Have you ever said "I like hats, but they never look right on me"? Every milliner hears this and they all enjoy proving it to be false! People simply haven't found the right hat for them, or don't have the confidence to wear them. In reality, hats give you confidence, and any milliner will assure you there is a hat for everyone.
The perfect hat will enhance your appearance by balancing out your face shape and frame. So how do you find the right one?
With the hat sitting on the most photographed part of your body (hopefully), finding a hat for your face shape and colours that suit your colourings are the first things one should consider. Finding a hat for your body proportions are definetely something you need consider though, along with finding the right style for the occassion that you will be wearing it. A hat that will turn heads at Royal Ascot, or be the best hat for the Kentucky Derby, will probably not be the best hat for your best friends wedding. Click the hyperlinks to view tips on those other considerations, but read on for my tips on finding hats to suit your body shape.
In soooo many instances I see cases where the problem isn't that the hat doesn't suit the wearer, but rather that the wearer simply isn't used to seeing themselves in Hats, so they argue "Hats don't suit me".
Have you ever been to your hairdresser and asked for a dramatic change to your haircut - shown them a picture of the cut you'd like, maybe asked for a fringe to be cut in. The hairdresser does exactly as you asked but "you just don't like it, it doesn't suit you, and you regret asking for it"?.
One week later everyone has been telling you they love your new haircut, and how it suits you. You are totally in love with it, and agree it's fab. Truth is the haircut was great and DID suit you the moment the hairdresser cut it, but you weren't used to it.
The same is true with hats - sometimes it's simply that you are not used to hats and think they don't suit you, when really the case is that you aren't used to seeing yourself in one.
The above said, there are definetly some guidelines to help you find the best hat for your Body Shape, (and also see seperate article on Face Shape). Hat know-how used to be something all women just knew when hats and gloves were part of every woman’s wardrobe. Hats completed their daily outfits. They were surrounded by choices. They would never have looked in the mirror and said "Hats don't suit me", because they knew exactly which ones to buy - knowledge passed through the generations.
Fashions have changed through the decades with hats coming in and out of fashion, fabrics have changed, shapes have changed, but one thing that remains are the few simple tips to balance your hat with your Body shape. Rules that have worked for fashionable women through all past generations. They still all apply today just as well as they did for your mothers and grandmothers back in the day.
Please don't consider them rigid though. If you find a hat you like, then wear it. The hat you like will be the one you carry with most confidence, and that's the most important tip.
Below is a gallery of some suggestions and examples I've hunted out for you (I constantly update, add, remove). This gallery includes some affiliate links to other retailers. If you see anything you like, click the links and decide to buy the suggestion, then the retailer will give me a little commission (maybe even enough to buy a latte) to thank me - at no cost to you.
P: 01344 891755
Rules followed by fashionistas through all past generations:
If you are Petite
If you're PETITE, don't choose hats with really wide brims. Generally, the shorter your body, the narrower your hat brim should be. A wide brimmed dramatic garden party hat looks great on a tall woman, but will be overwhelming on your petite frame. Select instead hats that have interesting detail to the crown, or pretty cocktail hats. To add inches then a hat with interesting features and feathers on the crown will give the impression of extra height. Tall crown hats that have Upturned brims can also make you look taller.
Sculptural Headpieces with pretty detail, but no brims at all are popular for Petite frames. Whether your style is fashion-forward or classic, you will find a Smartie, Pillbox or Button headpiece perfect for your day at the races, or Mother of the Bride outfit.
If you are Full Figured
If you're FULL FIGURED, choose wider, full-brimmed hats that can add balance to a curvy figure. You are lucky and can really go to town with large 'Kentucky Derby' hats, floaty as you like and covered in all the longest feathers your milliner can find.
If you are Tall
If you're TALL, choose hats with a wide brim, as your frame will allow this and select a shorter crown to avoid making you look like a giant. If you are super tall and want to disguise your height, then select downturned brims that will help you look a little shorter. Avoid narrow, angular-shaped hats. If opting for a headpiece, choose one that is larger on the base than in height - like a Pillbox.
If you are Broad Shouldered
If you're BROAD SHOULDERED, choose a bigger hat to balance your silhouette. A wide brimmed hat worn with an A-line dress will slim your shoulders.