Fact: I have a lot of hats. Another fact: I don't wear any of them. On the rare occasion I have worn one I get lovely comments - "Ooh what a wonderful hat!" "Don't you look fabulous!" - but it doesn't stop me feeling like a knob. In my mind there are two types of people - hat people, and not-hat people. One-fifth of our population can get away with wearing any sort of hat they like, but much less than one-fifth of us are wearing hats. Why? Don't ask. Or do, I think it's ridiculous. That we don't wear hats, I mean. See, I'm being a hypocrite.
When I distance myself from the idea of ME actually donning a hat, they make a lot of sense. Hats not only keep your head warm, sun-free, cool, whatever, but they give you a whole nother dimension to your outfit. Shoes, clothes, jewellery, you say? Well I've just thrown in a fourth. And for lovers of fashion, that should seem a miracle equation. So why the phobia over hats?
I don't care that I look like an idiot, drag queen, walking circus in any other garment, but I feel overdone and try-hard when I'm wearing a hat. Strangely, though, if I look at a picture of myself I think I rather suit them. Maybe this is the Fashion God telling me to get over myself and wear one?
I worry that if I start wearing hats I become one of those people who wear hideous clothing because they think it looks good on them. I was in a shop last week and a yellow woman walked in. No I mean yellow. Yellow jacket, skirt, boots, earrings, bag, hair clips. The shop assistant smirked and then gushed "Wow! You look amazing!" The look of joy in the yellow woman's face filled the whole room. She got it all the time, and she loved it. She was constantly being provoked into wearing more awful outfits thanks to nasty shop assistants. I fear that the "Ooh what a wonderful hat!" comments may be in the same vein. Are hats my one sartorial weakness?
In an effort to get over myself and to convince you chaps that hats are more than OK, I have decided to help you pick your best. When I say one-fifth of the population can wear any hat they want, I mean people with an oval face shape. For the rest of us there are a few simple rules to follow. Follow these rules and maybe we can get the whole population back into wearing hats like in my Grandma's day. Whoopee!
The Heart-Shaped Face:
The heart-shaped face is wider at the top and comes down to a sharp point at the chin. Heart-shaped faces suit small hats worn high on the head. This balances out a sharp chin. An eye-catching trim or a few flowers poked through the side will draw the eye upwards to help with the balancing act. Heart shaped faces should keep away from wide floppy brimmed hats, as they'll only make your chin look sharper and topple your facial balance into oblivion.
Heart shapes' best hats, clockwise from top left: $34.95 from Portmans, $79 Brixton from Good as Gold, Topshop, and Brixton again $99 from Good as Gold.
The Long Face:
Long faces are just that - long. Hats with a deep crown like a bucket hat are good for long faces, and any other styles that sit low on the forehead - as this helps to shorten the face. Fedoras, bowlers or any styles that you can wear low are perfect for you. Keep well away from hats with ultra-tall crowns - you don't need the extra length in your face.
Best hats for a long face, clockwise from top left: Portmans $34.95, A bucket hat by Brixton $79 from Good as Gold, another Brixton $109, and another straw this time $99.
Hats for oval face shapes:
The oval. Perfectly balanced, elegant, screw you oval. You can wear any kind of hat. At all.
You know the first three (Portmans and Brixton), the grey fedora is by Hills Hats (pop on to their website for stockists), the blue floppy is David Lawrence for $79, and there's that Topshop one again.
Hats for a Round face:
Ol' Kirsten has a round face, and she wears it well. Round faces need hats that sharpen the face and help it to have angles. Medium to large brims are best (a little pork pie perked on the tippy top of you head will make you look like a pork pie), and look for hats with tall or angular crowns. Try to wear your hats of to the side slightly (though not in a gangster way), as this will help to create more angles. Fedoras or trilbies are good for you.
Hats for round faces, clockwise from top left: Portmans, Hills Hats and another Hills Hats hat.
Hats for a square face:
If you have a square face then you have quite a square jaw, and your forehead will generally go straight(ish) along the top. Bowler hats and berets with asymmetrical brims worn off to one side will help to carve off some of the sharp angles in your face. Those elegant floppy JLo hats are also fab for square faces.
The angular ones for a square face - wear them at a "jaunty" (always wanted to use that word) angle. Portmans, a beret from Asos for $49, and a bowler from Topshop.
Now for the JLo styles, David Lawrence $79, Portmans $39, glitzy sunglasses and white flares optional.
Have you got over your hat fears yet? They all look so lovely! Can you help me get over mine? Recommendations and tips would be greatly appreciated.
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