Ladies’ Off-Day: The five worst hats ever seen at Royal Ascot

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The Royal Ascot is perhaps one of the most famous horse racing events in the equestrian calendar.

Closely associated with the Royal Family, the Royal Ascot sees the nation’s wealthiest gather together for a week of the most prestigious events in horse racing.

Ladies’ Day, which takes place on the Thursday of the week, sees The Gold Cup race.

Despite the best and brightest in racing taking part in this event, media coverage is generally centred on the fashion of the day.

With great wealth comes the ability to wear some of the most outlandish fashion pieces available to the public.

The majority of the attendees get the clothing right, but there are some who choose statement over style and usually manage to pinch the headlines in the process.

The fashion world certainly comes out in storm on Ladies Day, but it’s usually the hats that are the centre of attention.

Dresses are generally kept demure and plain, but women really go wild when it comes to their headgear.

Food, architecture, flowers and even vehicles have been represented on the hats in previous years and they’re just the simple designs.

Let’s take a look at some of the most outlandish and shocking hats to be seen at the Royal Ascot over the years:

In an attempt to show off her artistic appreciation, Larisa Katz chose this over-the-top umbrella hat to wear in 2012. Comprised of several outwardly facing umbrella pieces, it looks like Larisa has to hang on for dear life to keep the thing on her head.

It’s not only ugly, it’s hugely impractical; should the heavens decide to open, the hat is more likely to store water than it is to keep her dry.

Looking a little like a post-modern version of Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men, this unnamed race-goer pushed the very definition of the word ‘hat’ to its limits. Seemingly strapped to the back of her head, this colourful piece adds more inches than it does cover her hair.

Too bold and too brash, the psychedelic flower design is just too outlandish for our tastes.

Inspired by the work of Louise Dear, we can’t help but think the artwork should have been kept on canvas. Carla Creegan might have gotten away with the height of the hat thanks to the pretty cool design, but the face framing takes things a little too far.

Maybe we’re not arty enough, but this hat only serves to block the views of the paying customers around you.

We hope this race-goer in 2009 received a years’ worth of free ice-cream for agreeing to wear this monstrosity. Food hats have become nightmarishly popular in recent years, but this hat takes the biscuit when it comes to taste.

We love a 99 as much as the next person, but everything from the Flake to the shavings here leaves a bad taste in our mouths.

Words almost don’t do justice to this hat – and, yes, it is a hat. We just couldn’t fit the lady’s head in for the hat’s size. We don’t know if this headpiece serves as a pro- or anti-smoking campaign, but this visitor in 2007 left us choking on the fumes of this bad choice.

Garish, probably uncomfortable and ghastly to behold: just looking for this hat is bad for your health.

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