Royal Wedding – what to wear

With Princess Eugenie’s wedding a couple of days away I’m rounding up my series of Instagram outfits that I would like to see some of the royal party wearing!

The Queen

I’m thinking pink for HM. It’s a colour she hasn’t previously worn at a royal wedding and one that would suit this time of year. Most likely to be by her milliner and couturier dream team Rachel Trevor Morgan and Stewart Parvin although she could choose something by her senior dresser, Angela Kelly, who designed the green hat she wore at the last royal wedding. One thing that’s easier to bet on is HM’s accessories – she may be known for dressing in a kaleidoscope of different colours for her formal events but her accessories rarely change: black patent shoes by Anello and Davide, black patent bag by Launer, classic pearl and diamond stud earrings – a wedding present from Queen Mary, a triple strand of pearls, and a diamond brooch. Her pearls are part of her regal uniform and I can’t imagine her not wearing them can you?!

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Mother of the Bride – The Duchess of York

It will be a big day for the Duchess of York next Friday, welcomed back into the royal fold in her prominent role as Mother of the Bride. Fergie made two public appearances with the royals this year (at the Royal wedding in May and at Royal Ascot in June) wearing classic navy blue head to toe both times, but I’m expecting her to up the style stakes a little as MOTB. I think she might dress in Roland Mouret or Vivienne Westwood with hat by Philip Treacy and I’d love to see her in gold  –  she’d look great in a dress coat like this one by Claire Mischevani – classic still but with an edge of glam.

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Hat: Rachel Trevor Morgan, clutch: bottarga Veneta; pearls: Annoushka; heels: Jimmy Choo; brooch: The Antique Jewellery Company.

Maid of Honour – Princess Beatrice 

Princess Beatrice was spotted leaving Ralph & Russo in London earlier this week carrying what looked like a shoe box I like to think it might have inside these gorgeous Empire pink suede and rose gold pumps – they look right up Princess Bea’s street. The York Princesses are known for their lively sense of style – who could forget the infamous pretzel hat Beatrice wore at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge! Her style has got more elegant and classic in recent years but still with a quirky edge, like the white tweed boater hat she wore to Easter Sunday service this year or the teal headband for the last royal wedding. If she was picking up R&R accessories then that could be a big clue as to who has designed her Maid of Honour dress…and possibly Princess Eugenie’s wedding dress too. I’d love to see her in something like this divine vision in blush from Ralph & Russo – perhaps a bit glitzy for a Maid of Honour dress but I’m sure they could tone down the sequins a bit so as not to steal the scene from Eugenie too much! I’ve pictured the dress here with R&R accessories, morganite earrings Kiki McDonough and a ceramic rose headband by Fi Graham Millinery.

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The Duchess of Cornwall

As with many of the female royals The Duchess of Cornwall has go to designers for formal events like weddings. She almost always wears Anna Valentine dresses/dress coats and Philip Treacy hats, so I think this will be the combination she will choose at next week’s royal wedding. You can always count on Camilla to wear a proper hat – she wore a fabulous wide brimmed pale pink feather trimmed hat by Treacy for the last royal wedding so I’m hoping he will have designed another spectacular hat for this occasion too! Wide brimmed hats don’t suit everyone but it’s great to see them still worn by those that can carry them off. The Duchess tends to wear pastel colours in formal daywear so I’m imagining her in silvery grey this time. Something similar to this stylish “Michaela” graphite silk dress coat by Lalage Beaumont perhaps, pictured here with a hat by William Chambers, clutch and shoes by Emmy London and vintage jewels by Susan Caplan.

(N.B. since I wrote this post it was confirmed the Duchess of Cornwall is not attending the wedding due to a prior work engagement.)

