Royal Visit: Hats do double duty at the Foundation Polo Challenge

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Though the Duchess of Cambridge didn’t wear a hat to the Foundation Polo Challenge at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club, plenty of spectators did, sporting floppy straw hats as well as custom-made fedoras and the feather fascinators the duchess herself helped make so popular. Most hats were festive and looked mainly to be just for show, but once everyone headed to the stands to watch the polo match, they were happy to have (at least a partial) shield from the sun.

Baron Michael Blakey wore a decidedly rock-and-roll-style black straw fedora festooned collage-style, with black leather patches, feathers and silver spikes. His wife, Sasha, wore an elaborate headpiece rivaling her husband’s as far as eye-catching detail, this one a tan wide-brimmed hat with brown and white feathers covering the entire surface.


Doug Spearman, an actor, writer and avid polo player, donned a black-and-white gingham shirt from Ralph Lauren and a summery white Gucci suit topped off with a white Bailey hat that had a black-and-white band. His just-as-coordinated friend Susan Michals was put together in a navy-and-white printed Kay Unger wrap dress, a tan straw Louise Green hat with matching navy-blue bow and navy-blue espadrilles.

For head gear that was much more decorative than functional, Linda Graham sported what she called a half-fascinator that matched her light-colored Azadeh Couture dress. And Margarita Landy wore an Arturo Rios hat that had fuchsia floral plumage jutting straight out of the base and looked just right with her short pixie crop.

Jessica Kantor wore a dramatically wide-brimmed straw hat by James Coviello for Club Monaco that nearly eclipsed her tiny frame but provided some coverage from the sun while looking very stylish.


Duchess of Cambridge presents trophy to William, the Foundation Team

Royal Visit: The Duchess of Cambridge wows the polo crowd in Santa Barbara

Photos, from the top down: Baron Michael Blakey’s hat; Susan Michals and Doug Spearman; Linda Graham and Margarita Landy; Jessica Kantor. Credit: Cory Desrosiers