If you want to get ahead...

With another Royal Wedding this year, Sarah Speakman from The Cheltenham Hat Company explains how to put the finishing touch to your wedding wardrobe this summer.

Clothes are to us what fur and feathers are to beasts and birds; they not only add to our appearance, but they are our appearance. How we look to others entirely depends upon what

we wear and how we wear it.

Emily Post (1873–1960); Etiquette, 1922.

The same is still true today. Anyone with a wedding this year will surely be keeping an eye on this season’s trends and colours. And this year, we will all, perhaps, be paying attention to one wedding in particular; the Royal Wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Hats and head pieces have always played an important role in Royal occasions. Should you be fortunate enough to be invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace, or The Royal Enclosure at Royal Ascot, hats or substantial head-pieces should be worn; the crown of the head must be covered.

Throughout history, the interest in the Royals’ fashion has largely focused on the hats worn; the colours, the styles, even the designer, and this year we will be waiting to see who has got it right – the ladies’ hats that really work – and of course, the fashion faux pas!

Most Read

Whether you’re the mother of the bride-to-be or a guest of the wedding party, how you look on their big day, to look and feel just right for the occasion, requires planning. Once you’ve chosen what you’re going to wear, it’s time to add the finishing touch to your outfit with a hat, head-piece or fascinator.

A hat can make you stand out from the crowd or give an old outfit a completely new look. Wearing a hat or fascinator adds a little sparkle to your overall look, and makes any wedding guest feel that little bit special, without necessarily saying ‘look at me’. Of course, should you want a show-stopping hat, go for it! It’s not often we get the opportunity to add the ‘wow factor’ to what we wear, so why not try something a little different for that big day?

How to wear a hat with confidence I believe everyone suits a hat – it’s just a matter of finding the right hat for you. But every hat is not for every lady! When trying a hat always wear it as if you mean it – pull it right on to your head and then adjust the angle to suit your face. The most important rule is wear a hat in which you feel comfortable; you may need to wear it for a long time, so it needs to fit and feel just right.

Although fashion does dictate millinery trends, you can wear the same hat for several seasons – the hat is a classic accessory, complementing the seasonal trends in your wardrobe. The most success you will have in wearing a hat is when your hat fits your personality rather than what is in fashion. The hat has to be part of you, and it is you who wears the hat, not the hat that wears you. I usually find if you feel you look good in a hat, you probably do!

The Cheltenham Hat Company is located between Cheltenham and Gloucester at Woodhouse Farm on the Brockworth Road, just outside Churchdown. Please call 07966 768461 to make an appointment. Prices start from as little as �20



If I wear a fascinator, what do I do with my very long hair?

There is no feature more important than your hair when it comes to hat wearing – or indeed wearing a fascinator. How you wear your hair will alter the appearance of the hat or fascinator you choose. Whatever you wear on your head should complement, not compete, with your hair. Again, you need to be comfortable and feel confident, so wear your hair how you like it best. I suggest changing into your outfit, and wearing your hair as you will on the day when trying on hats and fascinators; experiment with different angles and positions to get it just right for you.

What colours are going to be fashionable this spring?

Bright colours are still hot this season – turquoise, lime green and shocking pink. But also chocolate with duck egg blue or baby pink, and olive green with raspberry are this spring’s colours.

I am very small and petite and don’t want a hat to swamp me! What styles would you suggest?

Although I don’t subscribe to the view that small ladies can’t wear large hats (I’m only 5ft tall and the larger the hat the better for me!), if a lady feels uncomfortable in a large hat, then it’s probably not the right hat. Generally speaking, tall ladies look better with flatter crowns, while a higher crown can make a short lady appear taller. The height of a hat should be proportionate to the body; but again, the choice is yours, and if you feel happy, go for it.

Should my hat be the same colour as my outfit or can it be wildly different?


Like choosing a wine to complement your meal, the colour of hat you choose is entirely up to you and your personal taste. You may accessorise your outfit - so match your hat with your shoes, scarf or wrap and handbag, or treat your hat as part of the outfit, and match the colours together. Whether you decide to complement, match or contrast colours, always link the colour of your hat to another accessory or piece of your outfit, even if you choose a totally black outfit and a bold scarlet hat, be sure to include a hint of red somewhere else.

Comments powered by Disqus