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The Countess of Wessex

Sophie always rings the changes with the style of her event outfits – at the royal wedding in May she wore separates: an elegant short sleeve ice blue silk top and matching midi skirt by Suzannah, and at Royal Ascot this year she was the first royal to wear a jumpsuit in the royal enclosure. I love how she’s not afraid to take risks and try new things with her clothes. She’s worn dressy shirt dresses in the past and I think the style really suits her so I’d love to see her in something like this burgundy/blush belted midi dress by Luisa Beccaria –  featuring a blush velvet collar, burgundy floral jacquard pattern and flared midi skirt. Elegant and formal but still a bit of a style statement. The Countess always wears hats by Jane Taylor (the one I’ve pictured is by Juliette Botterill and available to hire from The Cotswold Hat Club). Burgundy/blush is a great colour combination for autumn too – holding on to the blush from summer and dipping into some wintery burgundy! Other accessories: antique garnet earrings from The Antique Jewellery Company, velvet burgundy clutch by Jimmy Choo and blush velvet heels from Prada.

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The Duchess of Cambridge

The Duchess of Cambridge doesn’t usually stray from her tried and tested style formula of a fit-and-flare dress coat with matching hat for formal events like weddings, usually from her ‘go to’ designers Alexander McQueen and Catherine Walker. She also usually prefers not to make too much of a style statement at weddings so as not to draw attention away from the bride. So I’m expecting either a repeat wear from Kate or something fairly neutral/classic. I really like this Catherine Walker beige tweed dress coat with peplum detail at the waist. I’ve accessorized it with a beautiful oyster silk pillbox hat by Juliette Botterill, pinky beige clutch by Loefflerr Randall, suede courts from Gianvito Rossi and morganite earrings by Kiki McDonough.

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The Duchess of Sussex

The Duchess of Sussex has shown a preference for neutral colours in her working wardrobe as a member of the royal family. Her last appearance at a royal event in formal daywear was Prince Louis’ christening where she wore a khaki green dress and hat. I think she’d look great in this jewel green pleated silk dress by Gabriela Hearst. I’ve matched it here with an elegant saucer hat by Edwina Ibbotson, her black accessories by Givenchy and Aquazzura and diamond stud earrings from Birks.

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Zara Phillips

Zara wore a teal dress coat by Claire Mischevani at the last royal wedding so I think this sapphire blue colour and cut by the same designer would also look good on her with a matching blue velvet headpiece by Juliette Botterill. Other accessories – heels by Manolo Blank, bag by Amanda Pearl and opal earrings from Annoushka.

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Autumn Phillips

I’ve been studying the fashion form and Autumn tends to favour the fit and flare style of dress, similar to the Duchess of Cambridge. She wore an elegant ice blue coat by Suzannah Fashion with matching hat by Juliette Botterill for Easter Sunday in Windsor this year and for the last royal wedding she wore a beautiful turquoise dress coat by Hen House HQ with matching hat by Juliette Millinery, so she may well repeat this design duo next Friday. She isn’t afraid of wearing bright colours and often contrasts the colour of her hat with her dress so she may not go for a matchy-matchy look. I’ve picked out the Princess dress coat in flag red by Suzannah here and matched it with a silk bow headpiece by Juliette Botterill. Red is sometimes considered a bit of a taboo colour at weddings but I think it’s fine to wear it these days, especially in autumn/winter. The Duchess of Cambridge has worn red a couple of times to weddings. You can always tone down the look by adding nude accessories or a darker shade of red – like I’ve done here. The unwritten rules are that a guest should blend in as much as possible and not wear anything that detracts too much attention from the bride – red is often considered a bit of a scene stealing colour so I think that’s why many people steer clear of it at weddings. But if we’re talking about scene stealing then canary yellow a la Amal will do it just as much! As will any other brights. The only colours that are a no go are black and obviously white!

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The Countess of Snowdon 

The Countess of Snowdon doesn’t get much media coverage at royal events compared to the more senior royals, which is a shame because she’s one of the most stylish. Often opting for chic pill box hats all “Lady Lucan” style! I think Serena would look great in a floral headband like this one from Laura Cathcart Millinert teamed here with a navy Ballerina dress by Suzannah and jazzed up with some gold/navy brocade shoes by Rupert Sanderson.

