Raceday Fashion – Sometimes Totally Over The Top
When race day rolls around many of the fashion elite get butterflies in their stomachs at the thought of being able to dress up to the nines, often in totally ridiculous clothing, and potentially winning the coveted award for best dressed on the day. One of the essential elements of a race day outfit is a hat. These hats come in many different forms, from the practical to the peculiar. Here we take a look at some of the more bizarre hats that have been paraded around a racecourse.
A number of race day hats in the recent past have taken after various foodstuffs. Who can forget the huge round of Stilton blue cheese that was strapped onto a brim and then worn by a most likely usually sane woman in a white dress? So large was the hat that it totally covered her face. It came complete with grapes and crackers around the brim in case she couldn’t get close to a waiter to get a snack.
Another lady wore a hat that was pretty much just a giant ice cream cone on its side. This hat had a tube-shaped headpiece, which then sported a waffle cone complete with a scoop of chocolate ice cream. The entire thing was about a meter long and must have been incredibly difficult to manage if the wind picked up. We don’t know if she won the hat competition, or was just voted off the island.
Feathers and Balloons
Many hats that you see involve feathers. Not one or two as one might imagine but often whole birds. One lady created an entire green-winged macaw parrot on to her hat complete with outstretched wings. Let’s hope she didn’t take off unexpectedly, or that parrot didn’t take matters into its own hands and break free. Others have created outlandish creations that almost totally cover their heads and faces with multi-coloured feathers. At least they won’t be sunburned.
Balloons that are used to make balloon animals are another favourite of race day hat creators. Huge sculptures with intricate balloonary soar more than a meter above some people’s heads. These make for some of the lightest hats and are great when all the other hat wearers have to take theirs off due to neck strain.
And Then There Is The Ridiculous
Some hats are just ridiculous and could well distract punters from the Crown Oaks Day betting they want to enjoy. Small models of bathrooms complete with toilets and dangling plugs adorn heads of racegoers who are clearly looking for attention. One enthusiastic woman even created an entire racing grandstand in the miniature and strapped it onto her head using a normal sun hat. She then had to spend the whole day holding the thing up and probably missed most of the races.
The prize, however, has to go to a lady who tried to recreate the Marie Antoinette era. To be fair, she did a great job. Her soaring statuette was more than a meter and a half high, and replicated the wigs that were worn by the French nobles at the time. With layers of curls and huge pink flowers, no one knows how she managed to walk upright in even a small breeze, let alone get anywhere near any horses without them bolting in panic.