Posted by Happy Homemaker UK

Last week a big ol' hat and I attended The Royal Ascot, 
one of Europe's most famous horse races 
(I'd never heard of it either)

Held for 300 years in a town of the same name (Ascot, not Royal)
unfussy-me had no interest in going to this fancy 5 day event

Until I heard about the intriguing 'hat lady'

An appropriate hat would easily cost £250 to buy new (approx $400)
so renting is popular (£50)

Ten of her hats went to the Royal Wedding

I'd heard that you bring your dress and shoes to Mrs Partington near Windsor-
she disappears and reappears with THE hat
No Browsing Allowed

Well, I just had to find out what that was all about
But I didn't have a cute little outfit

So after 3 days of shopping, I found a steal of a deal
A £9 dress from H&M 
And off to the 'hat lady' I went

She did find the perfect hat for me
Gigantic and beautiful in a rich burnt orange

So big in fact,
I barely made it through the bathroom stall door
and the typical 'greeting hug' was impossible with friends

I needed an extra large umbrella to cover my ginormous headwear
in case of rain

THE hat

The Royal Ascot is a major event on the British social calendar,
and press coverage of the outfits often exceeds coverage of the actual racing

Besides the hat
the other draw for me was seeing the Queen
I just think she is such an adorable woman - always smiling
impeccably dressed and a reportedly empty purse

She never misses a Royal Ascot 
for she loves horses

It's too bad I didn't place a bet
I would have won
Number 9 is my favorite number, and it won first place in the second race
So let's just say I won

We loved our 'picnic box'
- champagne, finger sandwiches, scones, Victoria Sponge Cake -
and enjoyed seeing some of my hat's friends

Many hats and fascinators were outlandish and fun
All in good spirit

'Fascinators' are attached to a headband

Honestly, it made the Royal Wedding headwear choice of Princess Beatrice make more sense
Taken out of context internationally, her fascinator looked ridiculous
but at the Ascot it would have been divine

Prince Charles, Camilla, Princesses Eugenie & Beatrice
in conservative hats

The only people that looked silly at the Ascot were 
those who did not dress up enough

Women seated in the Royal Enclosure (most expensive seating) (not where I was)
follow the dress code of a hat or fascinator
and no bare shoulders

Men in the Royal Enclosure must wear black or grey morning dress with a top hat
Traditionally, top hats were made of moleskin (literally)

Even cameramen follow the dress code

It was an unforgettable day 'at the races' with friends

I can't wait to see which hat is my date next year :)


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Photo credit: personal & friends
Elegant Hats For Hire: Margaret Partington, 01753 543597