Wedding Hat Advice0
Choosing the perfect hair accessory.
Love them or hate them, hats represent a golden age – a time when fashion and style was pure elegance.
Fifty years ago you wouldn’t have stepped out from behind your front door without hat on your head – not even to nip to the shop for a pint of milk! You just weren’t properly dressed if you weren’t wearing a hat.
Hats weren’t just for special occasions. Hats were just because.
Times have changed and nowadays, more often than not, people only wear hats for special occasions like weddings. As a result, most people are just not used to wearing hats anymore and choosing a hat can leave even the most calm person panicking at the very thought of it. So many people firmly believe that they are just “not a hat person”.
Well, fear not! Whether or not you consider yourself a hat person, a great number of other solutions are on offer nowadays to help finish off your outfit in style and we can help you select the most appropriate for you.
Headwear can be split into two main categories – Hats and Fascinators.
Think you’re not a hat person? Well, there really is a hat out there to suit everyone but being faced with so many options can sometimes be daunting.
Up- or down-turned brim? Round or angled crown? Big flying saucer or mini riding hat?
The key thing to remember is that different people suit different hats but in time you will find the right one for you; it’s just a matter of trying on as many you can to eliminate the wrong ones.
A few tips that might help…
Tall people can pretty much wear most styles of hat so if you are blessed with height, just go for what you feel comfortable wearing!
Shorter people are best to avoid hats with a down turned brim – that is a hat where the edge of the brim is pointing downwards. An upturned brim, where the edge of the brim is turned up toward the sky, will help to draw the eye up, and help to make you look a little taller.
As an example, it is best to avoid a cloche – that is the ‘upside down flower pot’ style of hat. All this will do is give the impression of pushing you down ever further!
One of the biggest mistakes people make when wearing a hat is where they position it on their head.
If you decide to have a hat made for you, your Milliner will measure your head from a point in the middle of the centre of your forehead, to the little lump that sticks out at the back of your head, where you head and neck meet, and then back round to the front.
And that is exactly where you should wear your hat. Do not be tempted to tilt your hat back on your head – it really will not help with your overall look or with building your confidence to wear it!
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule and in this case, those exceptions are cocktail hats, or mini riding / top hats.
These smaller hats are most often designed to be positioned to one side of the head and tilted forward at a jaunty angle. They are really fun little hats and they bridge the gap between Hat and Fascinator most successfully.
If you really believe you are not a hat person but you still feel you should be wearing one, why not try one of these trendy little options instead?
Most hats are either made from straw or from a product called ‘sinamay’. Made from the fibre of banana plant leaves, sinamay looks similar to straw but the strands and the weave of the fabric are much finer.
Hats are also available in fabrics like silk and in felt, to keep you warmer in the winter!
You should note that it is inadvisable to wear most Hats in the rain. Always carry a brolly just in case!
Known by many different names, a ‘Fascinator’ is a hair accessory, often on a comb or head band, that is most commonly adorned with plumes of feathers. They often also incorporate straw, sinamay, beads and crystals and can be made as small and delicate or as large and over the top as you like! The only limitation is your imagination!
Large or small, traditional or abstract, structured or completely capricious, Fascinators are so easy and comfortable to wear. They can be designed and created to compliment your outfit, and your hair style, and they still allow you to make a statement in the same way a hat would.
So you don’t want ‘hat hair’? You know, that tell-tale little kink in your hair around the circumference of your head after you’ve taken your hat off?
And who could blame you?
The wonderful thing about fascinators is that they provide a fabulous alternative to the traditional hat. Your outfit will still be perfectly finished and you will feel properly dressed, but you will also feel much more confident and comfortable than you otherwise might in a hat.
At last, a fabulous, fashionable and stylish option for people who really are not happy in a hat … or for those who just want to avoid hat hair!
With fascinators, equally as important as finding the right style for you is ensuring the right fitting. Different fittings suit different hair types. Ensuring yours is on the right base for you, be that a comb, head band or small clip, will mean it is both comfortable and secure – leaving you feeling confident and free to enjoy your day without worrying about whether it will stay in place.
If you feel confident, you’ll look and feel fabulous too.
Another benefit with choosing a Fascinator is that you are more likely to have the opportunity to wear it again to other functions, as Fascinators are worn, not just at weddings, but also at race days, christenings and black tie events.
High Street or Handmade Hats?
Off the shelf – On your high street, you will find a wide selection of retailers offering an excellent variety of ‘off the shelf’ hats in a vast range of colours, ranging in price from £30 to £500. There is also a good choice of fascinators, priced from around £25 upwards.
Bespoke – Most hats are made to a standard size, which you might find isn’t exactly your size – every head is different! Most fascinators are produced on combs which often don’t stay securely in your hair – everyone’s hair texture and type is different too.
That’s where your local Milliner comes in. There are a large number of independent Milliners, across the country, that offer the unique experience of having a hat or fascinator made for you, so you should have little problem finding someone nearby.
You will pay a little more for this personal service but you will have a one-off, designer piece made to exactly match or compliment the colour of your outfit, a piece that fits you perfectly and is made just for you. And, since there won’t be another one in the world exactly like yours, you are guaranteed that no-one else in the church will be wearing the same as you!
Working with a Milliner will take the hassle and stress out of your search but it will also make it the enjoyable, fun experience it should be.
For a bespoke Hat, you should expect to pay in the region of £150 upwards. For a bespoke Fascinator, expect to pay around £70 upwards.
Hat Hire – Don’t forget that you could also opt to hire your hat. There are a large number of hat hire companies across the UK from chains like ‘Get Ahead Hats’, through to smaller, independent companies. Hat hire usually starts at around £20.
And not forgetting the Bride…!
While many brides still favour a Tiara, lots are now also looking for something just a little bit different.
Tiaras are widely available both on the high street and through bespoke, handmade services.
Head to your local Bridal Shop to see a lovely range of Tiaras – including anything from the more conservative, traditional style to the more modern asymmetric or floral designs.
Alternatively, contact your local Milliner to discuss having a piece made for you. Why not incorporate the colours of your bridesmaids or even design something yourself?
For something a little different…
In the last few years, more and more Brides are favouring fascinators in place of Tiaras.
Time was most Brides were married in their early twenties and the fairytale princess look was perfect for them. Nowadays, the trend of people choosing to leave it later in their lives to be married, or perhaps are marrying for the second time, continues to grow, and sometimes a sparkly Tiara just isn’t quite the right accessory.
A delicate feather fascinator in ivory can look absolutely stunning and be the elegant crowning accessory for any Bride.
Hey, if it worked for Camilla, why shouldn’t it work for the rest of us?!?
Above all, don’t forget that the whole reason for choosing to wear a Hat, Fascinator or Tiara is not only that it perfectly compliments and finishes your outfit but that it makes you feel wonderful for your special event.
Good luck with your search and ENJOY!
Written by Rachel Bates Rosie Bubbles Hats ©2006