Hats are still de rigueur at swish summer occasions- as we saw at Ascot last year - and they can make or break a wedding outfit. But how many of us know how to pull one off with panache?
Here's our top hat tips.
1. TAKE YOUR TIME
The first time most women buy a hat is for a special occasion like a wedding or Ascot. Yet while they spend hours trying on trousers – something they wear all the time –they rush into buying a hat, something they’ve never worn before. Choosing the style, colour and shape that’s right for you and your outfit, isn’t difficult if you know how – but it takes time.
Come and visit us we have a great selection and try on every single style. One that doesn’t immediately grab you might be just right. We have multiple mirrors, so you can see yourself from every angle. Remember, at a wedding or Bar Mitzvah, most people’s first impression of you will be from the back.
2. COLOUR MATTERS
Get the colour right and you’ll not only look sensational but knock years off your age. Don’t try and match your outfit. As long as the colour complements one of the shades in the dress or your accessories, it will look lovely. What matters is choosing a shade that suits your complexion.
Colours in hats are different from colours in clothes because the light is diffused through the hat and thrown onto the face. Apple green will give pale skin a green tinge.
Fuchsia will make you red in the face. Muted colours such as cream, lilac and dove grey are terrific on younger women but draining for anyone over 30. Either choose a bold colour or something like a neutral straw such as a boater - you can always add a ribbon in a strong colour such as acid green.
3. FACE IT
The perfect hat should complement the shape of your face. For a round face, choose something with a broad brim or small, pull-on hat. A brim wider than the face will balance it. If you have a long face, look for some kind of softness or movement such as feathers, or an adorned headband.
If you have a square face, you need an asymmetric hat which will balance your jawline. If you’re fortunate enough to have a heart shaped face, you can take your pick of styles although hats which sit high on the head and have a tall crown (the portion of the hat which sits over the head) are particularly flattering.
If you wear glasses, don’t let them overpower the hat. Pick a style that’s turned up at the front which will frame your face.
4. MATCH YOUR OUTFIT
Matching the style of your outfit is just as important as getting the colour right. If you’re wearing a tailored dress or suit, particularly if it has constructed shoulders, currently the latest look, pick a hat with structure and sharp, sleek lines such as a boater or trilby.
Remember that padded shoulders can make your neck look shorter so steer clear of styles such as the cloche which pulls the face down. If you’re wearing a floaty summer dress, you’ll look fantastic in a soft hat with drapery or ribbons. Fascinators also work well.
When visiting us please bring your outfit or something with a similar neckline to get an idea if the look works.
5. SUIT THE OCCASION
Ladies Day may be a perfect excuse to splash out on a real statement hat with plenty of oomph but if you’re a guest at a wedding, you will probably want something more subdued. A fascinator or a little pill box with a veil are ideal for an afternoon wedding going through to the evening.
If you’re the mother of the bride, remember that you will be greeting a lot of guests and wearing a wide brimmed hat can make kissing tricky.
6. ACCESSORISE IT
Take a tip from Dior designer John Galliano. All his outfits work in harmony - with hat, collar, earrings and make up all complementing each other. You can afford to wear large earrings with a little hat. But steer clear if you’re wearing a big hat. Elegant studs or pearls look lovely.
You also need to rethink your make up. Wear slightly stronger eye shadow than normal and tone down the lipstick otherwise your face will simply look too busy.
7. WEAR IT IN
Treat your hat like a new pair of shoes. Wear it in before wearing it out for the first time. Walk around the house in it - and into the garden. Feeling comfortable in your hat will give you extra confidence.
You can also check for problems. Is it going to blow off? If you’re worried, sew a comb in the back which can attach to your hair or use hair grips.
8. BACK OR FRONT
There’s no right or wrong way to wear a hat. However, people are inclined to push their hat right to the back of the head. That isn’t always the most flattering look.
Experiment before the big day. Place your hat on in front of the mirror then move it around until you get the most attractive and most comfortable angle.