Why is it British etiquette to wear a hat to a wedding?

Updated: May 24

British women have been wearing hats and mini-hats for fashion since 1770. The first practical hat was probably a large leaf of sorts or a piece of animal hide, not for fashion but to shade the face from the sun or during a blizzard.

Plants and nature inspire us. It is intuitive and detailed in immensity.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, a mini-hat (fascinator) was an oblong base made of silk, lace, net, knitted yarn or crocheted. Hats were worn every day by British women and when it comes to an aristocratic or royal wedding, a hat is an absolute essential for a British lady.


So why is it British etiquette to wear a hat to a wedding?


Traditionally, in Victorian England a morning dress calls for a hat. British women, particuarly royal British women wear a morning dress to a wedding or on a special occasion, accompanied by a hat or mini-hat. Like the British reputation for being polite, holding the door open for the person behind you and greeting a person with a hand shake (before the Covid-19 pandemic), wearing a hat with a morning dress to a wedding is traditionally part of British culture. England is renowned as the home of the hat.

The first eccentric hat I designed was part of a high-school art and textile project on the Southern Hemisphere. I designed a comfortable, light-weight, waterproof iceberg base with a group of aquatic, flightless penguins on top. The true test for durability was to drop-kick the hat three times to test if it was made properly. I recall bitting my lip as it fell to the floor for the third time, but thankfully it passed the test. I standby the same product test today. As embarrassing as it is, when Covid-19 lockdown permits I will find the hardcopy photographs of the iceberg penguin hat as it is tucked away in the UK somewhere.


I'm literally laughing out loud, reminiscing about a red hat I made for a client. I will be hung if I share the story, but believe me Outside a Circus hats last a long time!


During Covid-19 pandemic, weddings and social gatherings have been postponed until further notice. Many people have missed weddings, funerals, holidays and events and we continue to stay at home. We cannot attend social gatherings at the moment, but we can look forward to the future. If you have a wedding or special occasion on the horizon take inspiration from my hat gallery which is inspired by plants and nature.


Outside a Circus hats and mini-hats perch on the head with a small brim, no brim or crown attached to a flexible cord, headband or comb working perfectly with your hair colour. The beauty of investing in a bespoke mini-hat is every Outside a Circus hat is different and I can garantee it will last a long time.


During lockdown I am happy to offer a 30% discount code so browse for inspiration simply click here and stay safe with love from Barcelona.

Outside A Circus

Outside a Circus is an eccentric hat shop inspired by plants and nature, Shopping tours in Barcelona and a green fashion, shopping and interiors blog.

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