Whiteley Hats

My visit to Ascot Ladies’ Day has renewed my love of hats – even though, quite blasphemously, I wasn’t wearing one on the day! (It was actually a floral headpiece, so there!). So when I spied a bunch of Whiteley hats on sale at John Lewis, I of course had to model a few in the interests of science. Whiteley has been made famous by the Duchess of Cambridge, of course, she of the many hats, and I have to say some of my favourite items of hers are either by Whiteley or Lock & Lock. Sadly, the latter is somewhat out of my price range – but trying on hats is free no matter where they’re from, right?

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This looks to be a pink version of Kate’s famous swirl hat, which she has in brown, although this one is actually a slightly different shape. I LOVED this hat, and I plan to get the brown version as soon as it’s available (stalking it here).

A lot of people (including myself) get nervous about wearing hats with elastic, but if you match the elastic to your hair colour, it’s perfectly acceptable to have the band showing:

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Or, if you want to wear your hair down, you can still do so with these hats – what I did was just put my hair up, place the hat, and then remove the band from my ponytail:

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This side-view shows what’s happening with the band:

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This hat I thought was rather unsuccessful…:

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This one is very good for those that want to wear something a bit more subtle:

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It’s a pretty versatile shape and colour, and I think was only about £40-45. Also, it sits on a comb, which some people are more comfortable with, although I really prefer headbands for my hats!

However, this one was my out-and-out favourite:

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It looks very similar to the black one the Duchess of Cambridge has worn on a few occasions, but has a rounded top rather than a straight edge like hers (but I fully intend to make that one mine as well, so of course it wouldn’t do to have two the same style, would it?!).

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As the hat was £42 in the sale (reduced from £85), I decided it would be rude not to buy it, and so I now have yet another hat to add to my collection of hats I have nowhere to wear. I am thinking of starting a hat club just to give people a reason to wear them… Who is in?!

Whiteley hats available in store and online from John Lewis and other retailers: see http://www.whiteley-hat.co.uk/ for more.

Duchess Style: Peter Pan Collar Dress

Today, the Duchess of Cambridge was spotted wearing a black dress with a white Peter Pan collar, which was said to come from Topshop. As always, the community at What Kate Wore were quick off the mark to identify the dress, and came out with a possible match: the contrast collar shift dress (now out of stock).

All of this went down while I was having new (faster) broadband installed. Yes, Kate decided to pop up literally at the exact moment I was disconnected! This left me frantically looking on my phone for updates and trying to load Topshop in order to check stock levels. Of course, my size was the only one unavailable when I initally checked, so I called my local Topshop, and managed to get through on the second attempt. Right when I finally got someone on the phone from the right department, I hear: “excuse me?” The engineer had finally finished and was waiting to show off his handiwork… Reluctantly, I say to the sales assistant “I’ll have to phone you back” and she replies “but this is TOPSHOP, it’s very hard to get hold of us!”. With my saddest little voice, I say “I’m sorry, I have to phone you back…” RAAAAAAH! (That bit was internal, don’t worry.)

After testing the broadband (exactly the same as far as I can tell), I managed to get someone on the phone from Topshop again (actually not as hard as the sales assistant would have you believe!) and asked them to reserve the dress in a 10. Then, I actually managed to get into town before they closed today (usually impossible for me as I don’t have a car!) to nab the last one. THE LAST ONE IN THE SHOP. Unfortunately, it has a bit of a makeup mark on the back of the collar, but I hope I can clean it off.

So, here you go – this dress hasn’t been identified as the exact one that Kate was wearing today, to be honest, the collar looks very slightly different to me, and the sleeves look a bit shorter on mine. But, what do you think? Same dress?

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Dress

Back

That’s the back view – the zipper does go all the way up, but I unzipped it slightly for some reason…

See the dress Kate was wearing today at The Daily Mail and What Kate Wore.

EDIT!

