Fancy hat wearing season is upon us so investing in a fabulous piece of headgear is a definite must.
If you're going all out for Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot then the matter of dress code needs to be considered carefully. Formal daywear is essential, as is a hat, if you plan to saunter around in style.
Then there are all those wedding invites and swanky summer parties that require something statement-making to show you know precisely how to do occasion wear.
For those who rarely do hats this can be a pretty daunting shopping experience. So - we've got a few buying and styling tips to get you started.
The Royal Ascot style guide for ladies recommends hats should be worn, especially if you're lucky enough to have a ticket for the royal enclosure. A headpiece with a base of 4 inches or more in diameter is an acceptable alternative. Fascinators? Don't bother - they're banned.
We spoke to Emily Baxendale, the creative director and designer of boutique millinery business Emily - London to get a few more tips.
Where do we start when it comes to hat buying?
Hats are such a personal thing and it can be fun but a little daunting finding the perfect one amidst a sea of different styles.
Online is always a good place to start as you can then gauge a good cross-section of what is out there and what styles you are naturally drawn to. Ultimately, it's about focusing the selection and trying on the actual hats. This will either be with the independent milliner for more boutique or bespoke pieces, or in-store for more commercial ready-to-wear designs.
Which factors should be considered - head size/shape, skin tone, hairstyle?
One of the first questions I always ask my clients is what style of occasion the hat will be for. It is so important that the hat is appropriate for the event.
The next considerations are always face shape, hair colour and how the client would like to style their hair on the day, height (as proportions and balance are very important in the overall look), and skin tone. The next step is to work with the outfit as a whole to create the perfect hat.
What are the latest hat trends?
Hats are the ultimate accessory. The most popular colour palette for us this season has been Spring/Summer 2014 pastels infused with bright yellows. We have certainly seen a resurgence in large picture hats with classic brims, but the smaller cocktail hats remain popular every season largely due to the fact that they are so easy to wear.
Shop this edit of beautiful styles to find your perfect occasion hat.