With the Royal Ascot just a short head away, Chelsea and Country caught up with Lizzie Hughes, the wife of top jockey Richard Hughes and owner of the hat hire and purchase business – Lizzie’s Hats.
Daughter of Champion Trainer Richard Hannon, Lizzie has been involved in horse racing from an early age. The girl who spent her pocket money at school on the Sporting Life, has only fond memories of growing up with the sport:
“I have had a lovely upbringing. Being part of a racing family enables you to meet so many different people and provides a fantastic social life. We are a very close family and really enjoy a day at the races all together.”
Imaginably, Lizzie has attended a fair few race meetings, accumulating quite a collection of hats, fascinators and other accessories over the years.
She has over 175 hats, fascinators and headpieces, all of which are available for hire or purchase and are displayed in a converted out-building at her home near Marlborough, Wiltshire.
Lizzie offers a unique service. As she attends many race meetings herself, should you choose a hat for a race day that she is already attending, she will bring the hat to the races and collect it from you at the end of the day. Over the years, Lizzie has become something of a hat connoisseur and when asked of her personal style influences as a girl, she spoke proudly of her mother:
“My mother was always a very smart lady. The way she dresses for the races is always appropriate and stylish and in my opinion she rarely gets it wrong. Whether it is a classic suit or a simple shift dress it is always complimented by a full brimmed hat. Nearly every time I go racing I always get her approval first, which is usually very honest. My mother would never wear a fascinator.”
Speaking of which, with the recent tightening of standards and the ban on fascinator’s in Ascot’s Royal Enclosure, announced earlier this year, we asked Lizzie to give us a few racing fashion “do’s and don’ts.” Here is what she had to say:
Do: When wearing a suit or tailored dress tights or stockings should be worn. If you are on the short side then try to find a hat which offers some height by feathers, quills or a brim hat is upturned.
Don’t: I am not keen on the look where sunglasses are worn with a full brimmed hat – but that is just an opinion. I don’t like formal hats with trousers either, I did it once when I was 19 and have never forgiven myself.”
Along with the various hats, headpieces and fascinators, jewellery by designer Armadura Urbana is also available for sale at Lizzie’s Hats as well as Swarovski Crystal pure Pashminas, and other accessories including clutch bags and hand-bags. For more info contact Lizzie Hughes by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website: www.lizzieshats.com
– Rachael Grace Kay (Senior Editor)