Hat Types: The Boater

One of the hat styles on in the upswing in popular fashion is the boater- a hat we’ll look at closer today.

History: In the nineteenth century before the sailor cap became standard, European sailors wore straw hats with flat crowns and brims. As the design was phased out for military wear, it gained popularity in the late 1800s and early 1900s as a men’s formal summer daytime hat (worn with a suit) particularly at sailing events. The name “boater” was adopted as the hat took off in popularity. 

Around the same time, a similar hat for late Victorian era women and children, known as the “sailor” was widely worn. With a larger brim size than its male ‘boater’ counterpart, sailor hats were  trimmed with a dark hatband that extended to ribbon streamers trailing down the back. Women’s sailor hat designs often featured flowers around the base of the crown as well.

Difference Between a Boater and a Sailor: Both hats have a completely flat crown and brim. Traditionally, boater hats are made with stiff straw and are trimmed only with a hatband (in solid or striped grosgrain ribbon). The brim size of a traditional boater is modest- noticeably smaller than a the brim on a sailor hat. Historically, sailor hats have wider brims than a boater and were made of all kinds of weights of straw and felt. These days, however, mainstream millinery  commonly refers to both of these styles as ‘a boater’.

Characteristics: A boater has a perfectly round crown and brim, both of which sit horizontally flat.

Royals Associated with this Hat Style: Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands has long been a boater wearer, as has Queen Elizabeth. Princess Beatrice of York has also embraced boaters in recent years.

 Queen Elizabeth, May 16, 2017 in Angela Kelly | Royal Hats Princess Beatrice, May 16, 2017 in Laura Apsit Livens | Royal Hats Princess Alexandra, June 21, 2017 | Royal Hats

Queen Elizabeth and Princess Beatice, May 16, 2017; Princess Alexandra, June 21, 2017

Princess Beatrice, Jun 17, 2017 in Emily London | Royal Hats Princess Beatrix, October 24, 2014 | Royal Hats Countess of York, June 21, 2017 in Jane Taylor | Royal Hats

Princess Beatrice, Jun 17, 2017; Princess Beatrix, October 24, 2014; Countess of York, June 21, 2017

 Princess Beatrix, February 8, 2017 | Royal Hats Queen Elizabeth Mar 24, 2016 in Angela Kelly | Royal Hats Princess Hisako, November 25, 2014 | Royal Hats Princess Beatrice, Jun 16, 2016 in Laura Apsit Livens | Royal Hats

Princess Beatrix, February 8, 2017; Queen Elizabeth, Mar 24, 2016;
Princess Hisako, November 25, 2014; Princess Beatrice, Jun 16, 2016

Queen Elizabeth, Mar 13, 2017 in Angela Kelly | Royal Hats  Princess Beatrix, Nov. 14, 2013 | Royal Hats  Duchess of Cornwall, Mar 13, 2017 in Philip Treacy | Royal Hats

Queen Elizabeth, Mar 13, 2017; Princess Beatrix, Nov. 14, 2013Duchess of Cornwall, Mar 13, 2017

Boaters are seeing an upswing in popularity and I suspect we’ll see them appear on more royal heads- what do you think of this hat style?

Photos from WPA Pool, WPA Pool via Getty; Kirstin Sinclair and Samir Hussein via Getty; Patrick van Katwijk via Corbis; Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty;  Philip Van Der Werf via PPE;  Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty; Sankei;  Max Mumby/Indigo, Mark Cuthbert, ANPMax Mumby/Indigo via Getty

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‘New’ Hat From the Past #41

Royal Hats to October 31, 1996 and a white picture hat worn on a state visit to Thailand. This hat seems unusual to me not only for its large scale and extra wide hatband but for the white beaded lace applique on the side – a much fussier trim than we usually see on Queen Elizabeth’s hats. Do any of you remember this particular design?

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Please use the comments to also share any hats or royal hat news from today.

Photos from Getty as indicated

‘New’ Hat From the Past #40

Royal Hats to October 11, 1982 and a very pretty blue hat worn in Australia. We often see hats with lattice woven brims but seldom do we see one where this pattern is on the crown- a unique touch on this design, one I don’t remember seeing before.

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Please use the comments to also share any hats or royal hat news from today.

Photos from Getty as indicated

One Coat, Two Hats

Royal HatsThe Duchess of Gloucester has paired two hats with her dotted navy silk coat- one familiar and one that might be a surprise. I’m curious- which pairing do you prefer?

Look 1: With a navy straw stemmed beret at the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation, June 6, 2013

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Look 2: With a navy and cream hat with sweeping wave brim trimmed with straw curls and navy feathers worn at Ascot, June 19, 2012 and at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding, April 29, 2011

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While you discuss the merits of these two hats (and wonder why the second hat has not been repeated more!), I’ll gently remind you all again to use the comments in this post to share any other royal hats that might be worn today.

Photo from Getty as indicated

‘New’ Hat From the Past #39

Royal Hats For Friday the 13th today, I thought a black hat would be fitting- imagine my surprise to find this design, worn October 30, 1994 on a visit to Russia. Queen Elizabeth seldom wears black hats for regular engagements and this design, with upswept brim and yellow houndstooth-esque patterned hatband, seems like an unusual choice for a state visit. Do any of you remember this hat?

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Please use the comments to also share any hats  or royal hat news from today.

Photos from Getty as indicated

Seeing Triplets: Duchess of Cornwall

Royal HatsIt’s that time of year to think about packing away one’s straw hats until next year, and bringing out the felt designs. The Duchess of Cornwall seems to already have made the switch, appearing for church in Scotland a few weeks ago in a taupe percher beret trimmed with pheasant feathers (a hat that made its debut last summer, pictured below). This is not Camilla’s only hat in this style- she also has twins in electric blue and red.

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The design is simple and classic enough that multiples are understandable, especially for a royal with a practical approach to dressing. I find the very similar trim a little surprising and wonder if the hat was specifically designed to wear with tartan outfits in Scotland? My favourite is the red version- a colour that Camilla hardly ever wears yet looks stunning on her. In this trio, which hat do you think suits her best?

Feel free to use the comments to share any hats worn today- Queen Elizabeth is scheduled to pay a visit to the Army and Navy Club in London to celebrate the Centenary of the Women’s Royal Naval Service and the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps. 

Photo from Getty as indicated

‘New’ Hat From the Past #38

Royal Hats to October 20, 1988 and a cream straw veiled bumper hat with interesting gingham pinwheel/back ruffle worn on a trip to Spain. If you look closely, there also appears to be a layer of the peach gingham under the brim- an unusual element we don’t often see on Her Majesty’s hats. This design was a new one for me- do any of you remember seeing it before?

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Please use the comments to also share any hats or royal hat news from today. The Dutch state visit continues in Portugal- we might see another hat on Queen Máxima.

Photos from Getty as indicated