Haute Headgear: British Style on a Budget

It seems no one can stop talking about THAT hat Sarah Jessica Parker wore a couple of weeks ago to the Sex and the City Movie premiere in London. It was a Carrie Bradshaw moment, and in quintessential Carrie Bradshaw style, it left some onlookers cooing over British hat maker Phillip Treacy’s wonderful talent and others sniggering into their SATC-themed corsages. Despite the haters, a hat or fascinator is a great way of updating a tired outfit without breaking the bank, and with Royal Ascot approaching – a huge and hat-centric event in the British social calendar – it’s the perfect excuse for Brits to don the most eccentric of headpieces.

It was a mad hatter’s tea party at London Fashion Week, with British designers going ga-ga for jaunty headgear. Fascinating fascinators littered the runway of Alexander McQueen, who, like SJP, adorned the heads of his models with whimsical creations featuring handcrafted butterflies and dragonflies, whilst Giles preferred spiky, origami-style hats in pretty pastel colours. When the sun is beating down on your shoulders, wispy headpieces might not appeal, so why not opt for a floppy, seventies-style sunhat? Straw is so passé – Rodarte’s tougher, leather-look version is much cooler. Or opt for a sporty visor, as seen at Miss Sixty.

For heavenly head adornments at a slice of the price, high street haven Topshop has a great selection of patterned headscarves a la Carrie Bradshaw starting at £5 ($10). Accessorize offers the definitive selection of party-worthy hair accessories: this feathery fascinator (£15/$30) would do SJP proud. At £25 ($50), Chapeau Claudette’s pillbox hat is slightly pricier, but is perfect for accessorising McQueen-inspired, forties-style waves. Don’t splash out on a completely new outfit for that summer wedding you’ve been invited to – add this elliptical headpiece in a mouth-wateringly mocha hue, £29 ($57) from John Lewis. Sarah Jessica Parker’s done it again – you’ve got to take your hat off to her.

Images courtesy of elleuk.com