Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Marie Hatoinette

If in doubt..go for a wig with a ship attached.

I've got a wedding coming up..actually, I've got about five. Without meaning to sound like a miserable old witch, I think weddings can be a real pain.  Yes I want to see two people I care about swearing eternal love and fidelity to each other and I have no objection to drinking copious amounts of champagne at someone else's expense but what in the Fashion God's name am I meant to wear to all of them? Boys have it easy. I mean The Boy literally has two options, morning suit or normal suit. He may have to stretch his imagination to the colour of his pocket square, tie and shirt but this is nothing compared to what women have to go through.
Isabella Blow..fearless.

Don't upstage the bride! Can I wear white/ cream or is that bad form? Is a boyfriend's ex going to be there? Is an ex of yours going to be there? What if it rains? What if it's boiling (hello sweat patches)? What if it's freezing inside the church but like a Swedish sauna on the dance floor? Clutch bag or small handheld? Can you manage holding a bag, hat and glass of Pimms and smile for the bloody photographer all at the same time? Hat or fascinator? Are the same people going to be at this wedding as have been at the other ones thus cancelling out repeating outfit choices? High heels, kittens or flats? It goes on and on..

I'll tell you now..I'm going down the frivolous hat route and keeping everything else simple.  The reason for this is threefold. Firstly I've spent so much on the hat, other outfits are no longer a realistic option.  Secondly, the hat is a statement piece therefore everything else can be minimal which suits my style. Lastly, because the hat is so WOW, I don't give a fig that I'm going to re-use it.  I've spent the money and I'm going to wear the darn thing!

Wearing hats is what our royals do. It’s what differentiates them from US presidents and Hollywood. When they approach their hat duties in the spirit of one who has fifty quid riding on their headgear outdoing Victoria Beckham’s or Lady Gaga’s, it’s what’s known as a Marie Hattoinette moment. It is playing with fire and can result in things like this...
Luckily, Bea, or someone advising her (clearly having a nap on the 29th), had the savvy idea of auctioning the pretzel on eBay for charity. It raised a heck of a lot of money and we all got a bit distracted from the fact that she wore the monstrosity in the first place. Future royals who are tempted to approach the hat-wearing gig as if it were a sophisticated fashion in-joke should take note however.
Hats are problematic. And I love hats. When I was little I wanted to own a hat shop. I love trying hats on. However in reality I simply don't wear them. A simple beret in Autumn/ Winter and a giant straw brim on the beach is me. But there are times when you may need something more frivolous.
Self-consciousness is the greatest enemy of successful hat-wearing.  What to do?  The more you practise, the less silly you’ll feel and if in doubt, go for something simple with a large brim that partially covers your face You’ll have to be the judge of how far you take this. If you’re an addictive personality you may find yourself experimenting so fearlessly that you end up wearing a croissant or some man-boobs on your head and thinking it looks perfectly normal.

In the grand scheme, would that matter? Anna Dello Russo of Vogue Nippon fame, who has championed the melon-wedge and pineapple slice-shaped fascinator for seasons, carries off her fruit with such aplomb it never occurs to anyone to laugh until she’s receded so far into the distance, there doesn’t seem any point. It comes down to a matter of conviction: wear it and work it...or shirk it altogether
Yes ladies it's a quandary but here are some practical guidelines:
1. If the hat is bigger than you are or resembles any kind of foodstuff, it’s probably a no.
2. On the other hand, you can hardly ever go wrong with flowers. My stunning concoction is called the Rose Cloud and was around the £100 mark. Don't be snobby about the high street, Debenhams has a great hat collection as does ASOS.  Bundle MacLaren, who furnished a number of royal wedding guests with their Abbey moments, designs headpieces from £45 that belie their modest price.
3. Don’t be surly: if the invitation requests a hat, then I’m sorry, a hairband, sunglasses or bandanna simply will not do and not complying will make you seem graceless rather than cool.  Also wispy fascinators just don't cut it.
4. Small is fashionable. And in this instance fashionable is also practical and less damage if you take it off and shove it under the table when you run off to join the bridal party conga.
5. Keep the rest of your outfit unimpeachably simple and chic and you’ll be able to wear an outrageous hat – and I think we all know you secretly want to.  I certainly do.
I actually really like the one at the bottom...


  1. Aaaah, I LOVE HATS!!! I've been waring a vintage wide brim '40's tilt hat for my wedding this summer. Very simple, rather large, and easy to add on flowers/bows/jewels at whim. On the other hand I have a complete hatred of fascinators. Pics of your hat please?! xxx

  2. I will put some pictures up of my hat soon I promise! Just need it to stop raining for the weekend or I'll be scared to wear it!xx

  3. i like Anna Dello Russo sense of humor, for sure she loves it and have fun.


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