Jessica Rea Presents: The Hat Clinic at The Telegraphs Stella Live

Ascot Race Course Award Winning Milliner Epsom Downs Racecourse Epsom Race Course Ewell fashion blogger Goodwood Goodwood Racecourse Hat Clinic Jessica Rea Millinery Milliner Racing Stella Live Stella Magazine Style Advice Style Guide The Epsom Investec Derby The Telegraph What to wear to the races

I was honoured last weekend to be asked to present a 'Hat Clinic' at The Telegraphs Stella Live Event and join a panel talk with The Stella Fashion Team, Crack The Dress Code - Occasion Wear with The Stella Fashion Team. It was such an exciting event to be part of, there were so many brilliant fashion and beauty brands at the event it was such a treat to be there.            


At the event, I was not only showcasing my Spring / Summer 19 collection but I also ran on the hour hat clinics discussing all those problems that come with purchasing a hat or headpiece, which many of my clients have told me or asked me about over the years.

Also at Stella, I launched my new headband collection which went down a storm! Each headband is a bespoke creation and offers a different style be it a flower or a twisted knot all adding a final flourish to an outfit.



This blog post I thought I would share with you all the style tips that I shared at Stella Live.

How to Find the Perfect Hat?


There are so many styles of hats out there that it is hard to know where to start but my number one rule is to try not to overthink it. Many people can panic when buying a hat for the first time but it should be a fun and enjoyable process. It is important to consider the style, shape, and colour.

Some colours can wash you out and others can lift your complexion, so try as many different shades as possible because you never know. It also is important to consider the occasion because certain events follow certain rules but more on that later.

Common Problems

During your time finding your perfect hat try not to be put off by the common problems that come up time and time again. Clients always ask me "Do you match the shoes, bag, and hat?" This is something I suggest you follow for a chic look as it will photograph elegantly.

Another common problem I come across is what to do with your hair? Again this depends on your own personal style however, I always suggest you can't go wrong with a chiffon bun it adds an element of sophistication to any look.

The Rules of the Races

If it is your first year attending the races this year it can feel daunting as there can seem like there are a lot of rules, but not to worry I've summarized them all for you here. It is always important to remember that the races are the perfect opportunity to step out of your traditional style and experiment!

Ascot Rules

Royal Enclosure

  • Skirts to fall just above the knee or longer
  • Dresses and tops should have straps of one inch or greater
  • Strapless, off the shoulder, halter neck and spaghetti straps not permitted.
  • Trouser suits are welcome, should be of full length to the ankle and of matching colour and material
  • Jumpsuits are welcome, they should fall below the knee
  • Hats should be worn
  • Fascinators are not permitted
  • A headpiece which has a solid base of 4 inches (10cm) or more in diameter is acceptable as an alternative to a hat. 

Queen Anne

  • A hat headpiece or fascinator should be worn at all times.
  • Strapless and sheer dresses and tops are not permitted (no Bardot, or off the shoulder)
  • Trouser suits must be full length
  • Jump Suits below the knee
  • Shorts are not permitted 

Village Enclosure

  • A hat, headpiece or fascinator to be worn at all times.
  • Strapless and sheer dresses and tops are not permitted (no Bardot, or off the shoulder).
  • Trouser suits must be full length.
  • Jump Suits below the knee.
  • Shorts are not permitted.

Epsom Derby

  • The Supreme test of the Racecourse and the Wardrobe.
  • Grandstand wear a hat or fascinator.
  • Queen stand formal day wear is required formal day dress or a tailored.
  • Trouser Suit to be worn with hat or fascinator. 


  • Has a more relaxed style- think garden party.
  • The Panama hat is an icon of the Qatar Goodwood Festival.
  • Headbands would be perfect for the relaxed style of Goodwood. 

And for weddings

Traditionally the Mother of the Bride will choose the wedding outfit or hat first then notify the Mother of the Groom. 

Mothers of the Bride are now creating more glamorous looks with their outfit choices as there is such a beautiful range of dresses, jumpsuits, and trouser suits now available for women no matter what their age! 

Stella Live really was an exciting event to be part of and I can't wait to do more in the coming months. 

Make sure you keep checking the blog for more style advice ahead of the races!



Speak soon,


Jessica Rea xx

Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment