Why British People Wear Hats on Every Major Occasion

When it comes to hats, you may think of Britain, a country with strict requirements for dresses worn in formal occasions, especially for hats. Therefore, the British is extremely particular about hats. Their hats are not only an accessory but a culture.

If you love hats, you must know that the world’s best hat designers are in Britain, and they will design special hats for Royal Ascot, a major event in the British social calendar. Elizabeth II and other members of the British Royal Family such as The Prince of Wales attend the Royal Ascot every year. We can say that the most beautiful and boldest hats will be shown in this annual event.

It is well acknowledged that special occasions call for special hats. Chris Jackson/Getty.
According to royal protocol, women must wear hats to all official occasions.
Hats are part of the “social fabric” of special occasions in British society.
Upper class and royal women rarely showed their hair in public until the 1950s, and the royal family often maintains old traditions.
For the women in the royal family and members of the public alike, no formal look is complete without a hat to top it off.
Royal protocol dictates that women must wear hats to all official occasions. It’s a stipulation that dates back to before the 1950s, when upper class and royal women rarely showed their hair in public, according to the BBC.

Times have obviously changed since then — Kate Middleton’s hair, for one, seems to always look flawless. But the royal family is often responsible for preserving traditions that have faded out of style in every other context, like curtsying, to set them apart from everyone else.

“There has to be a slight differentiation between the royal family and us regular folk,” royal expert Victoria Arbiter told INSIDER. “Not in an arrogant way, but what’s the point in the royal family if they are just like us?”
Designer $4,000 fascinators like those Kate Middleton has worn may be out of most commoners’ budgets, but wearing hats for fancy occasions isn’t exclusive to royals. Hilary Alexander, fashion director at The Daily Telegraph, told ABC News that hats are also “part of the social fabric” of posh events in British society.

“When it comes to a special occasion in British society, the special occasion is not complete without a hat,” Alexander said.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s upcomi
ng wedding on May 19 will certainly be full of memorable looks from head to toe, though all eyes will be on the happy couple.

A Royal Hat Designer Breaks Down the Fancy Hats

We all know that the British public has a special link with hats. Caps often take center stage at special occasions,such as weddings, funerals or even at horse races in England, where feathery fascinators and sizeable statement pieces are favored over traditional trilbies or wide-brimmed beret.

It’s no coincidence that the Queen is known to finish off an outfit with a perfectly-matching hat. Over the past 50 years, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch is estimated to have worn about 5,000 different hats. The Queen even has her own bespoke designer milliner to see to her every headpiece need.

why do the British love their hats? And is there specific head-wear and hat-wearing etiquette we expect at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding in Windsor on May 19? TIME put various hat-related questions to leading British luxury milliner Vivien Sheriff, who has famously worked with Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, as well as other notable royals and heads of states.Hats have unique meanings for the British, especially to wear hats to weddings. In Europe and North America, people now tend to wear far more casual clothes. The way the British prepare for weddings — the amount of preparation that goes in and the elegance. It is a truly unique concept. Therefore, a lot of people will seize the opportunity to finish off their outfits with a hat or a headpiece.

People are so interested in seeing what the beautiful young royals are wearing and obviously what her Majesty wears as well — she wears such beautiful colors. It does definitely filter down to what the masses wear.

I think there will be a lot of tilted, disc shaped hats as they’re very easy to wear. And then more elaborate headpieces like berets, particularly the blocked beret shape which lots of the royal family wear. Also feathers and lots of color; because of the time of year, people won’t be scared of wearing fun, beautiful colors. There will of course be lovely traditional hat too, with big brims. But I think there will mainly be lots of disc shapes.

We do a lot of hats for mothers of the bride. The mother of the bride has to think about how her hat will look in photos. Firstly, she doesn’t want a shadow to be cast on her face. Secondly, she wants the radiance of her smile to be seen in photographs and of course when she’s greeting her guests — when you haven’t seen people for a long time you really want to seize that moment so there’s nothing worse than wearing something too big and feeling hidden.

We must not forget that a lot of people aren’t used to wearing hats, so we have to make sure that the pieces we are designing are comfortable, suit people and are not difficult to work out how to wear.