Tips for Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot is an amazingly fun and fabulous day out, but it is also quite long so here are some tips to help you get through the day with no problems!


letterbox_resizeimage593x426xA6SozL86XxOur first tip is to have a big breakfast! Of course, there are lots of different food stools and chances to eat but the day will be quite long so it’s easier to have lots of energy and not rushed to eat.


_89976647_c7fdf6a7-063c-4353-8a3a-497eb51722d7Unfortunately, hats aren’t waterproof! This isn’t good news if typical English weather takes over. We highly recommend you pack away a tiny umbrella that will cover your hat just in case a small shower hits the course. It’s better to be over prepared than have a soggy hat!



Following the previous tip, a bag with a strap will be very helpful. We know that a clutch bag is the best way to make your outfit look simple and stylish, but having an attachable strap is the best of both worlds. During the day you can tuck the strap away neatly into the bag and then when your arms get tired from carrying it at the end of the day just take it out and rest it comfortably on your shoulders. This way you can keep your things easily nearby and all in one place (including your tiny umbrella)


ascot-startAs betting is one of the key things to do on race day, a set budget will be very helpful. You may think you are an extremely responsible person with a real talent of sticking to a budget. Well, come race day these traits will be lost on you! With the vibrant energy on the course you will want to take it over the top and put down as much as you can without thinking. This happens to every single one of us! If you have a set amount, then you won’t feel as carried away.


EMP_BRK_201714826-93Take lots of pictures! Our final tip may be an obvious one, but with the excitement people often forget to take pictures. It’s a really fun day where you dress your best so don’t miss out on capturing the memories. It’s also good to take pictures at the start of the day when your outfit is fresh and ready to go, so that it can be seen in the best possible light.


We hope you have a fabulous day!

Thanks for reading


Bee Smith Millinery


Royal Ascot enclosures

img_4423.jpgRoyal Ascot has lots of rules about clothing requirements in different enclosures, but don’t worry we are here to break it down a bit more for you here. There is a total of four different enclosures. This includes; The Royal enclosure, The Windsor enclosure, The Queen Anne enclosure and The Village enclosure. All specific rules will be listed under each enclosure.


The first enclosure is the ‘Royal’ enclosure. This is for the Royal family and invite only members, so being as best dressed as you can be is very important. It is very exciting to see what the people inside it wear, we look out for it every year as a little bit of outfit inspiration! We recommend a large and exciting style of hat to go with your best outfit.

Set rules for this enclosure:

Ladies are kindly reminded that formal daywear is a requirement in the Royal Enclosure, defined as follows:


  • Dresses and skirts should be of modest length defined as falling 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 are not permitted.
  • Jackets and pashminas may be worn. Tops and dresses underneath should still comply with the Royal Enclosure Dress Code. Midriffs must be covered.
  • Trouser suits are welcome. They should be of full-length to the ankle and of matching material and colour.
  • Jumpsuits are welcome. They should fall below the knee, with regulations matching that for dresses.
  • Hats should be worn; however, a headpiece which has a solid base of 4 inches (10cm) or more in diameter is acceptable as an alternative to a hat. Fascinators are not permitted.


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The ‘Queen Anne’ enclosure is the available to the public. It has spots that are perfect for picnics and shopping around for some fancy treats. This dress code is stricter than the other enclosures (aside from the Royal enclosure) so make sure you dress to impress! We recommend a large hat such as a wide Brim or eccentric style to match the stylish and almost Royal atmosphere.

Set rules for this enclosure:

Ladies within the Queen Anne Enclosure are required to dress in a manner as befits a formal occasion and are kindly asked to take note of the following:


  • A hat, headpiece or fascinator should be worn at all times.
  • Strapless and sheer dresses and tops are not permitted. Please note our definition of strapless necklines include off-the shoulder, Bardot and one shoulder.
  • Trouser suits must be full-length, and jumpsuits should fall below the knee. Both must adhere to the neckline regulations above.
  • Midriffs must be covered.
  • Shorts are not permitted.

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The ‘Village’ enclosure is a fine place to see the views and join in on the fun. It’s only just slightly less formal and sadly doesn’t allow picnics, but it does have food and drink available from around the globe to buy and enjoy. It’s just as fun for a fancy and fun day out with your friends.  This enclosure was only just opened in 2017, making it the first enclosure to open at the Royal Meeting for more than 100 years. We think that a slightly eccentric headpiece is great for this enclosure, as it’s not too big and will help your outfit to pop!

