Lots of people think they don't look good in hats and struggle to know what style is likely to suit them. The truth of the matter is, there are a number of things to consider when choosing headwear.
• It needs to suit your face shape, hairstyle and build.
• The colour must be flattering (as it’s worn so close to the face).
• It should reflect your personality and complement the style of your outfit.
This list may seem daunting, however, once you've spent a little time thinking about each of these elements, you should have no problem in picking out a hat that will make you feel and look fabulous!
In this post, I'm going to focus on the physical aspects of face and body shape.
Choosing headwear to suit your face shape
If you're not sure what your face shape is, click here for some more information on working it out! As with dressing your body, choosing the most flattering headwear is all about balance.
If you have a round face, choose headwear with some height to help lengthen and narrow the face. With her round face Cameron Diaz looks great in hats with a tall crown and shallow brim.
Square-shaped faces suit hats with irregular brims and headwear worn at a slant, for example, the slanted brim on the hat worn by Carole Middleton below helps balance out the squareness of her jaw.
Narrow, oblong shaped faces look best in wide brims and should avoid high crowns and narrow brims. Liv Tyler has balanced out her oblong shaped face beautifully with this large-brimmed floppy hat.
Those with heart-shaped faces or wide cheekbones can wear most styles of hat. Styles worn straight across the brow are most flattering. Ensure the crown isn’t narrower than the width of the cheekbones. The example I've used here is one of my lovely clients, Lis. With her heart-shaped face, Lis looks fabulous in my 'swirl & twirl' cloche.
If you have an oval shaped face, you’re lucky, almost any hat shape will suit you! The Duchess of Cambridge is perhaps one of the best examples of this.
Body shape and hat choice
As a general rule of thumb, the bigger and taller you are, the larger the hat you are able to carry off. Remember it’s you who needs to wear the hat, not the other way round so it’s important to ensure your hat doesn’t drown you! That’s not to say those who are more petite have to stick to tiny hats or fascinators, just that what you wear should be in proportion to you.
If you’re small but still want to make a big statement, rather than choosing a large hat with a huge brim, opt for a smaller base with flamboyant trimming. Someone who does this very well is Sarah Jessica Parker, despite her petite proportions she carries off some spectacular Philip Treacy creations.
Regardless of face shape, headpieces and cocktail hats tend to be more flattering when worn to the side and pulled forward onto the forehead (rather than being ‘plonked’ on the top of the head). When worn In this position, the eye is drawn down to the eyebrow and the cheekbone, creating a frame for the face.
Finally, remember these 'rules' aren't set in stone, never be afraid to try on a hat or fascinator because you think it's not right for your face or body shape, the only way you'll find out is by trying it on & taking a look in the mirror!