Article by Jacynth Bassett
Ascot may be over, but with wedding season fully in swing we haven’t seen the end of hats just yet. That said, should we see the end of them at all?
Personally I adore hats, and from conversations with lots of other women it seems they do too. Who doesn’t love browsing a hat shop and trying on lots of different styles? I recently hosted a pop-up shop in Brighton with a milliner friend, Joanna Zara, and so many women lit up at the opportunity to try on her fabulous creations.
However, trying on the hats was more often than not followed by one of two phrases:
“I never have the occasion to wear hats”
“Sadly I don’t suit hats.”
If you want to get ahead get a hat
Once upon a time hats were extremely popular – the old saying goes “if you want to get ahead and get noticed, then get a hat.” But after WWII hat wearing decreased, and even wearing them for weddings or church has lost favour. Well I think it’s time hats made a ‘comeback’ because fundamentally style and fashion is about having fun, so if you love hats like me, you shouldn’t be deterred. And here’s why:
Today we typically feel wearing hats can only be reserved for special occasions due to their associated flamboyance.
A year or so ago I was wearing a veil fascinator when I bumped into some family friends. They immediately asked if I was going to a wedding, but I replied “nope, just to dinner.”
They initially seemed quite surprised, but only due to it challenging the status quo. Because is there anything really wrong with wanting to look glamourous for other outings? Ok, so it may be inappropriate in some scenarios, but why shouldn’t you wear one to a nice dinner for example? After all, I often speak to women longing for the days when hats were more ubiquitous because of the charm and romance they bring to an outfit. Why can’t that be today?
Rather than seeing a hat as a separate part of your look, consider it just like any other accessory – it’s there to enhance it. You maybe wouldn’t think twice about wearing a statement necklace, or a glittery handbag. So a hat should be no different. It may be unconventional for now, but surely that’s one of the best things about getting older: feeling liberated and not caring what others think.
- Not suiting hats
For some reason we seem to think only a certain face can wear hats. But just with all other clothes, no one suits everything – you have to find what works for you. And hats come in every form going, so there’s an even greater chance of your finding the right one.
What it all comes down to is knowing your face shape: is it heart, oval, square, round or long? The right hat will balance out the larger and smaller parts of your face, rather than accentuate them. Think of a hat as doing the same job as makeup: it’s there to flatter your features, and help you look your best self. If a collection of hats doesn’t seem right on you, try to resist having a blanket ban on all hats. Rather it’s just that those ones don’t suit you, but there are others that will.
So let’s reclaim the days of wearing hats, and bring the glamour into the 21st Century. If you want to wear a hat, do! And if you’re really concerned, just tell yourself this: “The Queen always wears a hat, and she never puts a foot wrong.”
Jacynth Bassett is the founder of the-Bias-Cut – Shopping With Attitude Where Ageism Is Never In Style. Swiftly becoming recognised as one of the UK’s leading pioneers of style at every age, she has written on the topic for The Guardian online, The Huffington Post, and contributed to a chapter on grown up style for an internationally published book. She has also been featured in the likes of the New Statesman, regularly speak on panels and podcasts, and is a ViewVo accredited business mentor. Plus she is a weekly and monthly style columnist for various leading 40+ online platforms. In her spare time, she loves to dance, specialising in hip-hop, and to dine out with family and friends.