Set rules for this enclosure:

Ladies within the Village Enclosure are required to dress in a manner as befits a formal occasion and are kindly asked to take note of the following:

  • A hat, headpiece or fascinator should be worn at all times.
  • Strapless and sheer dresses and tops are not permitted. Please note our definition of strapless necklines include off-the shoulder, Bardot and one shoulder.
  • Trouser suits must be full-length, and jumpsuits should fall below the knee. Both must adhere to the neckline regulations above.
  • Midriffs must be covered.
  • Shorts are not permitted.


maxresdefault (3).jpgThe final enclosure is the ‘Windsor’ enclosure. This enclosure is the least formal out of the four but again, it’s still great fun! Food stools and drinks are available while you get to watch race unfold and join in with dressing up and overall atmosphere of the race. We recommend a small beret or headpiece to match a lovely summer dress.

Set rules for this enclosure:

Whilst there is no official Dress Code for the Windsor Enclosure, ladies and gentlemen are encouraged to dress in smart daywear. It is recommended that ladies wear smart attire with a hat or fascinator and gentlemen wear jacket, collared shirt and full-length trousers.


Thanks for reading!

Bee Smith Millinery



What to wear for Epsom Derby day

Ladies day and Derby Day are just around the corner. This will be the 240th annual running of the Derby horse race. Ladies day is on the Friday before Derby day on May 31st. and Derby day is held on Saturday June 1st, both at Epsom Downs. This is an exciting day that comes before Royal Ascot, getting us excited to plan our day and most importantly our outfits!


Unlike Royal Ascot, the clothing guidelines are a bit more flexible. This gives you a chance to show of your style with little restriction, which is what we love to see! Ladies day is especially important to show off your look as there is a style award prize. By showing an original look that’s cool and classy, you could win the annual award.


However, there are some restrictions, such as no trainers or jeans. It’s also a rule that you must wear a hat or fascinator, but we think this should be a rule everywhere! We recommend you read over our ‘spring time tips’ blog to brush up on what style and colour to wear but we have a few extra tips for you here.

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We think that colour may be the most important aspect to any outfit! If you keep within one colour scheme, it will make your outfit look well put together and flawless. Usually, when we make a hat for a client, we ask them to bring in their dress (or outfit) that they will be wearing to the occasion so we can find a perfect colour match! This is a customisation service we provide free of charge as we know how important matching colours are in an outfit. We also customise the headband to your hat to match your hair colour if you want that extra touch of flawlessness.

It’s good to go all out! If you want to really turn heads at the tracks, wear something a little out there. You can do this by wearing a plain outfit and a large hat or an over the top outfit and a smaller hat. But if you’re brave enough a large hat with a bold outfit will always be our favourite combination. We have an endless number of feathers and other accessories to add to your hat, including flamingos! Don’t be shy, try out any style and see what it would look like with a little flair!

Our final tip is not to stress too much on fashion. Planning an outfit is important on a significant day with prizes and celebrities, yes. However, it’s just a fun way to express yourself. If you don’t feel confident then you won’t feel comfortable, so don’t wear something you don’t like in the name of fashion. We have a lovely selection of hats for hire if you just need that extra touch to your outfit. It’s also there just in case you left your look a bit late and need a hat quickly!

We can’t wait to see the way you style your outfit for Ladies day and Derby day! Our studio is always open if you need some hat help.


Thanks for reading!

Bee Smith Millinery


Spring time activities

5 things to do in East London!

Spring is such a fun time to go out and have fun! There are plenty of things to do in the area of East London, including Kingston, where we are based!  We made a list of fun things to do so you can get inspired for something to do!


The first thing on the list is the Battersea Art’s Centre! There are so many exciting things to see here. There is a vast variety of music, comedy, theatre and even spoken word. We recommend seeing the list of acts they have on offer as you will always find something great to see! There is something for everyone, we love the comedy in particular!


Easter egg hunts are also a fantastic way to spend a day out in the sun with the whole family. There are lots available, however, ‘Bockett’s Farm Easter Eggstavaganza’ is something that seems especially exciting! This hunt allows guests to see and pet the different animals on the farm. Something very Easter appropriate and extremely fun. This activity was also mentioned in ‘Time & Leisure’s’ website!


