HOW TO: Make hats a principle part of your wardrobe

It’s hard not to wish we were living in the past sometimes, at least as far as fashion is concerned.

The women in previous decades were so glamorous with their long gloves and pretty dresses. They had a very feminine style that is hard to replicate today, in part because they had one style staple that we are missing: hats. A woman without a hat was like a girl without a cell phone- it was simply unheard of.

Today you might see the occasional beanie or a baseball cap if we’re tired, but nothing like the pillbox hats and netting you used to see walking down the streets.  However, go into any antique store (or even your grandmother’s closet) and you’ll see rows upon rows of stylish hats.

Top hats with silky feathers, pillbox hats with netting overlaying them, velvet caps with a bow on the back; a woman’s outfit wasn’t complete without her hat and she had a different, equally beautiful one for every occasion.

The question is: is it possible to pull off a hat like that in today’s world?


Although hats aren’t being worn the way they used to, many stores like Claire’s or Icing offer selections of hair clips that are inspired by the hats of earlier decades. These clips are usually very small and can be anything from miniature top hats to the piece pictured above. They’re great ways for a newbie to try wearing a hat.

If you are looking for a more vintage feel, consider picking up a true antique from one of the shops downtown. They have selections from every decade and have everything from simple creations to large, over the top attention grabbers.

The key to pulling off a hat in our day and age is to make sure you have two things:

An outfit that incorporates it seamlessly. Don’t just throw it on; make sure it makes sense with what you are wearing. A good idea is to keep the rest of your outfit simple so your hat is the focus.

And confidence. Our society is not a hat-wearing society, so make sure you wear it loud and wear it proud. Be brave. You can pull off anything as long as you wear it confidently. Part of this is making sure you tailor your outfit to the occasion, though. It’s much easier to rock a cool hat at a party than in class.

Your best bet is to ease your way into the world of hats. Check out a few at antique stores to see what styles you like and then scope out your closet to see if you have anything that works with that.

Check out retro blogs as well to see how others are wearing them. Kate Middleton especially has been known recently for her great hats.

Hats can be extremely high fashion, so don’t be afraid to try them. Worn correctly, they convey a great sense of style and glamour. Just make sure you pick the occasion carefully and tailor your outfit accordingly.


Photo credit: Mackenzie Potter