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5 Hat trends for races and weddings that you need to know about before Ascot 2023

These are the hottest wedding and race day hat styles of the season according to a millinery expert...

Woman wearing a black wide-brim hat with a white bow
Orin Carlin
Orin CarlinContent Writer
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For some lamentable reason, the number of hats you see on the reg in 21st century Britain is sorely lacking. Why a jaunty head accessory has waned in popularity, is beyond me. A killer hat would almost certainly inject a bit of spice into each and every outfit: vive le chapeau!

While everyday headgear is still suffering a slump in comparison to the days of our 20th century ancestors, fashion fans will be pleased to hear that there are still heaps of occasions this season that call for a major hat moment. 

READ: 6 statement designer headbands and how to wear them this season

MORE: Black-tie dress code for women explained: the dos and don'ts

Flaunting your accessory game either at the races or a wedding is a great way of allowing your personality to shine through. "Hats are the easiest way of making a statement and distilling your personal style, they’re your way of saying to the world who you are and what matters to you," says Awon Golding, Head Millinery Designer at royal-approved British heritage brand Lock & Co.

Awon Golding has created designs for both the Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Sussex © Awon Golding Millinery
Awon Golding has created designs for the Duchess of Sussex

As an award-winning milliner at the world's oldest hat shop, what Awon doesn't know about perennially chic headgear, simply isn't worth knowing. 

Hello! Fashion shares the five key hat trends to have on your radar for summer 2023: 


Woman wearing lavender feathered hat © Awon Golding Millinery

"Pastels have been cropping up all over the fashion map and millinery is not immune to the craze for the lighter side of the colour spectrum," Awon says. "Pale lavender is a must this spring/summer - my atelier is being inundated with requests for this feminine and fun tone. Wear it boldly paired with burnt orange or an equally complementary colour, or simple in a head-to-toe tonal look."

Barbiecore Pink

Woman wearing a pink hat with a black bow © Awon Golding Millinery

 "With the cinematic release of Barbie impending, I can 100% guarantee that pink will be having its moment in the limelight. Barbie-fever means that we’ll be seeing this flattering colour cropping up in all forms of fashion, hats included. Wear it pale and pastel, or bold and bubble gum."

Oversized Headbands

Woman wearing a pastel padded headband © Awon Golding Millinery

"The headband trend is alive and well, you can thank the "Kate effect" for this, since the Princess of Wales is an ardent headband wearer. This summer sees headbands in super-size, with the addition of contemporary adornments such as feathers."

Traditional Millinery

Woman wearing a black wide-brim hat with a white bow© Awon Golding Millinery

"There’s been a return to a more classic shape of hat, think Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's. It's a timeless look that suits all ages and is appropriate for all special occasions. You can't make a fashion misstep with the classics."

The Pillbox 

Woman wearing a pillbox hat © Awon Golding Millinery

"Popularised by Jackie O in the 60s, the pillbox has made a comeback and signals a return to sleeker, more understated special occasion dressing," Awon says. "A pillbox is great for framing the face and makes a chic statement with hair pulled back into a neat chignon bun."

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