A food festival is also a great chance to get out there and have some fun in the sun! Who doesn’t love a day trying different food and drink! Old Deer Park will be hosting the event so local businesses can share the food they make. It’s a fun event for the family, but also a nice thing to do for a quiet day out too.


Art classes and workshops are another fun way to spend the day. There is such a wide variety of choices in the area you can do as many as you want and pick one you like to do over the whole month! You can learn a new skill and take your friends with you. This is super fun for painting, and you can practice at home easily!

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Speaking of workshops, our final event is our very own hat making workshop! We like to focus on having fun and creating something you will love! The workshop is running monthly and made for you to take all your friends. We bring a glass of bubbly so you don’t want to miss out on the fun! The Instagram account for this is now available too, just a click away :

Thanks for reading!

Bee Smith Millinery


Hat Timeline

This week we are writing about the different types of hat styles through the years! We thought that doing a timeline of hat styles would be a fun way to show a little bit of history and see how we got to the hat styles we have now!

first pic bonnet


Hats such as the bonnet were used because of the function. Unfortunately, the function was to keep their faces hidden to avoid male attention. They did frame the face nicely though. The term milliner didn’t come around until the 1500s, it derived from milliners. Milliners are importers of fine straw hats!


By the 1900s, women’s hats were covered in fine materials such as feathers, ribbon and lace. Hats were often worn to indirectly show off the wealth that the wearer had. Some hats were even so big, women would lose their balance.


In the 1950s, it wasn’t common for people to leave the house without a hat on. Pre-war, smaller and smart hats were favoured. They would often match in colour to the outfit they would wear.


The 1960s was the era of the pillbox hat. Made popular by people such as Jackie Kennedy, this smart hat was the new favourite. The pillbox was first worn by actress Greta Garbo in the 1930s. However, Jackie Kennedy’s milliner took the style and redesigned it for her. She became a style icon from this.


Over the later 60s and 70s, hats were less popular due to the rise in hairstyle trends that left no space for a hat. Hats were still work to events by the upper class, but it was mostly saved for that. Flower crowns however, are a trend that can still be included!


Over the 1980s, hats started to come back into fashion after the royal family starting to wear some amazing designs, making the hat a stylish accessory again. Princess Diana was a major player in bringing hats back. She was known for her iconic fashion style.

Britain's Princess Beatrice attends the

Currently, hats are still around! The style has yet again changed, with the royals favouring fascinators now. The royal weddings are the place for people to see what hats were back in fashion.

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This year, there is a large mixture of styles and colours, with people finding what they like!

Thank you for reading!

Bee Smith Millinery


Vintage Celebrity Hats

Following last week’s blog post of our favourite celebrity hats, we created another list honouring vintage celebrities and their hats. We hope you enjoy the list!

Carmen Miranda

For those who don’t know who Carmen Miranda is, she was a Brazilian singer, dancer and actress during the 30s and 40s. She is best known for her iconic fruit hat that she often wore in different variations. She was the first Latin American star to be invited to leave her hand and footprints in the courtyard of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, on top of that she was also the first South American honoured with a star on the Hollywood walk of fame!



Cher is an American singer who is known for her style and unique voice. Cher was all about the glitz and glam. She is an interesting individual with some exciting outfits under her belt. Not just from the past eras, but also from her more recent years too. We choose some outfits we love with some amazing hats too.


Audrey Hepburn

We couldn’t do a list without Audrey Hepburn! This natural beauty will be known forever for the different films she starred in. Roman Holiday and Breakfast at Tiffany’s are just two! She defined the era she was in and could wear any type of hat and still look amazing.


Elizabeth Taylor

When you think of glamour, we have no doubt that Ms.Taylor comes to mind! She was known for her dark and thick hair, make up and luxurious style. She played Cleopatra and looked so good doing it! We love how she used to add an expensive broach to most of her hats, they look so pretty!


Jackie Onassis

Jackie was an absolute fashion icon. She may as well could have invented the pillbox style hat! She always looked so sophisticated and minimalistic. She had her own style and knew it well. Other first ladies after her had some very large (fashionable) shoes to fill!


