All over the world hats are worn for several reasons. One is to protect the face from the bad effect of sun rays. Another reason is connected to the dress code for a certain social class. Most of the times in upper classes both men and women hats have more to do with fashion than with any practical aspect. On the other hand in simpler environments men and women wear hats to be protected by the sun when working in the open air.
The British occasion hats are representative for the first category. They are very famous throughout the world as well as the subject of many controversies. Women wear special hats in Britain because of religious requirements, because of the tradition, to flash their fortune and to have fun. Their interesting shapes have emerged from a combination of all these social factors.
For religious considerations, women have to keep their heads covered in church, unlike men. On the other hand when attending a daytime event, like horse races or even weddings, the traditional dress code is morning suits for the gentlemen and hats for the ladies. It became part of every British wedding to watch a real parade of hats, amazing by their style, color and size. There is always an unspoken competition between the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom regarding the entire outfit.