or black, this fascinator is super-smart and great value.

    View now at johnlewis.com

    Camilla Rose Fouetté hat

    Camilla Rose Fouetté

    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 now at camillarose.co.uk

    Hats By Cressida hat

    Hats By Cressida

    RRP: £200 |

    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 now at etsy.com

    The Head Bloomer Millinery pink flower hat

    The Head Bloomer Millinery pink flower hat

    RRP: £145 |

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

    View now at notonthehighstreet.com

    Iona Montgomery Ivy hat

    Iona Montgomery Ivy

    RRP: £365 |

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

    View now at ionamontgomery.co.uk

    Phase Eight Chiara Disc Fascinator

    Phase Eight Chiara Disc Fascinator

    RRP: £69 |

    This timeless style will complete any raceday outfit.

    View now at next.co.uk

    Jane Taylor Juno

    Jane Taylor Juno

    RRP: £510 |

    This captivating headpiece is ornamented with hand-shaped, eye-catching buntal twists and luxurious goose feathers.

    View now at janetaylorlondon.com

    Lock & Co Hatters Arabella

    Lock & Co Hatters Arabella

    RRP: £995 |

    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 now at lockhatters.co.uk

    Accessorize Rhea oversized fasciantor

    Accessorize Rhea oversized fasciantor

    RRP: £37.50 |

    This fascinator has a voluminous bow design with wispy feathers, and is available in four colours.

    View now at accessorize.com

    Merve Bayindir Mallorca

    Merve Bayindir Mallorca

    RRP: £1,190 |

    The Merve Bayindir Golden Age collection will get the crowds talking — in a good kind of way. This season’s collection includes a range of styles inspired by the golden age of Hollywood.

    View now at mervebayindir.com

    Snoxells Amy Occasion hat

    Snoxells Amy Occasion hat

    RRP: £69 |

    This showstopping choice features a textured swirl detailing on a fuss-free, flattering upturn disc base.

    View now at johnlewis.com

    Philip Treacy

    Philip Treacy

    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 now at philiptreacy.co.uk

    Rosie Olivia Yuki

    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 now at rosieoliviamillinery.com

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