To Beret or Not to Beret, That is the Question

Mar 09 2018 0 Comments

   

   Spring has sprung, the days are about to get a little longer, and it's time to break out our Easter bonnets. Hats provide a dual service, to protect ones face from those harsh UV rays (so we all don't end up looking like turkey jerky), and to showcase our awesome fashion skills. Or as I like to call it, I haven't washed my hair in a few days and I need something to keep me from looking like a transient. So how do you find the best style for you? Especially in this day and age when the market is flooded with so many fascinating options (more on Fascinators later). We've got you covered with the ins and outs of the old head toppers. 

    Hats are a tricky business, like sunglasses, you not only have to find one that fits your face, you also have to find one that compliments your style. Beanie, beret, fedora, panama, newsboy, floppy; with so many styles its no wonder that a lot of women say they aren't "hat people". Really, you just have to go in with an open mind and try on as many as you can to find a shape that frames your face perfectly. I'm particularly a fan of styles with adjustable insides, after all, heads are not one size fits all--especially my child sized noggin. 

   Women have been wearing hats for centuries, in fact a good headpiece has been the pinnacle of fashion for as long as style has been a word. In France, during Marie Antoinette's reign, the headpieces at court became so exceptionally large they featured things like birdcages and giant plumes. I think we can say a silent hallelujah for our spines that that trend is over and done with. In Edwardian times, bonnets were worn to keep that creamy complexion unmarred by the sun when it wasn't fashionable to have a tan. During most of the 1900's, women wouldn't dare leave their house without something atop their heads, lest someone find them uncouth. Every decade has some sort of hat trend that defines it, but its best to stick to the ones from your time--I mean it would be a touch eccentric to step into Starbucks wearing a bonnet from 1908.

    Accessorizing with a hat allows you to fully take on a certain archetype of style.  You have your cool fashion girls flooding your insta feed with pics featuring berets and the newsboy styles. The worldly traveler likely has at least a simple cap, if not a panama, in her bag. Athleisure has brought back the baseball cap in a way we haven't seen since the 90's. With the royal wedding coming up, every upper-class attendee and well-wisher will be sporting some sort of Fascinator headpiece. Those who wait every year to show off their headgear at the Kentucky Derby like hats with a lot of pizzazz and a wide brim. Personally, if you are looking to stock your closet with some ready to wear options, I would start with a panama in both a felt/wool and woven option. They are the easiest to mesh with whatever else is inside your wardrobe and have the added benefit of taking you through any season. Speaking of seasonal appropriateness...

   If you are anything like Olivia Pope (where my Scandal fans?) you'll have trouble keeping your white hat clean or weather appropriate. It's important to remember that hats come in a variety of different fabrics and weights, and that not all are created equal when the seasons change. Here are some cool options that won't show all that grime, and will get you through any season. A good cognac or taupe hat in a medium weighted fabric will go with almost if not all of your wardrobe. It can also be used throughout several seasons. Any black hat in a felt or wool is perfect for the cooler weather months. I really like a good wide brim option or a newsboy in a sturdy fabric. Straw hats are great for any and all sunny days, especially in a panama or floppy style. If you want something both easy and casual, a baseball hat is good all year round. It's really about finding different fabrics and colors that keep your head protected from the winter winds, and inversely keep you cool when the sun is beating down from above. 

    Lastly, remember, you are the one wearing the hat, don't let the hat wear you. It should feel like an extension of your usual style not like it's competing against it. As always have fun and be fearless trying new things! I know all those "non-hat" people out there are really just waiting to find their prince among the frogs. 

 



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