The famous French designer Christian Dior once quipped, "Without hats, there is no civilization." Even after the decline of hat-wearing since Mr. Dior's heyday, there are still many styles for the modern woman to choose from: beret, fascinator, cocktail, cloche, pillbox, and more. Any hat has the potential to enhance your face shape and give it an instant lift, but brim hats offer the extra benefit of shielding your complexion from sunshine, snow, and rain--plus adding a touch of mystère.
First, some painless prep to keep your hat comfortably in-place all day. One simple method is to put on a jersey headband to tame hairline flyaways, then twist your hair upward into a French Twist. Very long and thin hair can be twisted into a halo shape around the top of your head. If you want your hair completely flattened to your scalp, try a cotton jersey or bamboo hat liner, or a hosiery stocking cap.
Substantial wool fabrics like tweed and bouclé make newsboy caps a cozy, fuss-free choice for fall. The original menswear style is adapted for women with a fuller crown and less stiffness in the brim. For extra charm, gravitate to newsboys embellished with rhinestones, fabric knots, and gilded chains. The small, front-only brim allows for comfortable reclining on the couch and in the car. It also provides sun protection, while hiding wrinkles and blemishes. Simply flip the brim up for make-up and sunscreen (re)application, then tilt it slightly off-center for an edgy twist.
Hat: Betmar Zoi
Another borrowed-from-the-boys option, the fedora has been enjoying major spotlight in recent seasons. Make it look chic as a full-coverage hat by wearing it with a structured ponte blazer--then reign in the masculine vibe with slingbacks and a bold lip. If you can't find a fedora big enough for your head size, try the men's department.
Named after the French word for bell and immensely popular in the 20s and 30s, today's cloche hats are a bold blend of old and new. The all-around brim offers ample sun protection and face framing, without blocking your vision. Pair a romantic, flower-embellished vintage cloche with a bell-sleeve sweater dress. A sleek grosgrain-ribbon-trimmed cloche quietly complements a large-print wrap dress.
Available in shades of rose...
Ocean blues and greens...
Wearing a brim hat is a timeless way to give your look a certain je ne sais quois. These three hat styles nod to the millinery traditions of the past, while creating a very modern allure. As royal milliner Philip Treacy (think Kate Middleton's wedding) remarked in an interview, "When you meet someone, they meet your face, not your feet."
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In the mood for brimless headwear, too? Read here for stylish and simple ideas.