It’s almost the end of November, and while we are still enjoying a few mild days (and it is still, officially, autumn) it is definitely getting colder, especially at night and in the early morning.
It is the moment in the year when an icy wind, courtesy of Hurricane Barney, makes your ears and head hurt – and it is only going to get colder through the coming months. And because we are a bit older, and a bit more sensible, we also know that most body heat is lost through our head. So, before the snow and ice arrive and there’s a run on hats and the only ones left to buy are in Glitter Orange, this is the perfect moment to start thinking about a hat.
And we are not talking fascinators or gorgeous occasion hats here, but warm, winter hats to keep you toasty when you head out of the door, whether it’s for your morning commute, to drop off at school, or to walk the dog!
Beanies and bobble hats (as formerly worn on the ski slopes but adopted for city wear) have been enjoying a moment for the past few winters, and their popularity shows no sign of abating. Among the SoSensational Brands & Boutiques, you will find Celtic, Crumpet, Orwell & Austen and Tania Cashmere, which all offer beautiful and beautifully on-trend cashmere beanies, bobble-hats and other covetable, keep-your-head-warm hats in both elegant neutral shades and lift-your-spirits brights.
Then there is the beret, with all its ’Allo ‘Allo overtones and echoes of 1960s school uniforms. Sarah-Jessica Parker almost single-handedly revived the fortunes of berets when she adopted them to wear in SATC. The key to looking great in a beret (apart, of course, from getting the colour right) is to Wear It With Conviction i.e. you can’t perch one on the top of your head as if you are frightened to spoil your hairstyle; you have to pull it right on to your head and down at one side, a la SJP.
If you are a keen skier, or merely visit ski resorts to sip hot chocolate but never hit the slopes, you will have seen those beautiful Cossack hats which, with their halo of fur and a bit of volume, are so flattering to the French and Italian women who invariably wear them. This is one warm hat which is also endlessly glamorous… We say, let us at them, notably the faux fur and sheepskin varieties.
If pulling a hat down firmly over your head doesn’t appeal to you, there are gorgeous felt fedoras, floppy 70s-style hats and trilbies around this winter to keep your head warm when the temperatures dip.
1- The key to looking sensational in a beanie or bobble hat is to consider three things: the colour (of course), the shape and the texture.
Colour should be a no-brainer. Your beanie or bobble hat sits close to your face, so before you grab for the natural choice, seems-to-go-with-everything black, think again and think what black does for your skin tone. If you are what is known in the image/colour world as a “winter” or “deep cool” (i.e you look fabulous in icy colours and all blues) then go for black. But if, like Cyndy, black makes you look drained and deceased, DO NOT choose black; choose another neutral (such as chocolate, grey, oatmeal or navy). Or, if matching your warm hat with a coat is not an issue, ignore “safe” neutrals and add a pop of colour in a shade that looks really great on you (i.e makes your skin and eyes appear to have a glow).
When it comes to beanies and bobble hats, texture and shape are a bit interchangeable, and finding both the perfect texture and shape in one beanie or bobble hat may be difficult but not impossible. Here’s how:
It is all about how flat to your head the beanie or bobble hat sits and that is determined by the texture and the shape – some have more height, others have more fullness at the back. The key factors are how much height on the top of the head and how much width at the sides. Ideally, the texture of your hat should provide a bit of height and a bit of width. What works for you depends very much on your exact face shape and your features. Getting it all right for your face may require you to order several beanies or bobble hats; try them on in front of a well-lit mirror and send back the ones which don’t work.
2- With, a beret, as we said, you can’t perch your beret on the top or on the back of your head to avoid spoiling your hair; you have to pull it right on to your head and ideally, down at one side towards one eyebrow. Always choose a colour that looks great on you because, like the beanie or bobble hat, the beret hugs your face.
3- With Fedoras and trilbies, or, indeed any hat with a brim – the width of the brim is important: it should never be wider than your shoulders. Also, the crown of the hat should be appropriate for your face shape and features. If you have a very angular face shape and angular features, an angled crown will suit you best. If, like Jan, you have rounder features and more curves to your face, you will suit a round crown. If your face shape and features are more in the middle, you should avoid very round or very angled crown shapes. Again, choose a colour and tone that flatters your skin as well as one which matches your winter coat.
Are you a hat person, or do you hate hats for what they do to your hairstyle… Let us have your thoughts on hats…
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