Royal Ascot, Day One: THE HATS


well-played

As always, Royal Ascot-goers bring it when it comes to the hat game. And this isn’t even Ladies Day! IT’S DELIGHTFUL. I love you all.

[All the Royals coming up next; don't worry, I would not neglect to bring you Prince Harry in a top hat.]

[Photos: Getty, Pacific Coast News, Splash]

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Comments (69):

  1. S
    +8

    #6 and #9 – I may trade one of my children for you.

    •  Kimberly
      +3

      #6 is my favorite, too. Lady Tremaine-approved!

      #11 reminds me of a cornette if the nun got tired of just wearing black and white and decided to whip out ye olde hot glue gun and some ribbon and tissue paper flowers. It’s hideous and I love it.

  2.  fiatluxury
    +17

    #13 *may* be some kind of Suessian wind turbine. (not to be confused with a Seussian wind turban.)

  3. camille
    +12

    I think the birds on that woman’s shoulders are supposed to have hatched out of her egg-hat.

  4.  Mina
    +1

    #7 I love it. It’s so whimsical and yet boring at the same time!

  5.  Mair Mair
    +3

    Ok, I’ve been looking at #8 for about 5 minutes, and I still can’t figure out what I’m seeing. I see two arms, but that’s all I can make out. What position is she in? Where is her face? This is weirding me out.

    • TalleyL
      +5

      We’re looking down on her from above (literally, not figuratively). Her face is underneath the hat talking to the man in the suit to the left of the photo. She’s holding a drink in her left hand. Does that help?

    • Kris
      +3

      It’s from directly overhead. I imagine that the photographer had to lean waaaay out over the railing in order to get it, lost his balance and fell, and was luckily unhurt, but someone spilled their drink.

      • TalleyL
        +5

        The photographer was obviously cushioned by one of the amazing hats, which was thankfully also unhurt! ;)

    • Anna
      +3

      The photo is actually taken from above her head. Took me a while to figure it out as well :-)

  6. Kris
    +2

    There’s a little white thing peeping out from behind #4′s flower, and I think it may be a hand gently cupping her hat-rose. If it is, I think I just fell in love.

  7. Kar
    +12

    Well Steffi Graff looks AMAZING, and most of these hats look amazingly cracked-out. I come from Kentucky Derby-land, and I fully appreciate our forebear of hat wackiness.

    •  Cucina49
      +4

      I do love her dress, even if I feel that she whiffed it on her hat game.

      •  Daphne
        +2

        Lackluster hat and all, she’s still got an amazing set of stems. They are the gold standard I think of every time I do squats.

  8. Sandra
    +7

    I’ve got a crick in my neck just looking at those things. I wonder if physical therapists in the area have a big uptick in business while all this is going on.

  9. TalleyL
    +4

    Other than the Rose Parade prototype, I love all of these!

  10. pegoftilling
    +5

    Hat 11: To update the convent’s image, Sister Bertrille’s habit is changed from a simple cornette to an asymmetrical, architectural confection. After a promising launch a bad updraft slams her into a redwood tree. The Flying Nun reboot ends in tears.

  11.  D.
    +4

    Please tell me that Steffi is there with Andre in morning dress with a top hat! ***sigh*** I still find Andre dreamy.

    • Jessica
      0

      I did not see Andre…

      • frances
        +7

        Steffi seemed to be there on her own – she presented one of the trophies to the winner and was interviewed by the lovely Clare Balding. She is over for Wimbledon, has been getting into horse racing lately as one of her children is a budding equestrian, and presumably was snapped up by the organisers as a notable name (yes, I was watching live!).

        The also had an interview with one of the Royals’ regular milliners showing her making Sophie Wessex’s hat, it was very cool.

  12.  Sharon
    +11

    Right after Fug Madness, this is my favorite day in Fug-land.
    I love it!!!!!!!!
    I think if Eugenie and Beatrice had saved those outfits they wore to the wedding of Wills and Kate for Ascot, they would have gotten compliments. Maybe???

  13. Gigi
    +4

    Slide 12 brought to you by the Thailand Tourist Board and the Montreal Expos?

    Love them all, but I do especially appreciate the artistry of Photo #8.

  14.  ErinG
    +13

    Slide 14 – girl REALLY committed to the yellow. But even though she’s fair and blonde (and beloofahed!) she’s pulling it off!

    Also YES on the royal ascot.

  15.  ErinG
    +8

    Also, Fug Girls, not sure if this one was in your subscription or not, but it’s about to be my cover photo. Giant hat AND adorable old laughing men in green coats.

    http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s–kpyv0-5v–/c_fit,fl_progressive,q_80,w_636/772302780908451399.jpg

  16. Maggiecate
    +2

    Blue butterfly lady is (according the the Fail I know ) Jackie St Clair, one of the many interchangable exes of Simon Cowell.