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What to wear – Royal Ascot

With a week to go until Royal Ascot gets underway, I thought I’d take a closer look at the dress codes for Royal Ascot. Many of my followers on Instagram are attending and have been planning their outfits well in advance, but there are still a few last-minute ladies looking for outfits this week! Hat hire is a great option if you’ve left it too late to get a bespoke hat made or if you want a quality hat at a lower cost that you’re only going to wear once. Many of the milliners in my hat directory have hat hire options, or you could consult your nearest hat shop – the advantage of these is that you have the pick of hats from lots of great milliners all in one place. In London, X Terrace/The Old Brompton Gallery have a Royal Ascot/Summer wedding pop up shop. The Cotswold Hat Club is a new hat hire company with some pieces from top milliners, including Emily London, Sarah Cant, Bundle Maclaren and Martha Lynn Millinery. They also offer a membership for unlimited hat hire for 12 months for a one-off fee, which is a great idea for summer-season social butterflies.

Ascot has actually relaxed its style rules in recent years to include trouser suits and jumpsuits within the royal enclosure. They are aware that fashion evolves and are keen to embrace current trends. But there are still strict rules in terms of straps on dresses and substantial headpieces. Some people may not like such rules, but I’m happy for them to stay as long as possible. It’s entirely possible to find a fun and stylish outfit within these rules so there’s no need to resort to night club apparel! Dress and tradition are part of the fun of Royal Ascot. And as I say with any event – dressing appropriately is a sign of respect to your host and in this case the history and tradition that make Royal Ascot so special. Formal daywear is not something that is regularly worn by most people these days, so I think this is why some people sometimes find it hard to know what to wear – dressing up doesn’t mean wearing a party dress – the outfit should be appropriate for daylight hours not cocktail hour.

On consulting the Royal Ascot website, you will see the dress codes that should be followed for each enclosure. The strictest dress code is for the Royal Enclosure, which is relaxed a little for the other enclosures; e.g. strappy dresses and fascinators (if you must) are permitted elsewhere.

Royal Enclosure

The dress code for the Royal Enclosure is basically “formal daywear”, which is defined as:

  • Skirt/dress to be knee-length or longer.
  • Straps on dresses should be at least 1 inch.
  • Trouser suits are allowed, but they should be of matching colour and material.
  • Jumpsuits are allowed. They should be full-length to the ankle, with sleeves matching the regulations for dresses.
  • Hats should be worn. Head pieces are acceptable as long as the base is 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.

What NOT to wear:

  • Dresses of the strapless, spaghetti strap, halter-neck, or off-the-shoulder variety (including bardot style dresses).
  • Fascinators.

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For the royal enclosure I would recommend tailored long sleeve dresses or skirt/jacket ensembles. For a really stylish elegant look, I prefer matchy-matchy ensembles, so stick to two colours. Black and white is such a classy colour combination for Royal Ascot. I think it’s good to get the balance right with the black/white ratio and patterns/details so that you come across more My Fair Lady rather than Cruella de Vil! I love this ivory wide brimmed hat with black sequin lace by Nerida Fraiman – a real statement number. Ascot is a great place to wear wide brimmed hats – the sort of hat you can’t wear seated unless you want everyone behind you to hate you! This hat is definitely one for wafting around the royal enclosure in style. I’ve matched it with a white cotton weave jacket with lace trim and asymmetric hem by Roland Mouret, and matching pencil skirt. Clutch by Aspinal of London, classic black suede courts from Boden and black/gold floral studs from Accessorize. A really chic, timeless and sophisticated look.

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All white is another classic choice and a great summery look for Royal Ascot. It’s not a colour that you can wear at weddings without raising eyebrows! So Ascot is the perfect time to work those pristine stylish whites. Just be sure to protect your personal space at the Pimms bar – one drink spillage and it’s ruined. This beautiful lace dress is by Claire Mischevani. I’ve matched it with a rose & net sideswipe hat from Juliette Botterill, nude accessories from L.K. Bennett and pearl drop earrings by A. B. Davis. A perfect royal enclosure outfit fit for a Duchess.

