With Ascot on this week and many weddings on the horizon you may need to wear a hat (or fascinator) in the near future. But wear to start? How to choose a hat that will suit you? We’ve all gone into a department store at some point in our life (usually with friends) and tried on some of the wackier creations in the hat department, just for a laugh.


But what happens when it’s serious and you actually want the hat to look great on you and co-ordinate with your fabulous new outfit? However unfamiliar you are with wearing a formal hat, you’ll find styles and shapes to suit you, no matter what your face shape or hairstyle.

 How to choose a hat and look fabulous!

  1. The material and shape of the hat should complement your face shape e.g. if you have curved features go for a soft material with a rounded crown, soft brim and decorations, and if you have angular features stiffer fabrics with an angular crown and decorations will be better.
  2. With a traditional hat the brim should be about the same width as your shoulders – definitely no wider.
  3. The fascinator can be quite a dramatic headpiece, often made from feathers, fabric, beads or flowers, attached to a headband. They come in a range of shades and colours and tend to cost less than more traditional hat styles.
  4. Think about your body shape and scale when choosing your hat. Wide brimmed hats can add balance to pear shapes and fascinators tend to be better for petite women. Tall, large scale women look fantastic in dramatic, wide brimmed hats but can look a little ridiculous in a tiny hat or fascinator.
  5. Consider your budget – if you don’t have much to spend then go to a big department store where there will be plenty of choice at different price points – I once found a great hat in Marks and Spencer for £35.  Try John Lewis for some ideas.  If you want something more extravagant consider hiring a hat – you could borrow a fabulous creation for a fraction of its actually cost. If your budget allows, the place to get that special look is a milliner, who will be able to create or style a wedding hat that will work with your outfit. You can also find some one-off designs in smaller boutiques and shops.
  6. If you’re unsure about how you’ll look, take a friend along and a digital camera – that way you can try on several styles, photograph them and then compare the photos at your leisure over a coffee.
  7. If possible, take your outfit with you so that you can match colours and hopefully try everything on together before you buy the hat.

…. One last thought – think about your hair! Will wearing the hat all day give you “hat hair” or will you be able to brush it out easily?

Above all enjoy the experience, it’s not everyday that we get the chance to wear interesting headwear – look at the Royals for inspiration, they have to do it all the time and usually do it brilliantly – Princess Beatrice aside!


How to choose a hat – 7 tips to find a flattering style!
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