  17.  Looly
    +2

    This slide show is a DELIGHT!! Can’t wait for the Royal hats!!

    (speaking of, I’d love to read the rules regarding what type of hat is appropriate to wear in the Royal area)

    • Jessica
      +11

      Per the Ascot folk, this is the dress code for the royal enclosure: “Ladies may wear a formal day dress, or skirt and top. Dresses and skirts should be of modest length, defined as falling just above the knee or longer, and the straps on dresses and tops should be at least one inch wide (2.5cm). Please note that strapless, off the shoulder, halter neck and spaghetti straps are not permitted, and midriffs must be covered. Jackets and pashminas may be worn, but dresses and tops underneath should still comply with the Royal Enclosure dress code. Trouser suits are welcome. They should be of full length and of matching material and colour. Hats should be worn. A headpiece with a base of 4 inches (10cm) or more in diameter is acceptable as an alternative to a hat. Please note that fascinators are no longer permitted in the Royal Enclosure. Overseas Visitors & Serving Military Personnel are welcome to wear their formal National Dress or Service Dress. Girls (aged 10-16) should dress for a formal occasion in a smart summer dress. A hat, headpiece or fascinator may be worn.”

      •  ErinG
        +4

        Any British (or generally hat-inclined) Fug Nationals care to illuminate the difference between a fascinator and a headpiece?

        • Amy S.
          +2

          Per Wiki, “it is usually a large hair decoration on a band or clip with elaborate trimmings and decoration like a formal hat and it can incorporate a base to make it a miniature hat.”

      •  Sharon
        +4

        Thanks for posting the rules. I was curious about that as well.

        All those words and people still manage to look crazy and awesome!

      •  Looly
        0

        Thanks so much for the reply!

  18. Cat
    +1

    #6 is amazing, and I love the shot from above of #8.

  19. Amy S.
    +3

    They’re all amazing hats (except for Steffi, who punted). But how many of those women go home with migraines and achy necks and shoulders? That’s all I could think about when looking at the larger hats.

  20. C. Mak
    +14

    Evil Ascot wins, in my view …. mmmmwwwaaaaa ha ha ha

    • Art Eclectic
      +7

      Right? I am totally down for Evil Ascot. Bring it.

    • Mrs. Helpful
      +3

      I loved Evil Ascot best too — it is a magnificent work! But her clothing confuses me.

  21.  Caitlin M
    +8

    On the question of how much time guests spend planning their hat game, a young woman who worked for me also worked part time at a local hat shop that did big mail-order business in fancy hats and she said she spent months fielding calls asking about every detail of these hats (dimensions, colors, texture, trims, etc.) to the nth degree, as people planned their Kentucky Derby wardrobes. These people are Serious About Hats. (And that’s as it should be, of course.)

    • casey
      +3

      Now, I know that this is nothing compared to Ascot or the Derby, but here on the west coast – opening day at Del Mar is traditionally ladies hat day. There is a prize, and everything. My sister and friends have always gone (lovely tradition, lots of mimosas and all that whatnot) and we used to buy our flowers fresh from the Carlsbad flower market and do it UP. Like, so many flowers and ribbons that it all got quite heavy. I can say from experience it doesn’t matter, you have a couple of mimosas and a couple of ponies win, and you DO NOT CARE. Just my experience

  22. Maam
    +11

    Lived in London for five years and once was on a train with a gaggle of Ascot-goers, all ducking and diving to avoid doing damage to each other as they exited – wonderful!

    • lilacsigil
      +2

      Yes, so have I! I ended up with someone’s chopstick-and-tulle decoration stuck in my hair and we had to carefully free ourselves before she could exit.

  23. Diane
    +17

    I happened to be at London Waterloo station this morning and saw a lot of people headed for Ascot. Some women looked fabulous, some not so great, but the men in their morning coats and top hats looked terrific, of course. Plus, we had sunshine today!

    I used to go to Ascot regularly in the 80s. The dressing-up part and the champagne were the best. Diana and the Queen wore a LOT of pale face powder.

  24.  ShannonTX
    +3

    I was so amused by all of the ridiculous, creative, and/or beautiful hats and outfits that when I clicked on the last slide, I actually felt myself deflate a little. Seriously, Steffi, THAT’S the best you could come up with for Ascot? What a disappointment.

    • Kate (formerly Kate)
      0

      Yes – “Steffi Graf showed up” is exactly how I’d describe it.