Queen Anne Enclosure

  • Not as formal as the Royal Enclosure, but a hat, headpiece or fascinator should be worn at all times.
  • Strapless or sheer strap dresses and tops are not permitted.
  • Trouser suits and jumpsuits must be full-length and worn with a top that adheres to the guidelines above.
  • Midriffs must be covered.
  • Shorts are not permitted.

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Another colour that’s a bit taboo to wear at weddings is red, so Royal Ascot is a great opportunity to go for bright colours and stand out from the crowd. This stunning silk rose headpiece by Rachel Trevor Morgan is a great match for the red/black floral dress from Hobbs, accessorized with clutch from Hobbs, courts from L.K. Bennett and stud earrings from Anne Sisteron.

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If you’re more of a floaty-flirty lady when it comes to dresses, something like this summery green frock from Keepsake the Label would be ideal – sharpened up with my favourite emerald green volute headpiece by Camilla Rose Millinery. This summer frock could be worn at many other summer soirees too – evening as well as day time (bag: Zara; heels: Gianvito Rossi; earrings: Monet Jewellery).

Village Enclosure

  • Less formal than the Queen Anne Enclosure, but a hat, headpiece or fascinator should still be worn at all times.
  • Strapless or sheer strap dresses and tops are not permitted.
  • Trouser suits and jumpsuits must be full-length and worn with a top that adheres to the guidelines above.
  • Midriffs must be covered.
  • Shorts are not permitted.

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I love summery boater-style hats – they will give your outfit the formal edge required but aren’t as dressy as the more flamboyant statement hats, so are perfect for the outdoor setting of the Village enclosure. This one is the Amherst straw boater with hand sculpted ice blue Lady Amherst feather by Louise Georgette Millinery. As the Village Enclosure is a largely outdoor area, a wedge shoe or block heel is advisable over a spiky stiletto. These sandals are by Oasis and the courts are Rupert Sanderson. Dresses by Goat Fashion and Alice & Olivia and clutch by Emmy London.

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Another great floral frock from Hobbs that’s great for all sorts of summer events, including the races. Pictured here with an elegant shell pink feathered headpiece by Rachel Black Millinery, bag by Zara and Faber Novella block shoes. Headpieces like this are a great choice if you want something discreet and are in a crowded area. Infinitely better than fascinators.

Windsor Enclosure

  • No formal dress code is required but racegoers are encouraged to dress for the occasion, so it is recommended that ladies wear smart attire with a hat or fascinator.
  • Fancy dress, novelty and branded/promotional clothing are not allowed.

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Again, a boater-style hat like this one from Eugenia Kim is an option for this less dressy enclosure. Or you could wear a discreet button headpiece like this one below from Vixen Millinery. Jumpsuit by Whistles, yellow dress by Top Shop; bags by Zara; shoes by Office and Dune.

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For more daily race-ready outfits head over to my Instagram page: @theladysmaid where I’ll be styling more last-minute looks before Royal Ascot next week.



Royal Wedding – best dressed guests

There were so many stylish outfits on display at yesterday’s royal wedding it’s hard to pick my favourties! Here is a run-down of my best dressed guests.

For me, there was one clear winner in the style stakes. Amal Clooney oozed Hollywood glamour in a sunshine yellow dress by Stella McCartney with matching hat by Stephen Jones. Such a tricky colour to wear but it complemented her colouring perfectly and looked simply stunning. Her look was so dazzling you barely noticed the Hollywood A-lister at her side – George Clooney!


Prince Harry’s cousin, Kitty Spencer, looked incredibly stylish in a green dress with a striking hand-painted floral pattern by Dolce & Gabbana with matching elegant beret-style veiled hat by Philip Treacy. I love the wide square, almost tudor-style neckline of this dress and the rich jewel shade of green.


The Countess of Wessex is also up there in my top three. I love the effortless elegance of her short-sleeved top and ice blue midi skirt by Suzannah with bespoke hat, hand-dyed to match by Jane Taylor. A glamorous look for the Countess whose style is really getting better with age. Brave to choose separates too – I think she carries it off really well.


