Hats for Ascot races that won't blow the budget...
Hats for Ascot are notoriously hard to shop for. From choosing your shape – big and statement or classic and subtle – to which colour works best with your race-day-appropriate outfit, how much to spend – blow the budget on the hat, or go all out on the frock – to finding the perfect style, that won’t break the many rules in place, are but a few of the problems we face when hunting for the perfect piece of headwear.
Hats come in all shapes and sizes, which can be a good thing, but as most styles really are quite showstopping, most come with a hefty price tag that can be a little off-putting, which naturally limits choice and often rules out the cooler, designer-led styles.
But fear not, for we have trawled the high street for stylish yet affordable hats for Ascot, along with some not to affordable versions for those looking to splash out, and a few alternative fascinator creations for those not heading to the Royal Enclosure (where anything but a hat is a strict no no).
For SS16, statement shapes lead the way. We’re leaning towards Pillarbox styles with some sort of bow or exaggerated shape. Hats should be wide brim, chic and in a muted colour. Netting is ever present, as are polka dot patterns, monochrome colourways, and for those feeling extra brave and looking to make a style statement, yellow is the way to go.
Should you be looking to avoid the classic hat look, bow headbands command equal attention, and can be a little more purse-friendly.
Eugenia Kim has broken all the hat rules, offering up a fun black beret-style hat, complete with bunny ears.
Head to ASOS for cool designs that won’t blow the budget, FINDS at Net-a-porter.com for alternative, trend-led creations, or why not try Piers Atkinson for some classic race day headwear.
Click through to shop our edit of the very best hats for Ascot races, 2016...
Go for a showstopper and invest in this black structured creation and wear season after season.
Looking for something a little more standout for your race day look? Go for this bow option and team with a punchy red lip.
Keep things chic and team your navy suit with this black bow Eugenia Kim hat for an effortlessly cool look.
Powder pink is always a winner when paired with black, navy nude or white.
Go for maximum glamour with a shot of new-season cool and snap up this black option from Eres.
Looking for something a little less fussy? How about this white Lanvin option.
Add a retro vibe to your race day look and snap up this ultra-wide brim hat from ASOS.
One for the races and beyond, this black fedora style is worth every penny spent.
A navy Pillar Box style, this purse-friendly number is all kinds of chic and is well worth a look.
Go big on volume and try this mesh option from Coast.
Take on the ultimate designer look and wear this Philip Treacy hat with pride.
Not for the faint hearted - this showstopping polka dot number is guaranteed to liven up your LBD.
This classic monochrome style is ideal for pairing with bold printed frocks. Plus, we think this will work equally well with your summer wardrobe too. What's not to love?
Wide brim hats don't get much cooler than this. Team yours with a big bouncy blow dry and a red lip for maximum results.
Go all out and try a pillarbox hat from Catarzi. We love the navy shade, and think the veil will add instant cool points to your look.
Looking for something subtle that can be worn again and again? Try this purse-friendly version from Coast.
Quirky, cool and easy to wear with almost any outfit - this Hobbs version, complete with netting is well worth a look.
Push the boat out and invest in this undoubtedly chic hat from Philip Treacy.
This white and blue version is perfect for pairing with pretty race day florals.
FINDS have given the fascinator a new-season makeover and the result is this black number that will totally transform the simplest of dresses in an instant.