A hat for every occasion
A statement hat is the must-have accessory for any special occasion, but the key to choosing a hat is to consider if it works with your hair and face shape, and ultimately you can wear it with confidence. Whether you're the mother of the bride, off to the races or simply love wearing hats, here are some tips and advice for choosing the perfect hat.
As a general rule, a hat should be no wider than your shoulders. Some taller women can get away with something larger, but it depends on you height, hairstyle and outfit. There's no set position to wear a hat, and you'll have to try out different angles to see what looks good, but try not to sit your hat too far back as this isn't necessarily the most flattering.
Be aware also of how much the brim shades your face, as you don't want to be cast in shadow in all of the photos. If you're the mother of the bride you'll be greeting and kissing lots of guests, so try to wear your hat tilted to one side. Women with smaller heads should try styles that tilt to the side to avoid obscuring the face. If you can't find a hat that fits, opt for a fascinator, a decorative headpiece normally made from a combination of ribbons or feathers. They'll suit any face shape.
Most of our John Lewis occasion hats are made from sinamay, a natural fibre that comes from banana trees in the Philippines. A bit like fine straw, the bark is dried out, woven and then locked into place by special machines. Because all sinamay hats are natural products, you should try and keep them out of the rain if there's an unexpected summer downpour!
What's also special about our hats is that they're supplied from milliners within the UK who have been creating hats for decades. With this is mind, you can be safe in the knowledge that each hat is unique and of the very best quality.
A big trend this season is colour blocking. If you want to create a statement, a colour clash can also look particularly effective. It really is personal choice, but the golden rule is not to go overboard with random colours, size and accessories, as you don't want to look like your hat is taking over. The idea is to find something that complements your height, hair and skin tone. A top tip is to choose your hat first if you're selecting an outfit from scratch, as it will always be easier to match back with the hat rather than finding a hat to match.
All our John Lewis hats come in a standard size, so if you find a hat's too big, you can add a little pad which sticks to the back of the inside of the hat. These are available in our shops.
An alternative is a velvet hair band which helps to anchor the hat, but you may not like a headband being on show. If your hair's long, tuck it behind your ears so that the hat frames your your face.
And a quick hint - if you're off to the races, it's worth checking the dress codes. Events such as Ascot have very particular rules when it comes to the Royal Enclosure. This year in the Royal Enclosure hats should be worn. A headpiece which has a base of 4 inches (10cm) or more in diameter is acceptable as an alternative to a hat. Fascinators are no longer permitted in the Royal Enclosure.
If you need any help with choosing an outfit or finding a hat to suit you, feel free to make an appointment with a Fashion Advisor at your local shop - it's a free service and we'd love to help! Happy hat shopping!