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“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” – Rachel Zoe
Hats are, without a doubt, one of the most in-your-face ways to express who you are and what you’re about. Throughout history, people might have considered you “undressed” if you dared to go out in public without a hat because hats were such a highly regarded article of clothing. And as Mark Twain once said, “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”
When you’re trying to express yourself through your clothing, you might start with a hat and adapt your mood to fit. Sometimes, though, you might want to start with an attitude and generate an outfit to reflect how you are feeling. It can be challenging to make an outfit that radiates the vibe you’re feeling, so we’ve put together a few ideas to help point you in the right direction.
When you’re feeling laid back, few things can ruffle your feathers. “Don’t worry; be happy” is probably your mantra for the day, and your hat choice should reflect that. Consider pairing a wide-brim hat with loose curls, oversized shades, and neutral-toned make-up. Add an oversized V-neck shirt with just the front tucked into a pair of boyfriend jeans, and you are the poster child for relaxation.
If you don’t have a wide-brim hat, the next best thing is a ball cap. Ball caps can go with just about any outfit, and it doesn’t matter if you have a high-and-tight or a man bun, caps exude easy living. If you do have long hair, however, and need a little inspiration for how to “do your do” with a baseball cap, check out this article. Otherwise, ball caps go perfectly with your favorite tee and worn-in jeans.
Some occasions call for just a touch of class, and we have two hats that will fit the bill (pun definitely intended). The fedora is our first recommendation for any situation that demands elegance. They come in a variety of colors, styles, fabrics, and shapes, so they are almost guaranteed to fit any circumstance. Fedoras were the hat of choice from the 1920s to the 1950s (a.k.a. the decades where classiness reigned supreme), so you know that they can work when worn correctly.
The next classiest hat is probably the fascination hat, though you probably won’t have many opportunities to wear one. Fascination hats are what you think of people wearing to visit the Queen or when watching the Kentucky Derby. Brightly colored felt shapes with netting, feathers, ribbons, and bows scream high class and fashion.
The cloche hat is the style that the women wear throughout the show “Downton Abbey.” This closely fitting, bell-shaped hat often has simple, classy ribbon or bow adornment and can easily accent both the most simple and elaborate dress. Paired with a string of pearls, flowy blouse, and wide-leg high-waist pants, the cloche is an exceptional way to give off the vintage-chic vibe.
A pork pie hat is a little less common than other styles, but nothing screams vintage chic like it does. Its funny name comes from the fact that its flat top, vertical crown shape, and slight crease around the top of the hat make it resemble an English meat pastry. Pork pie hats work well with a plain, black t-shirt or sweater or the more traditional (and mysterious) dark suit with a white shirt and dark tie.
If you want to give off more of a Bohemian vibe, you might consider wearing a wide-brimmed straw hat with a brightly colored dress. You could also don a Panama hat (a special kind of intricately woven straw hat) with a light-colored flowy dress, or light-colored linen pants with a loose-fitting button-up shirt and sandals.
Of course, if you’re feeling adventurous, the two hats you should choose from are a wide-brimmed fedora like Indiana Jones or a cowboy hat like John Wayne. A dark-colored wool felt fedora with a leather hatband and single feather decoration is a perfect way to show your brave side as you face the modern-day perils around you.
Similarly, a cowboy hat is always a good choice for you if you plan on working outdoors, on the ranch, or at the rodeo. A straw cowboy hat will keep your head cool, while a felt cowboy hat will help keep your head warm against the elements. Either style, however, will keep the sun out of your eyes and off your face to help you get ‘er done.
The outdoorsy wardrobe wouldn’t be complete without a trapper hat, beanie, or bucket hat. Trapper hats are usually lined with fleece or fur with special muffs that cover your ears to prevent frostbite after felling trees from the snow-covered mountainside. This makes the hats an excellent choice for mountain climbing and other activities. Paired with fleece-lined jeans, a cable-knit scarf, and a heavy Carhartt jacket, this combo is sure to keep you warm against all that Mother Nature can throw at you.
Wearing a beanie can give you the outdoorsy edge that you’re looking for, but you have to do it the right way. Whether you choose cuffed, cuffless, pompommed, fisherman style, or lined, a beanie can be the ideal accent to your outdoorsy look.
Lastly, not all outdoorsy hats need to be for cold weather. The bucket hat is a winning choice for warm outdoor activities like hiking and fishing because the vents and brim keep your head cool and the sun off your face and neck. You can go with a blank-slate bucket hat or custom embroidered hat to show your support for your favorite company, brand, or team.
Pairing clothes and hats can be fun if you know what mood you’ve got. Picking a ball cap means that you are in for an ordinary and simple day. You don’t have to dress too nice. Just loosen up, and the hat will show your mood. What if you want to go vintage or bohemian? This infographic will present more options for you.