  25.  Sophy
    +4

    Usually the Royals and celebrities tend to the best dressed and standout in a crowd- but at Ascot I must say the general public really BRing it in Spades and show them how its done……love,love all the fun hats!!!!

  26. Jenn Sev
    +1

    Could #9 possibly be Edwina? Let it be so. A royal romance afoot!

  27. Sarah
    +13

    I was there today and will be again on Thursday. It was really windy today, hence all the photos where everyone is holding their hat.

    I’m always a little dissappointed by what photos show up in the news- there’s always ladies wearing purposefully outrageous hats just to make the papers, and you never get to see the more normal (still awesomely over the top, though) beautiful hats that the vast majority of ladies wear.

    All in all, so much fun!

    • Mrs. Helpful
      +6

      Ah! thank you for informing us about the wind. I was about to start my own rule that if the hat can’t stay on your head on its own, I count it out. But I will be less judgy now!

      Also — I am so jealous that you are there! I wish you could send us pictures of the better hats!

      • Sarah
        +5

        Perhaps I will on Thursday! I only have my iPhone, but I’m always pretending I’m checking the Ascot app to look at the racing form while surreptitiously taking photos. We have a box in the Royal Enclosure, and it simply does not do to be seen fan-girling!

  28. Jenz
    +4

    Ok, the lady with the two birds on her shoulders… her hat is robin’s egg blue AND shaped kind of like an egg. Weird.

    Also, I don’t know how these ladies do it. I can’t stand when my hair is blocking my vision or in my eyes. I can’t imagine a hat that does it.

  29. Joanie
    +9

    Can we please, please, please (!!) have companions being whacked by a butterfly hat be interwoven into our stories of romantical problems in olden times? Pretty please! Either that, or have it added to Clue as a means of murder. I’m good either way.

  30. Amy
    +14

    Remember the “fictional mini-series about extremely good-looking English people having Romantical Problems/Possibly Time-Traveling during Olden Times” you’re writing? Well, the Evil Ascot lady would totally show up in that as one of the villains.

  31.  holly
    +15

    Evil ascot is the best HAT. Hands down. The others are head costumes. It reminds me of those cake shows where they make cakes that look exactly like a famous building or a stack of birthday gifts. They look cool but they are really sculptures. Just give me a cake that looks like a gorgeous cake.

    I went to the Melbourne Cup when I was in college. I had a budget of $10 a day or something crazy. I found a vintage pillbox hat at a thrift store and pinned some fresh flowers on it. I was so proud of being able to come up with a pretty hat in spite of having no money. One lady in a fancy hat complimented me on it–i still remember how it pleased me.

  32.  Chris P
    +33

    #6 is something Joan Collins would wear to a funeral.

    Of a man she killed.

  33.  Rowynn
    +1

    Where do these ladies sit? Or do they even sit anywhere? Maybe they just stroll around looking awesome all day. But if they actually go and sit down to watch the races, who would want to sit behind them?

    • lilacsigil
      +1

      It’s not usually that packed, you can avoid sitting directly behind someone’s hat! But most of them walk around all day.

  34. sacchrainkiss
    +7

    I have to wonder if the butterfly hat made the rounds of all the giant flower hats….

  35. Bambi Anne Dear
    0

    The Royal Enclosure hat rule is that the base must be at least 4 inches in diameter.

  36.  crookedE
    0

    Someday before I die I must attend an event where one is required to wear a hat like this. SIGH.

  37. Petrova Fossil
    +1

    For some reason that first picture makes me think of the cousins in My Best Friend’s Wedding. As if they are about to break out in “I Say a Little Prayer for You.” If only Rupert were there.

  38. juanita
    0

    Well, that’s it – I’m officially OVER this site – there’s sooooooooooo many ads running in the background, I can’t see the content and there was a irritating film from Google Play running around this post. It’s a total disappointment but there you go :(

    • Jessica
      +1

      Please email us about that — that SHOULD NOT BE HAPPENING. But if we don’t see those ads, we can’t stop them, so we depend on readers to let us know, as we all see different things (here in the US, we can’t see UK ads, for example). Thank you and apologies for the problems. It’s fuggingitup AT gmail.com.

  39.  Ashley
    0

    Some of these women are so freaking gorgeous. The hats, dresses, accessories, make up so balanced together and with their personal coloring.

    Some of the others, not so much.

  40. Alicia F
    0

    There’s a milliner that I follow on facebook (http://www.ggspin-upcouture.co.uk/) who makes the most stunning and quirky hats – it’s so interesting seeing her post about the lead-up to Ascot. She did one for last year, I think, which was a seagull swooping on a bag of chips. Perfection.