Sofia Wellesley, wife of singer James Blunt, wore a pretty embroidered long dress featuring an intricate floral vine pattern by Red Valentino with a cream volute hat by Camilla Rose Millinery. A perfect outfit for a spring wedding. The dress is heavily detailed so she chose the perfect hat to complement it. A really fresh and summery look.


Gina Torres, Meghan’s Suits co-star, wore a red/pink embroidered tulle lace dress by Costarellos. A great colour and the cream trilby style hat gives the delicate dress a bit of edge.


Prince Harry’s ex-girlfriend, Cressida Bonas, chose a colourful striped dress by Eponine London with an elegant shell pink feathered headband by Rachel B Millinery, aptly named “Ballerina”. A really pretty, fresh and vibrant look. It would be difficult to match a statement hat with such a complicated dress, so this discrete romantic headpiece is a great solution.


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Gabriela Peacock wore a pink Emilia Wickstead midi dress with bow detail on the sleeves and a hat by Laura Cathcart millinery. A beautiful, feminine and chic look.


Fashion PR, Nicky Malone, wore an elegant blush pink “Belle” dress coat by Claire Mischevani with matching pillbox hat by Sarah Cant Millinery. Blush pink is one of my favourite colours so this is always a winner for me!


Janina Gavankar wore a 1930s orange tasselled cape dress with a 1940s hat – I love this vintage look. Wearing vintage is also a great way of making sure no-one turns up in the same outfit as you!


I’m a sucker for polka dots so this classic navy/blue cream collared pleated midi dress by Alessandra Rich, worn by actress Abigail Spencer, is one of my favourites.

Autumn Phillips wore a teal belted coat dress by Ceri Brooks at Hen House Brides, a boutique based in Wiltshire, with a matching bespoke feather percher hat by Juliette Millinery, worn with Emmy London navy suede accessories. Teal was a popular colour amongst the royal guests, with Princess Beatrice and Zara Phillips also opting for this vibrant shade of blue. I love the fit-and-flare style of this one.


Mother of the Bride. It can’t have been easy for Doria Ragland being the only member of Meghan’s family attending the royal wedding and sitting across from the Queen! But Doria looked extremely elegant in a pistachio green embroidered dress and coat by Oscar de la Renta with a chic beret style hat.


Carole Middleton wore a fit-and-flare pale aqua dress coat by Catherine Walker with hat by Jane Taylor. You can’t go wrong with Catherine Walker for formal events and this shade of green is one of my favourites.


If Amal Clooney stole the show at the wedding ceremony, Priyanka Chopra was threatening to do the same at the evening party! She chose this dazzling dress by Dior for the evening reception at Frogmore House. A real show-stopping old-school glamour number.




Dressy Flats

These looks are for a follower on my Instagram page who is looking for an outfit for a wedding at Sandhurst this summer. She specified that she needs to wear flat shoes due to a leg injury so I’ve scoured the shops for some dressy flat shoes and here are my findings!  These have to be my favourite flats – pointed satin slingback in emerald green by Zara. I love this jewel-like shade of green. I’ve matched them with a pretty lace-trimmed aqua green tunic dress from Ted Baker a jewel-encrusted bag from Zara and a champagne headpiece from John Lewis. Zara is one of my favourite high street shops and they have some great dressy flats and clutches at the moment.

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The second look features a vibrant yellow dress from Warehouse with asymmetric satin shoulder panel. Yellow is quite a tricky colour to carry off but if you have the right colouring it can look great in the summer – I’ve matched it with two sets of accessories for two different looks. On the left, silver pointed slingbacks from Boden, a striking geometric box clutch from Zara, Swarovski earrings and a black headpiece from Whiteley Hats. For a softer look on the right I’ve pictured an ivory/gold beret headpiece by Rachel Black Millinery, gold flat sandals by L.K. Bennett, a beaded yellow clutch from Zara, and earrings by Infinity & Co.

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The third look features a blue lace midi dress with black trim by Warehouse. This is a bit trickier to accessorise without picking out the black in the accessories which could appear too dark for a summer wedding…so I’ve gone for ivory jewelled pumps by Dune London, pearl earrings by Accessorize, a sheer black headpiece from Issa, and a pale blue bag by Zara.

