The Toppers Royal Wedding Guests Will Wear, According to a Boutique Hat Designer


With the royal wedding less than 10 days away, the buzz continues to grow over what the details will look like—Meghan’s dress, the decorations, and the guest’s attire, especially their headwear. For the latter, we sat down with Genevieve Foddy, owner and designer at Genevieve Rose Atelier, a New York boutique specializing in special occasion hats and hair accessories. Below, Foddy gives the lowdown on what guests will be wearing—from fascinators to pillboxes—and how it will affect bridal style here at home.

What is protocol when it comes to hats at royal affairs?
As with most royal weddings, Meghan and Harry’s invitation gives the dress code for men as “uniform, morning coat, and lounge suit.” A black or gray top-hat is optional with morning dress at a wedding, and no hat is required with a lounge suit. The inclusion of the more casual lounge suit on the invitation speaks to Meghan and Harry’s more approachable, relaxed style, so I don’t think we will be seeing many hats on men at the wedding.

For women, the dress code is “day dress with hat,” so we will be sure to see some wonderful hat creations on their female guests. When choosing a hat for a royal wedding, the wearer should ensure that it not only coordinates with her outfit, but that it is also comfortable and well secured as she will be required to wear it all day. For this early morning, early summer event, it would be appropriate to choose small- to medium-sized styles in light fabrics and straws. Larger styles and more elaborate trims should be saved for the Royal Enclosure at Ascot.What are some of the hat styles you think attendees may show up in?
Lightweight straw and sinamay discs and coolies (1950s style pyramid-shaped hats) are still a very popular choice. Both of these styles attach with a hairband, which eliminates the need for different hat sizes. They are also easily worn with most hairstyles. Discs in particular give a fabulous sense of height to the wearer without overwhelming the entire look.

Genevieve Rose Atelier Lady Suffolk hat

Small, button-shaped headpieces are a wonderful choice for those not wanting a more elaborate style. They can be made of silk or fabric to match an outfit and are very comfortable to wear. My personal favorite for those not wanting a large style is a pillbox hat. We have been seeing these on many of the European royals over the last few seasons and, with the right trim, a pillbox would look wonderful with a wedding outfit. And for this early summer wedding, I think we will see a lot of beautiful fresh-looking silk flowers incorporated into hat trims, and some very dramatic disc shapes that need very little trim at all.

Genevieve Rose Atelier Marcela pillbox

For American brides, what are some of the hottest trends in headpieces and veils?
There is such wonderful range of choice in styles of weddings and wedding dresses now that a bride can choose to express her personal style in almost any way she likes. For those brides who are lucky enough to have their mother’s or grandmother’s veil, many are choosing a beautiful floral comb or clip, such as our Lucienne style, that can be worn under the veil and then kept on for the rest of the wedding and reception once the veil is removed.

With the increased popularity of more casual weddings, such as those at City Hall or in a beautiful garden, many brides are choosing a more modern headpiece such as our Beatrix or Amalia birdcage veils. These are pieces that look and feel bridal but with a fun, fresh and modern twist to them

Genevieve Rose Atelier Amalia

Do you think the royal wedding will influence bridal style here in the U.S.?
Undoubtedly, whatever gown Meghan chooses to wear is certain to influence bridal style in the United States and around the world, as will smaller details such as the silhouette of her bridesmaid and flower girls dresses and the overall color palette of the wedding.

The British absolutely love the pomp and ceremony of a royal event, which is always synonymous with wearing fabulous hats and headpieces. Any excuse to dress up! I’m sure their American guests will love the chance to participate in these wonderful traditions and will carry some of the royal style back home with them.