Okay, so when I first heard about this dress, I typed ‘contrast collar’ into the Topshop search engine, and found two dresses, one in their regular range, and one ‘tall’. There was a tall left in size 10, so I ordered that immediately, and then tracked down the ‘regular’ in the shop itself. To be honest, I did wonder whether Kate would have ordered the tall, because, well, she is tall – but it did seem in photos that her dress was pretty short – hitting well above the knee. However, after seeing a couple of mentions of people saying that she was wearing the tall version, I decided to see whether I could find any proof one way or another – and I think I have!

Here is the length of the hem of the Goat Redgrave coat, from their site:
Coat length

Here is the length of the regular contrast collar dress from Topshop’s site:
Range version length

I just measured my own, and it comes to around 84cm from shoulder to hem, so that seems accurate. So if the Redgrave coat is a minimum of 127.5cm in length, that means that the dress would need to be approximately the same for it to appear the way it does in photos – if you click the links above you’ll see that the dress and coat seem to be the same length. But the regular version is just 85cm long, so we need to check the tall version
Tall version length

Darn! No length listed! I’ll have to measure when it arrives… but, I think it’s safe to say the regular version of this dress is just too short to have the right effect under the Redgrave coat…

Duchess Style: Great Plains Cezanne dress

I have a bit of a thing for the Duchess of Cambridge’s wardrobe. Who wouldn’t want to dress like a future queen, after all? I love finding out what she’s wearing and then tracking down the item myself! When Kate appeared in Grimsby wearing a new dress last week, I logged onto the amazing Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/WhatKateWore, where the community had located the dress within minutes of her appearance. So, I had to bag one for myself (on sale at www.greatplains.co.uk). Here’s the result!

Cezanne

I decided to pair it with a couple of other Kate-related items, my L.K. Bennett Sliver sandals in taupe (bought from the outlet store in Portsmouth, now renamed as the Sandy) and my L.K. Bennett Natalie clutch (still available from the site).

Sliver shoes 2 Sliver shoes

I love these shoes – had them resoled as the leather soles are pretty delicate. It’s sooo cold here at the moment though that it’s impossible to wear them out anywhere, so for once I’m actually looking forward to the warmer months!

Natalie clutch Natalie clutch 2

The Natalie clutch is an item I’ve been lusting after for a long time, so I decided to break down and treat myself last month. I’m glad I did, because it goes perfectly with my sandals, and my nude heels that I bought from M&S. I did try on a pair of Kate’s beloved Sledges, but sadly they are too dark a shade to really be ‘nude’ on me, so I bought the much cheaper pair from the Autograph range – practically identical in every way, expect a better match for me! (And comfy too!)

Clutch and shoes

Do you follow Kate’s fashions? Ever bought anything she was seen wearing? Ever replicated one of her looks? I’d love to hear from you in the comments if so!

William Chambers for Coast

You know I love hats! So when I got a newsletter from Coast about their new collaboration with milliner William Chambers, I had to head on over to check out the collection right away…

William Chambers Coast double disc floral hat 160This is probably the most impressive offering, a delicate cascade of feathers balanced against a woven base – called the double disc floral hat, this retails for £160.

William Chambers Coast floral veiled hat 130

In a similar colour is the floral veiled hat, for £130.
William Chambers Coast buntal teardrop hat 100

A bit edgier, the buntal teardrop hat retails for £100, and features an animal print pattern, great with a black or white dress.

William Chambers Coast ostrich pom hat pink 150

Providing a pop of colour is the ostrich pom hat in pink, for £150. This is the only offering in the collection that doesn’t feature a neutral palette, although it’s also available in black.

William Chambers Coast ostrich pom hat black 150

By far my favourite, though, is this gorgeous side bow hat, in black!

William Chambers Coast side bow hat 100

This structured, straw hat is priced £100 and has a very Kate Middleton vibe to it…

At the moment, you have to either order these from a store, or reserve and collect them in person. Which one is your favourite?