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Hazel Finney and Janet Rowland have been getting ahead in the fashion stakes for the famous race meeting since they retired from their jobs at HSBC and set up their renowned shop more than 10 years ago.
The pair stock hundreds of hats and head-pieces for hire and sale, and order in hundreds of new styles every year for Ladies Day and Aintree, both of which see clients from across the north west and as far afield as Newcastle and the Isle of Man galloping to the Childwall shop.
Laughs Hazel: “We had a mad moment when we thought we were going to retire and sell the business – but we’re still here and this year we’ve bought more new stock than ever.
“Women at the moment seem indecisive as to what they’re wearing with many ordering three and four dresses before they make up their minds.
“But we are also seeing a growing trend again for people having dresses made, which we hadn’t seen as much of over the last couple of years.”
Hazel says the races being a week earlier this year seems to have left some stores a little unprepared with many failing to have full stock in yet, but she adds: “We are pleased to say we are ready with more stock arriving daily.
“We are not seeing a dominant style or colour so far this year, it’s across the board, but there are certainly some favourites emerging.”
So, when it comes to headwear, what will be the runners and riders for Aintree 2020?
It’s five years it first made headway, but blush and nude shades are still on trend.
Cobalt and navy blue are still giving other colours a run for their money, with ivory and shades of white among the front runners.
Black is this year’s dark horse with the monochrome must-have retaining its place in the fashion stakes, along with forest green which is blossoming as an outside favourite.
And yellow and mustard are coming up on the inside rail.
Dresses seem to be leading the way ahead of trousers or other outfit styles so far this year, with lace, which had trailed a little behind over the last two years, coming out in fabric front.
And, while the money is still on fascinators and discs on hairbands for most racegoers, you can bet on a few surprises too.
This year there’s a definite draw towards the pillbox hat but with a structured trim; and thick headbands like those favoured by the Duchess of Cambridge are definitely going to be making their way onto the course.
General: A traditional hat shape should be worn just above the eyebrows and at a slight angle. Never wear a hat at the back of the head like a sun hat.
Heart-shaped face: Choose hats with medium-sized brims and neat crowns.
Oblong face: Select hats with a flared upward brim and crowns deep enough to cover the forehead. Avoid slim pointed or tall crowns and narrow brims.
Oval face: Almost all hats look good – wear across the eyebrow or hairline and avoid those with a crown narrower than your cheekbones.
Round face: Go for asymmetrical shapes or slant a straight-brimmed hat into an angle to balance out the roundness of the face an add height.
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