As always, we hope you enjoyed this list! Don’t forget to comment!

Bee Smith Millinery



Celebrity hats!

This week, our blog post is dedicated solely to celebrities and their hats! We love to look at celebrity hats just as much as the Royal hats! Enjoy our list of celebrities, we hope you enjoy!

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga is without a doubt an absolute fashion icon. You can probably think of at least one look she has done, whether it was back in her crazier years or more recently when she has focused on being a bit softer. We love gaga here at Bee Smith studios, not only her music, but her style! Gaga is a huge fan of wearing hats, we love to see the different styles she has worn over the years, they are always so different and exciting to see! It’s clear the pop princess loves an artistic and colourful piece. We can’t pick one single hat to talk about, so here’s a style evolution of her hats!

When she first starting to get popular, she opted for the slightly bolder looks that were just unforgettable. These hats are truly art pieces and fit exactly the persona that she was sporting during the time. As time goes on, her style is still quite bold, but now takes the form of a more minimalistic look. Regardless of what era the hats are in, they are all incredible! It’s so nice to see that she still loves to accessorise with a hat.

Amal Clooney

While Mrs. Clooney hasn’t got a style as wild as lady Gaga’s, we still think her style is lovely. She often opts for a bright colour worn in a minimalistic way, such as little jewellery and make up. She can often be seen wearing bright flowey dresses, this gives such a luxurious and pretty feel. Her hats often match the colour of her outfit exactly. This is such a nice way to make a statement without going outside of your comfort zone.


Paloma Faith

British singer Paloma Faith is known for her quirky style and powerful voice. She likes a lot of colour and pattern, with a vintage feel. She likes to wear hats that compliment her outfit and help her to make a statement. Like lady Gaga, she used to wear outfits that were bolder, but to suit her age better her style has since evolved to a more sophisticated stylishness.



Beyonce is an American singer and another fashion icon. She is popular all over the world and has worn some fantastic hats. She often opts for a minimalistic and sleek style, unless she is performing, during her shows she wears extravagant and bold outfits. Her hats are often an exact match to the outfit she is wearing with, sometimes even going as far as matching in material. It goes to show that millinery can go as far as a fashionable American icon!


Katherine Jenkins

The last celebrity on the list is British opera singer Katherine Jenkins. She is often seen in a lovely hat that is bright and beautifully made. We love that she can always be seen with a smile and a fantastic outfit!


If you were inspired by these hats, why not head to our website so you can see what we have!

Don’t forget to comment your favourite hat or your favourite celebrity and let us know if we missed out on anyone!

Thanks again for reading!

Bee Smith Millinery


Make-up tips for your hat!

This week, we decided to talk about how hats fit in with accessorising and make-up!

This can be a rather daunting discussion if you haven’t worn many hats before, but there are some tips that could be helpful. So, we thought we could dedicate this week’s post for them! These are all tips of course; we are sure you look incredible however you choose to wear your hat!


Our first tip is to try and avoid wearing big earrings with a hat. Big earrings often distract and clash with a hat, especially a big hat! A hat is usually the biggest accessory with an outfit, and as coco Chanel says: “always take one item off before leaving the house”. Having two big accessories often look too clunky and take away the elegant feel.

Fig 3-4

Tip number two is not to wear eye make-up that will clash with the colour of the hat. We at Bee Smith studios love colour! Sadly though, often times when a hat is a bold colour, and so is the wearers eyeshadow it can look a little too busy. The perfect colour is a good colour match to the hat or a light shimmery shade. This way the hat is nicely complimented!

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Tip number three is to not wear too much of any make-up in general. This is a make-up tip that people often follow in day to day life. However, when wearing a hat, it is nice to have a simple and glowy look. Too much blush or lipstick will take away from the elegant and simple look.

Fig 7-9

The next tip is regarding any hat that also has a veil. If you wear eyelashes that are too big or too thick, it may get caught in the veil! This will be annoying for the wearer as they will have to constantly adjust the way it sits on their face. A veil is a lovely type of hat, don’t let big eyelashes ruin them!

Fig 10

Our final tip is to go to the hairdresser with your hat before a big event! The stylist will know what will look good and how to create the look with your hair. The goes for any hat! They are happy for you to take it with you and can find a style that you like with the hat. This is perfect for a big event that you want to look just right for!

