The Chelsworth Fedora in Navy with Coque and Pheasant Feathers
The hat which ignited my Hicks & Brown love was the Chelsworth, specifically the Navy Chelsworth Fedora with Coque and Pheasant Feathers. I fell in love with the contemporary take on the classic fedora with the luxe velvet trim and subtle nod to country with the decorative feathers. It is a great marriage between country and city and it can be styled up and down for both. The Chelsworth was meant to be my hat to wear at Cheltenham races, however as we all know, the November Cheltenham meet was unfortunately cancelled last year (boo). I wrongly thought the Chelsworth was more of an occasion wear hat due to its smart appearance, however it showed its true styling versatility during lockdown as I wore it non-stop. I used this fedora as an everyday piece to jazz up a tired autumnal look, this is shown clearly on one of my many country walks this lockdown with boots and a shearling aviator gilet and the hat just elevates the look perfectly.
Proving again how much I love this hat, I was staying in Wales which is remarkably cold compared to the very flat Cambridgeshire countryside I am so used to. The felt keeps you so warm yet you don’t feel like an eskimo in hundreds of layers. The navy colouring is so beautiful and flattering for the skin tone as its softer than a black or cooler colour. You are also in good company with this colour as it has recently been spotted on the Duchess of Cambridge, well, if its good enough for Kate!
Hopefully I will soon be able to wear this beauty for what I intended it for, a day at the races. I cannot wait to wear it with a smart coat and boots for a classic timeless style. The navy also lends itself to be worn against another bold colour such as an oxblood or a bright baby blue to make more of a statement.
The Suffolk fedora is the go-to of styles, the natural first purchase, the Fairfax and Favor tan Regina boot of the hat world. This is due to the adaptability in styling, this hat would not look out of place on a shooting peg yet look picture perfect at Cheltenham Festival.
Its also the perfect transeasonal piece to help you navigate through the awkward weather of spring and autumn, where it probably will rain (we are in England after all) yet there might still be the odd few summer rays, and these fedoras protect you from both.
I find styling the Suffolk fedora a dream, its looks effortless with a white shirt, denim shorts and matching tan accessories or wrapped up with a khaki parker, jeans and tall boots.
Here I styled it simply with some other classic country brands such as the Fairfax and Favor Explorer boots, Guinea London Gilet and Ivy and Rigg striped top. This outfit would be great for a country show such as the Game Fair, as its chic yet super comfortable and practical for the thousands of steps.
I also styled the Suffolk Fedora with a dress and fur wrap for a cute beach day look to keep the windswept hair at bay. I find these fedoras so versatile to style and you can be as creative as you wish, I liked the boho style of this outfit and it could so easily be worn to a festival too.
For another look, I styled the Suffolk Fedora in Black (with Guinea and Pheasant Feather).
Picking up the same tones in the fedora in my outfit, it looked cohesive as well as cosy with a gilet and wellies. After hours of running after a new puppy on the beach in blustery winds my hair and hat were still tidy and photo ready for when the puppy grew tired and would finally sit for a snap!
This black colourway, I would say, could easily take you from country to city yet keeping the same classic style. The black Suffolk fedora with a camel coat, fur wrap and Chelsea boots would be a great Christmas market look, however, swap the flats for some Fairfax & Favor black heeled Amira boots and you would have a show stopping Cheltenham outfit.
The ultimate lightweight accessory to elevate your summer wardrobe. I knew straight away from the website "Coming Soon" page that I would love this hat, but I did not anticipate that it would not leave my head for 3 months. It is hands down my new staple which I will have in my wardrobe for many more years to come. The wide brim design adds understated elegance as well as being flattering and widely practical to keep the sun at bay, so there are no more Rudolf’s noses in June (let’s keep that to strictly December!)
I styled this hat with casual outfits for the beach, country markets, however I loved it styled up for smart city days. The Hemley fedora screams “Henley Royal Regatta”, so it will also be able to take you from casual to ultra-smart and chic.
Probably my favourite outfit this summer and of course I was wearing the Hemley fedora, I paired it with a patterned linen dress, layered with a jumper and tan knee-high boots. It was a nice balance of smart and casual and country and city. This outfit would be easy to emulate with many different colour tones, dress styles and lengths, yet keeping the same accessories of the hat, matching bag and sophisticated boots. I also think layered with tight and a scarf you could easily wear this into autumn and winter or wearing the jumper over your shoulders for the rare few sweltering days in the UK.
Due to the natural colourings of the Hemley range and the classic refined style and detailing, you can wear the hats with any colour outfit. I have worn it with a rainbow of colourful outfits and they all have worked, to keep the look still cohesive and chic with the added colour, I like to match my accessories all together such as a hat and matching toned bag.
The newest family to the beautiful Hicks & Brown range was the formal collection. I was lucky enough to get my hands on the Wissington Pillbox in Navy, we all know the beautiful quality of the Hicks & Brown hats and this was of no exception. All the pillboxes are so simple and sophisticated which means they are easy to style for many different occasions such as a wedding, the polo, Royal Ascot, winter racing and just about any formal event. I know after wearing mine for two smart occasions that I am already starting to book events, purely to wear this hat again!
The pillbox is so comfortable as its finished with thin elastic to sit under your hair to ensure the hats stays in place all day, and from past experience I can say that this is 100% the case. I love the use of veiling, which part covers the face as it adds a refined yet understated dimension to the hat.
As with the unpredictable English weather, in the space of two weeks I was able to style this hat for a sunny polo match in Cambridge to a very wintery feeling race day at Newmarket races.
For the summery day event I styled the pillbox with matching toned accessories to pick up the rich navy colouring with the Fairfax and Favor wedges and vintage Dior bag. It would look great with a baby blue dress for a wedding or a highly patterned midi dress for Ascot.
A mere 10 days later, ironically at the height of summer, it was a very cold and wet day. I kept the vibrant navy colour pallet from the pillbox as the focus, with a military style coat and matching clutch and played with the textures and tones by introducing a mahogany leather boot.
This outfit received many compliments because it was still smart and stylish, aided by wearing the pillbox but also very practical and warm.
This hat has such versatility because it is so subtle, but this does not equate in any way to design which is jam packed full of intricate detail with the veiling, feathers, felt curl and metal pin. These elegant details mean this pillbox hat will never go out of style and it will be the go to hat of choice for your special days out for years to come.
The whole formal collection from Hicks & Brown uses rich warm tones such as cranberry, fuschia, teal and camel which are really flattering against the face and skin tone.
I hope this whistle stop tour of the Hicks & Brown collection, highlighting my favourite pieces and styling tips and tricks, helps you decide which style is right for you, or how to get the wear out of your existing Hicks & Brown beauties.
Lots of love,
Lauren Price Looks