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Here are some more of my top picks for dressy flats!


Luisa pink jacquard flats, £125, L.K. Bennett.

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Nude diamante flat sandals, £75, Dune London.

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Bejewelled electric blue slingbacks, £25.99, Zara.

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Blush pink slingback shoes with pearl embellishment, £88, Phase Eight.



What to Wear – Royal Garden Party

These two outfits are styled for an instagram follower who has a Buckingham Palace garden party to dress for this summer. As an ex-BP employee I have been on duty for numerous garden party days and have attended as a guest too so it’s something I am very familiar with. For the first look I have pictured the supremely elegant Hana dress by Beulah London. I love the subtle pleating in this dress, they call it a “hero” garment and hero it is in my book! I’ve matched it with a beautiful rose pink percher hat by Juliette Botterill, pink pearl earrings, an ivory clutch with pearl detail from Coast and ivory floral heels from Office. Now I’ve already advised her to wear comfortable shoes as there is a bit of queuing at the gates involved on garden party days and you’ll be on your feet on grass all afternoon…but I wouldn’t always listen to my advice! With shoes like this in the world it would be a shame not to wear them!  Honestly though if you do opt for high heels I’d always advise to wear tights and use a shoe cushion insert to support your foot. Boots and M&S sell good value ones, otherwise you’ll get blisters and be hobbling home! Alice Bow insoles are a more luxury brand and are apparently used by the Duchess of Cambridge. M&S also have really low denier cooling tights that are good in summer and feel like you’re barely wearing anything – they’re practically 0 denier – they’re hardly there at all.

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A garden party in England brings out the florals in me as you can see from the second look here – a gourgeous soft blush pink embroidered fitted dress by Karen Millen that I have paired with two hat options – the left one is by Awon Golding and on the right is another headpiece from Juliette Botterill Millinery. I think the soft pink accessories are best – L.K. Bennett clutch and matching blush suede courts – but you could also go for bright pink if you fancy more colour💕 (Dune London clutch and Kurt Geiger courts).

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Enjoy the garden party – the afternoon teas are the best!



Occasion Hats

“I make hats because I love hats. It’s an enigmatic object that serves the human purpose only of beautification and embellishment, and making one feel good, whether you’re the observer of the spectacle or the wearer”

– Philip Treacy

With the Royal wedding in May and Royal Ascot in June, now is the time to be thinking about hats! So I thought I’d bring you a round-up of all the best hatters in London and further afield, which may be especially useful if you’re new to the millinery world, and my top tips for finding the right hat if you have an upcoming special occasion this year. Finding the right dress for an event can be a hassle in itself, so if you also need a hat it can be quite challenging to find the perfect outfit. Here are some points to consider:

  • If you want a perfectly styled elegant ensemble, I would recommend matching the hat to the colour of your dress as much as possible. Most milliners offer a bespoke dye-to-order service where you can take your dress to them and they will create a hat to match its exact colour. Remember with bespoke services to leave as much time as possible for this to be done. A lot of hats take three to four weeks minimum to make, and are likely to take even longer at busier times eg. Royal Ascot, garden party season, so it’s important to plan ahead.
  • For variety of colour in your look, try picking a slightly different shade from the same colour group or a complementary colour group and then match it with your other accessories, e.g. a navy hat, bag and shoes with a paler blue dress.
  • If you’re wearing a multi-coloured patterned or floral dress, pick out one of the colours and match this in your hat, shoes and bag, or go for neutral accessories – this will help to pull the look together.
  • If you’ve chosen a statement hat and you’re building your outfit around it, stick to a simple dress and shoes and let the hat do the talking.
  • Store your hat properly after wear: line the crown with acid-free tissue paper and store in a hat box to protect its shape.


Philip Treacy 

Price range: £600–£3,500+ Showroom: 69 Elizabeth Street, Belgravia, London. Other stockists: Harrods, Fortnum & Mason, Fenwicks (see website for full list of stockists).

The King of millinery, Philip Treacy’s hats have been popular with British and European royalty and Hollwood celebrities for decades. The Duchess of Cornwall wore a Treacy head piece and hat on her wedding day in 2002 and has been wearing mainly Treacy hats to major royal events ever since. Camilla always chooses his very wide-brimmed style hats, which suit her well. I particularly like the percher hats which have a silk floral detail on the underside. One of the most expensive milliners out there, but each piece is a work of art. In fact, if I bought one I think I’d be inclined to show it off in a glass cabinet in my house after wearing!

Rachel Trevor Morgan

Price Range: £400–£2,500. Showroom: King Street, St. James’s, London. Other Stockists: Harrods, Selfridges.

Royal Warrant holder since 2014 as milliner to HM The Queen. The Queen wears Rachel Trevor Morgan hats almost exclusively (sometimes HM wears hats designed by her Dresser and Personal Assistant, Angela Kelly). Beautifully feminine and traditional hats and headpieces. (Photography: Catherine Harbour).

Jane Taylor

Price Range: £500–£2,500. Showroom: 253 Kings Road, London. Other Stockists: Harrods, Fenwicks, Fortnum and Mason.

Another favourite with the Royals, especially the Countess of Wessex, who has worn Jane Taylor hats exclusively to all formal royal events since 2009. Their occasion hats are chic and feminine, usually with a subtle floral or feather flourish that appears elegant without being too fussy. Blush rose is one of my favourite colours, so I’m spoilt for choice here as they have several rosy hats in their current collection. Blush pink is a great rosy neutral for complementing summer pastel or floral outfits. A bespoke service is also available to hand-craft clutches and gloves for a perfectly matched ensemble.

Awon Golding

Price Range: £270–£575. Studio: London E3, by appointment only. Other stockists: Fortnum & Mason, Suzannah., Consult website for other worldwide stockists.

London-based creative and contemporary milliner worn by Lady Gaga. Her current collection is inspired by optics and the rainbow of colours in visible light. Fun and contemporary pieces for those looking for something fresh and unique.

Bundle Maclaren

Price Range: £85–£400. Showroom: Fulham, London, by appointment. Other Stockists: John Lewis.

A large selection of affordable ready-to-wear hats available on their website. A great choice if you like quirkier contemporary hats, but they have many traditional pill box and wide-brim hats too. I’ve pictured some of my favourites above. Bespoke service available – no brief too big; they have done some pretty crazy creations for the races, including a giant parrot cage hat! Bridal headpieces and casual summer hats also available.

Camilla Rose

Price Range: £285-£425. Studio: London SW6, by appointment. Other stockists: Herald & Heart, Abi Gurney Hat Hire, Katie & Jo,

There’s a strong architectural influence to Camilla’s hats from her background in interior design. The “Volute” is a stand out style – a fluid, structural beret style hat available in a range of colours. Bespoke service available.

Emily London Millinery

Price Range: £450–£1,125. Showroom: Wimbledon, London (appointment recommended). Other Stockists:

Emily London is really bringing back the boater! I love their elegant and dressy spin on this classic hat shape – as worn recently by Princess Beatrice. A great choice if you want a smart summery look without looking overly formal. Ready to wear, bespoke and bridal available.


Julliette Botterill Millinery

Price Range: £380–£620. Showroom: Wimbledon Village, London, by appointment only. Other Stockists: Fortnum and Mason,

Juliette’s chic cocktail button hats and percher hats are popular with the younger royals: Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Zara Tindall and Autumn Phillips. Bespoke and dye-to-order service available. Some lovely pastel spring hues in her current collection as well as bolder colours, I’ve pictured my favourites above.

Laura Cathcart

Price Range: £250-£750. Studio: 128 Grosvenor Road London, SW1 or Shropshire, by appointment. Other stockists: pop up in Selfridges May 2018.

Timeless hats all handcrafted in Laura’s Shropshire studio. Some whimsical creations too in her Butterfly House collection – always a favourite for Ladies Day at the races! Bespoke, ready to wear and bridal.

