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The British aristocracy and royalty are not known for their fashion savvy. Case in point – the Royal Wedding. Altogether a little too staid and conservative for me. However, there is the ‘thing’ they have for hats. Are they Mad for Hats or just Mad Hatters. Let’s take a look at some of the best and the worst.

No one can deny the Moms wanting to fade into the background just a bit. After all, it was Kate’s Big Day.
Carol Middleton in a lovely pale blue construction with a bit of flower detail in an unexpected place – under the brim. There were quite a number of hats with this detail. It must be a Phillip Treacy.

Bright and sunny, the Queen chose a more traditional chapeau for her grandson’s nuptials.

More Absurd British Hats
Princess Letizia of Spain, in the pink, has a lovely soft and feminine 1920’s vibe going on.

I must admit that Sophia’s (Lady Windsor) choice is one of my favorites. I also do like her bespoke tailor-made coat dress. The fabric is lovely and rich.

Tara’s whole ensemble is quite dramatic and very stylish. She is the most stylish of all the guests in my opinion, down to her custom gloves.

Second in line for most stylish, the always impeccably put together Victoria Beckham. Sporting a baby bump and one of her own designs in a simple line to showcase the fabulous hat. Oh, forget the hat. Check out those shoes!!!

Third in line for most stylish, Autumn Phillips, another granddaughter of the Queen. I LURVE her coat dress and the hat is just the right amount of absurd.
Autumn Phillips

Zara Phillips, granddaughter of the Queen, whose own wedding is mere weeks away now, showing off a hat from the Fifth Element. I’m just kidding. But it really does look like a futuristic costume piece we might see in that movie. I have no comment on her dress….

Finally, the absolutely fabulous absurdity of Sarah Ferguson’s daughers, the Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. You either love them or you hate them. There’s no middle ground here. Tom and Lorenzo put it best: “We’ve gotta give it up to Princess Bea for sheer nerve. It takes some royal brass ones to show up at your cousin’s wedding wearing a be-ribboned toilet seat. Brava, darling. Way to get yourself trending on twitter.” Her hat has also inspired it’s own FB page with statuses such as “Aretha Franklin’s Inauguration Hat is on the phone and is not happy.”.


Americans just can’t compete, even at the Kentucky Derby last Saturday. It seems most of the contenders were going for size or ridiculousness (not fun absurdity) over style. ‘The bigger the better” which is usually a good mantra to have in the costuming world just makes some of these ladies look ridiculous. Granted, this is no Royal Wedding, however, it still is an iconic American tradition to wear a hat to the Derby. Who can fault the British when some of these hats just seem cheap and tacky. There were some pretty ones too, and even the guys got in on the hat action.

Really? I didnt know the race was in Wisconsin!
cheese hat the buzzfeed

More Derby hats…
She looks as if the wind could just pick her up and fly her away. Love it for a costume, but not at the Derby.

Just NO!
horsesat gate hat

This gives Bea’s hat a good run for it’s money. Her bow is bigger!
BiggestBow hat

What?!? I don’t know if this insulting to Native Americans, or if it’s just plain bad taste.

Awwwwwwwww, now that’s adorable!

Interesting black and white construction. Not sure about the sheer ‘ruffle’ coming out from it, but generally very pretty.

Very pretty, great color. Nice choice of dress for the giant boldness of the hat – simple and clean lines and a nice contrast with her hair and skintone. Lovely.

Unique AND pretty – two things that don’t usually go together. If you are going to go a bit absurd and fabulous THIS is how you do it! The colors are amazing and the choice of dress with the hat is really nice. I would have doffed the necklace if I were her. It’s taking my eye away from the awesomeness of the hat.
exoticflower hat

Beautiful use of feathers, superb use of color. Rich and lush without looking like a costume piece. Dress is great too and enhances the blues in the hat. Could have done without the overly dark spray tan. And girlfriend, where’s your powder puff. It wasn’t THAT hot at the Derby.
peacock hat


This is the most ‘British’ hat I saw in the Derby photos. I even like her choice of dress for it. Very feminine choice but the hat makes it ‘edgy’.

The hat on the left – so very pretty and interesting. Great use of color and the fabric flower is just the right size. The hat on the right? Ick.

So, who does it better, the British or the Americans?

[Photo Credits: Getty, WireImage, thepostgame.com, bleacherreport.com, styleite.com]