Thanks so much for reading this week’s blog! We hope you enjoyed it and don’t forget; you are beautiful regardless of these tips!





Picture references

Fig 1: Google images: (Big earrings)

Fig2: Bee Smith Millinery: (Downturned Two Tone Brim)

Fig 3: Pinterest: (rainbow eye make-up)

Fig 4: Pinterest: (natural eye make-up)

Fig 5: Google images: (Too much blush)

Fig 6: Google images: (Meghan Markle make-up)

Fig 7: Google images: (Long fake eyelashes)

Fig 8: Bee Smith Millinery A/W photoshoot

Fig 9: Bee Smith Millinery: (Red and pink waffle veil)

Fig 10: Bee Smith Millinery: (Dusky pink asymetric brim)




Royal Ascot

In case you didn’t know before, we at Bee Smith studios love Royal Ascot! We think it’s a fun day out with lots to do and talk about, as well as having a chance to dress up. The event welcomes around 300,000 visitors over 5 days! Hats are also an important part of the event, so naturally we love to look at the different styles! Ascot is now 98 days away, so we thought we would talk about it this week!

Royal Ascot first started in 1711, being founded by Queen Ann. 7 horses competed in the first ever race called “Her Majesty’s Plate”. It’s still an important part of British history now, different members of the royal family attend every year. As the queen has had an interest in horses since she was young, she also comes every year. We especially love to see what hats they wear! A royal ascot style guide is released each year with the event to help us see what can be good to wear, adding to the fun of looking at the different outfits and see if anyone took the advice! We are lucky to have been featured in it last year with our ‘Nasturtium headpiece’.

Ascot is a truly English day out to remember.

The style guide video for this years video is here for you to see too!


Are you just as excited as us too now?

Our Favourite Royal Hats

As we here at Bee Smith Studios make some glorious hats, we love to see what the royals are up to with their hat wardrobe. We don’t have a favourite royal and can’t pick a favourite hat! But we made a list of 5 different hats that we love and partnered them with hats that we make, just in case you want to feel like a royal for one day too!


The first hat on our list is HRH Princess Beatrice wearing Laura Apsit Livens at Royal Ascot June 2015. We love the simplicity of this outfit. The colours are soft and sweet, as well as the perfect palette for summer time. Not only is it simple, but it also makes a statement by having the dress a different colour to her hat. We think this is a perfect example of simplicity mixed with statement without it being too extravagant. If this is your style, our ‘downturned two-tone brim’ is a similar style!

The next hat on our list is HRH Princess Eugenie wearing Bee Smith Millinery to the Trooping of the Colour, June 2018. We’re so proud to say this is our hat, the ‘Leaf Brim’! We got a mention the royal hats blog for favourite royal hats of 2018: New designs. This hat is elegant, fun and the perfect style for summer. The size of it is also perfect for keeping the sun out of your eyes. We especially love the pattern on this hat because it gives a lovely vintage feel while also being an up to date and fashionable piece. If you love this too, check it out on our website!

Third on the list is HRH Duchess of Cambridge wearing Jane Taylor. What’s not to love! Occasionally, we love to experiment with colour and shapes, and this is a perfect way of doing it in a classy and elegant way. Ruffles or a bold colour such as pink is an exciting way to mix up a simple look and this has both! Everything in this picture is flawless, from hair to earrings to make up and the hat ties everything together. If you love this look too, we have a similar hat, the ‘Pink Ruffle Seagrass Beret’

Next on the list is HRH Duchess of Sussex wearing Philip Treacy. This is another hat that perfectly fits the look of simplicity and elegance. This is a glamorous addition to any outfit. It helps to make the ensemble altogether flawless, the make-up, hair, soft pink colour and jewellery all go together perfectly. If you love this look as much as us, our ‘Audrey Brim’ is a similar style.

Finally, we have HRH Duchess of Cambridge wearing Gina Foster. We had to have the Duchess of Cambridge in again, this hat is amazing. The colour is a beautiful bold colour that suits her hair colour so well. The simple shape with the addition of a bow is a stylish and fun look, while again looking elegant. If you like this hat, our ‘green bow pillbox’ is similar!

All of the hats above from Bee Smith are available to buy from! We hoped you agree with the list, leave a comment with if you do and if not, why!