Buying a hat for a wedding or for a day at Ascot or another big, glamorous race meeting? Well here is all the hat-buying advice you need, as well as all the season’s most sensational hats – all chosen for the elegant, fashion-forward, mature woman.
If the occasion is a wedding, and especially if you have a bigger role in the proceedings than mere guest, if you are, say, the Mother of the Bride or the Mother of the Groom, or perhaps as the bride, then choose a hat with an upward tilting brim, rather than downward to avoid your photographs being spoilt by shadows across your face!
Also, a brim which tilts upwards will make all that kissing and air-kissing easier, as your hat won’t get knocked off or knocked askew every time someone leans in for a smacker!
If you are heading to Ascot or the Epsom Derby ensure your hat looks fabulous by tucking your hair behind your ears. If necessary use hairspray or hair-grips to hold it (but make sure the grips are hidden). If you have a fringe and your hat brim sits low on your forehead, sweep your fringe out of the way. If, however, you are wearing a fascinator or a hat that sits further back on your head, it is fine to keep that fringe.
If you are going to Ascot or Derby Day, do keep in mind that the vast majority of hats worn there are smart and beautiful. Your hat doesn’t have to be daft or outrageous unless you want to make the front page of a tabloid newspaper or be on the Six O’Clock News!
Although the wearing of frivolous hats began early in the 20th century, the origins of outrageously gimmicky and totally daft hats began in the 1960s with a woman called Gertrude Shilling who wore these ridiculous creations to promote her son David Shilling’s millinery business. And, thanks to her, the wearing of daft and gimmicky hats became a tabloid-newspaper tradition.
When choosing a hat, as well as getting the right colour and style to match your outfit, you should also consider the right hat size for your build. That doesn’t mean all women over 5’-8” should wear huge hats and all women under 5-feet should wear teeny hats, it is about scale.
So, yes a very tall woman, whatever her clothing size can wear a big hat with a wide brim. But a Petite woman can also wear a big hat with a wide brim; her hat would simply be on a smaller scale, i.e. not too high and with a narrower brim. In fact, no hat brim should ever be wider than shoulders whatever your height or clothing size…
A tall, size 16 woman can wear what is conventionally considered a “small” hat, i.e. a fascinator with no brim, but it needs to be on a bigger scale than the one chosen by her Petite, size 10 friend.
When choosing your hat, you should also consider what is the right hat shape for your face shape as well as your features.
If you have an ‘angular’ face shape, such as a square, triangular or rectangular, then go for a hat with an angled crown, which will mirror the shape of your face and thus suit you better.
If your face shape is more curvy ( round, oval, or heart-shape), choose a hat with a more rounded crown.
Yet more elements: the depth of your hat should also mirror the depth of your face – longer face such as rectangular or oblong will be enhanced by a deeper crown. Also keep in mind that wearing a wide brim creates width which is helpful if you have a longer face.
If your face is shorter faces (i.e round or square), it is better to keep to brims that are not too wide, so creating the illusion of length.
If you are unsure about your face shape, see our handy video here:
Which shape hat do you like best? Send us pictures of you in your fave occasion hats!
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