Saturday 24 March 2018

Top tips to finding the perfect last minute hat for the races

Edel Ramberg
Edel Ramberg
Freya Drohan

Freya Drohan

Her striking designs have graced the heads of celebrities such as Rosanna Davison and Mairead Farrell, and her name is on the lips of women in the know as they prepare for Ladies Day.

Finding the right hat for the races or a big occasion is tricky territory for the novice, but Edel is adamant that there is a shape and style to suit everyone.

Read below for her top tips on how to achieve a stunning finish.

Do you think it is essential that women wear a headpiece to the races or is it becoming less popular?

If anything headwear for racing is becoming more popular, although it is not essential unless stated in the dress code like at Royal Ascot.

Hats and headpieces are like a polished finish to a racing look, they have been worn at races for over a 100 years, If you look back at racing images from the early 1900's women had the most elaborate head adornments and lace parasols while men always wore top hats. It was proper etiquette to wear a hat and I think today is a lovely effort to make at a race meeting.

Hat Designer: Edel Ramberg
Photographer: Angela Halpin
Model: Dimakatso
Hat Designer: Edel Ramberg Photographer: Angela Halpin Model: Dimakatso

What are your top tips for accessorising a statement headpiece?

It depends on the outfit, if you have a printed dress perhaps look at a plain base in a block colour with complementing embellishments.

If your dress is plain then maybe go a little more daring on the hat.

Never ever lose the battle for attention with your hat, yes they can be a statement and the finishing touch to a look but don't have it clash with you or your outfit, rather let it finish the overall style and work with your personality.

Are there any styles you would recommend that will suit women across the board?

Their is a hat to suit everyone's face, people who say hats don't suit them haven't tried on enough. I get all my clients to try everything on, because what they thought would work may not be the best shape for them.

When it comes to choosing a shape that suits everyone you can never go wrong with a disc but you always have to consider the size. 

A small person shouldn't drown themselves in a big hat- if you feel a hat is too wide for your shoulder width, tilt it more upright to create length.

If you have a round face go for something more angular and if you have an angular face go for something rounded to create softness.


Those who are new to shopping for headpieces- where should they start and what should they look for in a hat or headpiece?

If you are trying to decide on what sort of hat to buy meet with a milliner, most don't charge for a consultation and are happy to discuss options with you.

He or she will advise you and show you how different shapes can complement your face and what would work with your outfit.

If you can't meet with a milliner and wonder how you should wear your piece or what to buy ask your hairstylist; they know your face shape and hair very well so would have a good idea of what would suit you.

Pillboxes are also great for drama but are small and comfortable, great for the virgin hat wearer.

Alternatively check out different milliners websites and see how they position hats and what examples they have in their galleries of people wearing hats so you can get a good idea.


Don't be afraid to try on loads of hats, you need to be confident in what you are wearing or else it will show!


What are your favourite contemporary headpiece styles?

I love using swirls and wires, I think they are nice and light to wear and with Irish weather being so unpredictable the wind won't blow a swirled head piece off your head as easily as a disc hat.


For more information on Edel's designs, visit

Online Editors

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