Milliners offer fashionable hat hacks for Dubai World Cup 2023

Taller women can opt for small hats with veiling, while others can go as big and bold as they dare

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The thrill of horse-racing events is not only apparent on the course, but also on the sidetracks where spectators are often dressed to the nines.

The Dubai World Cup this Saturday will be no exception, with visitors set to descend upon the Meydan Racecourse sporting looks that are at once chic and bold, from stylish co-ods to maxi dresses, all in summer-bright shades.

Headpieces are a big part of horse-racing fashion, and they range from sophisticated to gravity-defying. These highly social events are a perfect opportunity to sport a statement hat or fascinator, because it's “not every day that we can wear them”, says milliner Evelyn McDermott, who lives in Dubai.

“There is a lot of freedom to be bold and get creative with what you wear to this year's Dubai World Cup,” says McDermott, who is looking forward to “wittier mixes and more animated pairings”.

Choosing an outfit for the Dubai World Cup, she adds, should start with selecting a hat and building your ensemble around it. “This gives you a foundation and then you can work from there.”

When it comes to on-trend styles, boater-style hats are making a comeback, but there is also demand for headband-style pieces, she says.

A Laguna flat brim wool-felt boater-style hat by Evelyn McDermott; Dh1,300. Photo: Evelyn McDermott

Those who are more comfortable with smaller hats can always opt for one with a flourish of veiling, which “has become a big request as an add-on to the hat”.

London milliner Ana Pribylova, who designed the hats for guests attending Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's wedding in 2018 via her Ana Bella Millinery, suggests starting small “if you have never worn a hat before or don't wear one on a regular basis. Having said that, you need to feel good in your hat; confidence is key. If you are brave and want a big hat, just go for it.”

Hat styles also vary depending on the shape of the face, says McDermott, so it is good to try on a few options to find what suits you best. Pribylova adds: “For a shorter lady, I would suggest a piece that elongates her, using trim or feathers that flow up. Taller women may not want to look any taller, so I would suggest a smaller beret-type hat.”

Finally, when it comes to material, “the amount you pay generally dictates the quality of the finished product”, says Pribylova. “A better-quality silk, leather or straw can make all the difference to the look of the hat.”

For further inspiration, look to the equestrian fashion that was already on glorious display during the Super Saturday race earlier this month. Hues of purple, pink and orange were most apparent, paired with flamboyant fascinators to complete the look.

Mrs Universe UAE 2022 third runner-up Tamara Al Tomaki attended the event donning a black and white crochet dress from Spanish fashion brand Anicy Manuguian, topped with a chic fascinator by another Spanish atelier, Colibri Hats.

Updated: March 20, 2023, 3:33 PM