Are you a hat person? I’m not talking about someone who wears a baseball cap to the gym, or sticks a fascinator on their head during the racing season. I’m talking about those people who choose to wear hats during their day-to-day lives. I’m intrigued by hat wearers because I find the idea of wearing a hat incredibly charming and I admire the confidence and sense of style that a hat wearer has.
In our grandparents’ time it was common for both men and women to wear hats everyday. It was a period where dressing was much more formal, but as a result outfits seemed so much more complete and put together. In those days, a gentleman would certainly never leave the house without his hat, and there was a lovely sort of etiquette associated to wearing a hat (like tipping them at ladies and removing them when indoors) that doesn’t exist anymore.
Personally, I struggle with the hat thing. There have been countless occasions when I’ve had my wallet at the ready, moments away from purchasing a hat only to pull out at the last minute. While waiting at the counter I suddenly become plagued by doubts: am I wasting my money? When will I actually wear the hat? What will I wear it with? What are the rules of hat wearing? Do I have to take it off when I get indoors?
Several years ago I invested in a hat following an unfortunate incident involving a pair of vintage heels, several shots of Chartreuse, the pavement and my face. It was a very cute little winter hat designed to conceal my disfigured visage from the unsuspecting public. But in the end I chose to hide away indoors until my injuries had healed, so the hat was never worn. Until last week, when I finally decided to take the plunge and wear my hat for the day.To finally become one of those hat-wearing people I had admired for so long.
To be honest, it was quite a revelation. There was panic at first. As soon as I set foot outside my front door the hat suddenly began to feel tight, my head started to itch, and I became acutely aware of this thing on my head. But by the time I’d reached the end of my street my self-conscious thoughts had been overtaken by sheer delight as I realised my head was actually warm! Throughout the day, the revelations continued as I realised:
- Hats can hide bad hair days. Unfortunately they can also create bad hair days (there’s a reason they call it ‘hat hair’), so it pays to keep some hairspray in your bag.
- Hats are better than beanies. If you have big, frizzy hair like me then a hat is a thousand times more flattering than a beanie, which can often make you look like you’re wearing a condom on your head.
- Hats make you look smarter. Ok, I’m probably stretching it here, but I honestly believe I looked more intelligent and cultured whilst wearing my hat. I should also admit that I was wearing my glasses at the time and they always have that effect on me.
- Hats are clever. I’ve discovered another wonderful accessory that can turn an old outfit into something new and fabulous.
- Hats make a statement. So if you’re planning to wear one, keep your outfit simple and your colour palette subdued. If there’s too much going on, the addition of a hat might leave you looking a bit like the Mad Hatter.
- No one cares that you’re wearing a hat.
Honestly, they don’t. So don’t let your own self-consciousness hold you back. A hat is just like any other item of clothing or accessory, when worn with confidence it looks good and people don’t even notice. So go forth and embrace the hat, try something new and you might just surprise yourself.