Panicking about a hat for The Championships? Then here are some top tips

Panicking about a hat for The Championships? Then here are some top tips

The Championship’s Winx-led showdown deserves an equally impressive headpiece. Here, leading milliner Nerida Winter offers Charlie Hale her top tips.

“My dad was a motorcycle racer, so I grew up in the racing industry,” says Nerida Winter, who founded her namesake millinery business in Double Bay 22 years ago. “All I ever wanted was a horse, but I got a bike instead.”

These days, not only is Winter a proud horse owner, but as the official milliner to the Australian Turf Club since 2003, she is at the centre of the racing world, counting Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark and Miranda Kerr among her celebrity clientele. No doubt then, that the millinery superstar knows a thing or two about stylish headwear options.

“Anyone can look great in a hat,” she says. “Apprehensive hat wearers or first timers should go to a professional and try on some basic styles — a versatile boater or a fedora, or even a floral headband or a beautiful satin wrap.” 

Winter advises opting for a classic colour that won’t date quickly: “I’m really excited about the colour scheme this year. We haven’t seen rich autumnal tones in such a directional way for quite a while. I love the deep tan and sepia colours.”

For something eye-catching, look to the season’s biggest trend: Winx blue. “We’ve sold so much of it already,” she says. “I really don’t want to see the back of Winx, but what could be better than going out in a sea of blue.”

As hats enjoy a resurgence on international runways, Winter also suggests taking hints from the fashion industry. 

“I think racegoers can find some amazing inspiration by looking to the runways, and hopefully be emboldened to try something bigger and more daring than those little bits of fascinators, which I’m not a big fan of.”

If you’re still stuck, the millinery master has a simple piece of advice: go with your gut and enjoy it. “You know when you look good, when you feel good — much like when you try on clothes,” she says. “If a leather beret makes you feel fabulous, then go for that. Fashion, especially dressing up, should be one of those little moments that make people feel great and fabulous, even if it’s just for one day at the races.”

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