Over the past 60 years or so, hats have gone from being an everyday accessory, without which many people would not consider setting foot out of doors, to a special occasion indulgence – a glamorous treat to be worn rarely and with the greatest of pride.
But as fewer and fewer occasions demand a hat; women are losing touch with how to choose headgear that truly suits them.
Shopping for a hat to wear at a specific occasion, such as a family wedding or a big day out at the races, should be a real girly treat – a chance to pore over colours, shapes and trims in order to track down a crowning glory that will make you look your very best and, ideally, help to make to make a special day even more memorable.
What a shame that so many people, faced with having to buy best snapback hats, go into fashion meltdown and, convinced that they are ‘not a hat person’ end up plumping for the so-called safe option – usually a stiff department store boater in blue or cream that goes with everything but doesn’t really do either the outfit or its wearer any favours on the big day.
The reason why so many people who feel anxious about choosing a hat end up with small, conservatively-decorated confections is because they look at the hat first and reject anything striking on the grounds that it will make them feel too conspicuous.
But in reality, wearing a hat is all about getting noticed – for all the right reasons.
The ideal hat for a given occasion is not a specific size or shape – it is one that fits its owner and makes her feel a million dollars.
When hat shopping, there is no substitute for trying things on.
Station yourself in front of a mirror and try everything – even hats that don’t immediately appeal to you when you see them on the shelf.
Either be prepared to be honest with yourself or take a friend who is blesses with good taste and can give you an unbiased assessment of which hats suit you – your figure, your hairstyle, face shape and skin tone.
Because your hat is worn closest to your face, it’s always best to choose a colour that flatters you, casting warm light to brighten your appearance if you tend to have a sallow complexion or filtering light to even out a more florid skin tone, rather than slavishly trying to match the obscure colour of a handbag or a pair of shoes.
A special hat should be an investment, so choose one that incorporates a favourite colour that always works well on you – then you will never have any shortage of outfits you can wear it with.
If you have particularly striking eyes, you could even go for a hat that accentuates your natural assets.
1.If you are going to an all-day event, it’s worth considering a fascinator. These hair accessories are every bit as attractive as a hat but are lighter to wear and, if you have to remove them at any point, won’t leave you with tell-tale flat ‘hat-hair’.
2.If you wear glasses, try wearing a hat with an upturned brim or asymmetric shape. Flowerpot styles, which come to rest on top of your frames, will cast your whole face into shadow.
3.Make sure your hat works with your hairstyle, not forcing it into unflattering tufts around your face. As long as you are comfortable with hiding your hair, tucking it behind your ear and up into the hat will usually look neatest.
4.When trying on a hat, make sure you place it firmly in the centre of your head and that it is neither too tight nor too loose. An over-large hat which looks fine at a rakish angle in the shop will become a nuisance during an all-day event, when it keeps sliding over your eyes.
5.Tall people can get away with wearing most styles of hat, but petite people would be well-advised to avoid cloche-style hats, which have the effect of drawing the eye downwards.
Shop for a hat today!