Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Choosing a Hat for the Races



A headpiece is the crowning glory of your Galway Races outfit and the right hat is just as important as your dress as it can make or break an outfit. As sponsors of the official Best Dressed Lady and Best Hat competitions (#gHotelBestDressed) at the Galway Races as well as hosting our own Best Hat (#gBestHat) event at the g Hotel & Spa as part of our Ladies Day After Party, we have researched all of the expert advice on choosing a hat for the races.

Choosing a hat should be a pleasure. There are no hard and fast rules, only guidelines to help and assist. Show your personality and choose something comfortable that you love. Experiment until you find the hat you like best and makes you feel fabulous – you are worth it!


A day at the Races and in particular Ladies Day at the Galway Races is one of the few occasions where we have an opportunity to be daring and express our personality. Make a statement at this year’s Galway Races and turn to one of Ireland’s leading milliners by choosing one of their beautiful creations whether sleek & refined or show stopping & bold. If you have chosen your outfit but are still looking for the perfect hat, bring your dress with you and most milliners can match a piece or create a sensational contrast for stand out appeal.

Matching your hat to your figure
It is important to your physical features into account when choosing a hat. Your height and shoulder width is the best guide for dictating the brim width of your hat. Generally the taller you are, the wider the brim you can carry off. Here are some hints that subtly alter proportions.

A petite woman may be best with a smaller hat to keep your look in proportion and should you have a very ornate headpiece, many stylists suggest an understated dress to showcase the hat. Try to avoid hiding your neck if possible as this can take from your height.

A tall woman could opt for a wider brim ensuring you take shoulder width into consideration to maintain balance. Wide brims also look well on fuller figured fashionistas and ladies wearing wider skirts.

Choosing a hat to suit your Face Shape
It is very important to choose a hat or headpiece that works for your face shape.

Round faceMore structured or square styles usually suit round faces best. Ladies with rounder faces may consider adding height to your crown to elongate your face and a small brim can also add to the effect.  Cloche inspired hats look great and it can be fun to play with slants.

Heart face – A tilted style headpiece can really compliment and highlight your cheeks and distinct a jawline. If you have a very petite face, avoid being overpowered by a large heavy looking crown.


Square face – With defined features and stronger bone structure than other face shapes, ladies with square faces tend to look great in rounder styles so opt for a hat with softer lines. Narrow crowns can be unflattering unless they are balanced by a trim that gives it both softness and width. Asymmetrical silhouettes look well.

Oval or Long Face – Avoid hats with tall crowns and this will only further elongate your visage. A wider brim will balance an oval or long face but remember to use your shoulder width as a guide or you may overbalance!

Some Interesting tips from the Horse & Hound Magazine

  • Traditionally ladies hats are worn down to the right and up to the left. This means that most small hats sit on the right hand side of the head.
  • In general it is more flattering to have your hair parting hidden beneath the hat.
  • If you are wearing a bold print or lace dress, avoid wearing a hat with an elaborate or fussy trim.
  • If you want to make a statement with your hat, pair it with a simple outfit.
  • Avoid matching your hat, bag and shoes as it will cut your silhouette in too many places.
  • Make sure your hat feels secure and comfortable so that you will not have to re-adjust it during the occasion.
For more information on the Ladies Day Best Dressed Events please see the g Hotel & Spa website - official sponsors of the Best Dressed Lady and Best Hat competitions at the Galway Races. Also hosts of a Best Hat with Philip Treacy Prize and Most Stylish Man competition during the Après Racing Party which kicks off at 7pm on Thursday 28th July 2016.

Hats featured in this blog post are from from Carol Kennelly, Aoife Kirwan and Edel Ramberg.

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