Lock and Co

Price Range: £750–£925. Location: No. 6 St. James Street, London.

The world’s oldest hatter. A small selection of occasion hats online – classic shapes and sophisticated understated style. Experts in hat care; if your hat loses its shape then this is the place to take it to re-block your hat and get it back to its former glory.

Louise Georgette 

Price Range: £185-£359. Studio: London, by appointment. Other stockists: Herald and Heart, Fulham, London.

British-Australian Milliner focusing on bespoke creations but a small collection of ready-to-wear hats are available. Some nice berets and boaters with a twist, also good for smaller headpieces/headbands.

Nerida Fraiman

Price Range: £180–£600. Studio: NW London (by appointment). Other stockists: Suzannah, Harrods, Fenwicks. See website for other European stockists.

Nerida worked as an apprentice to Philip Treacy for two years before starting her own label. Ready-to-wear hats available online, bespoke service also available. Elegant and sophisticated hats with subtle embellishments and classic colours. I’ve pictured some of my favourite wide brimmed hats from her current collection.

Rachel Black

Price Range: £185–£550. Studio: North London (by appointment). Other stockists: Suzannah, Bloomingdales, Dubai,,

Rachel trained in theatrical costume construction which she draws on as inspiration when designing her hats to produce wearable, elegant and unique pieces with a sculptural flair. Ready-to-wear, bridal and bespoke service available.

Rosie Olivia Millinery

Price Range: £255–£875. Location: available for appointments in Hampstead, London and Manchester. Other stockists:

Stylish, elegant and wearable beret style percher hats. Lots of colour in her latest collection, so a good choice if you have a bright outfit to match. Popular with the younger royals – Zara Tindall, Princess Beatrice. Bespoke service available.

Sarah Cant

Price Range: £185–£850. Location: Banbury, Oxfordshire (by appointment). Other stockists: Fenwicks, Suzannah,

Quirky and feminine, Sarah’s hats combine tradition with innovation to achieve fluid, organic shapes. Ready-to-wear, bespoke and bridal.

Sally Ann Provan

Price Range: £210-£700. Studio: Edinburgh (by appointment). Other stockists: Suzannah.

Ready-to-wear occasion hats and bridal headpieces available online and in their studio. Great for cocktail button style headpieces with a colourful twist. Bespoke service also available.

William Chambers

Price range: from £195. Showroom: The Italian Centre, 168 Ingram St., Glasgow, Scotland. Other stockists: Harrods, Fortnums, Fenwicks, Joyce Young, Samuels Hats (New York).

William Chambers likes to mix traditional textiles with more contemporary materials not frequently seen in millinery, e.g. leather, plastic and latex. Ready-to-wear, bespoke and bridal pieces available.


Price Range: £90–£200. Other stockists: Fortnum and Mason, Fenwicks,,

You can’t go wrong with a Whiteley. I love the simplicity of the pillbox hat which Whiteley does so well, as seen on the Duchess of Cambridge. You can’t fail to look elegant if you’re channeling Jackie O chic!

Alison Roe

Price Range: £150–£250. Location: Ireland.

Irish milliner based in County Tipperary. Eye-catching, colourful and elegant hats. A great choice if you want to dress to be seen at the races. Bespoke, ready-to-wear and bridal collections. Hat hire service also available – a good option if you’re on a tighter budget.

Department stores

For those on tighter budgets, department stores such as John Lewis or Fenwicks offer a great range of affordable hats and headpieces. Here are some of my favourites available from John Lewis.

Hat websites is a great directory featuring a wide range of milliners. The site also has a clever tool where you can upload your photo to get an idea of what the hat would look like on you!

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Hat Hire

The Cotswold Hat Club is a new hat hire company with some pieces from top milliners, including Emily London, Sarah Cant, Bundle Maclaren and Martha Lynn Millinery. They also offer a membership for unlimited hat hire for 12 months for a one-off fee, which is a great idea for summer-season social butterflies.

In my next post I’ll be looking at wedding guest style and matching some of these lovely bonnets with dresses!