Guide on choosing a hat to The Derby or Royal Ascot!

When a lady walks into my showroom for a hat or headpiece, the first question I ask is what occasion it is for. It does make a difference in my opinion as there are done hats in my collection that I myself would only wear to Royal Ascot, as I believe they may be too showy for any other event. For me the Derby represents tradition and therefore I would choose a hat or headpiece that compliments my outfit rather than the other way around which is what I would do for Royal Ascot where it is all about the hat. 

However, that is not to say that you can't go big, bright and bold if you wish at the Derby as a lot of ladies do and look amazing too.  The Derby has a certain classic style to it and I would bear this in mind when choosing my hat for this event. Ladies day is on the Friday, which is Oaks Day, and there are prizes on offer for the best dressed lady which draws in the more flamboyant hats, and of course Derby Day itself is as formal as you can get with the gentlemen also in morning suits.  There are no rules for the sizes of the hats or headpieces, they ask that ladies wear formal day dress with a hat or 'substantial' fascinator.  The Derby festival is such a fun occasion and now one of my favourite race days of the year, So I always choose a hat that is comfortable and easy to wear, as it can get crowded in some of the bars.

When choosing a hat for Royal Ascot in my opinion you can never go too flamboyant, it is the one place where you can choose a hat that you would never usually wear to any other occasion. Royal Ascot is all about the hat! I choose a very plain dress or suit and I go all out with my choice of hats.   

Talking about flamboyant hats this beauty by Philip Treacy was donated by a gentleman called Glen Gill and kindly he has asked that any proceeeds from rental go to The Injured Jockeys Fund.