Crystal Hammon is a vintage fashion enthusiast who blogs at Dressed Her Days Vintage. When she isn’t working as a writer, she teaches yoga, plays golf, sews and reads. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
Unless you’re one of those people who look terrific in almost anything, you probably gravitate toward clothes and accessories that accentuate or de-emphasize certain features—your best or your worst.
Nowhere is that more true than when it comes to selecting a hat. Picking the right hat is a bit like picking the right bra, isn’t it? You need to be intimately acquainted with your features for the best effect. If you shun hats, it’s possible that you haven’t found the right hat for your features.
Here are a few hints to help you choose a hat wisely.
Small faces: Choose something proportionate to the size of your face. No large brims or crowns. If you have a large face, avoid face-hugging styles.
Long faces: Pick hats that sets lower on the forehead. Circular brims widen the face. Avoid crowns that are too high or too shallow, which can add length. (This is my face shape, and I am happy to show you several instances when I failed to apply this principle.)
Round faces: Choose hats with angles. Don’t wear hats too far down on forehead. Round shapes mimic the face and are less flattering. Fedoras: yes!
Square faces: Choose hats with round features and curves. Floppy hats are generally flattering for all, but they are especially good for square faces.
Heart-shaped faces: Forego hats with wide brims. They only emphasize the narrowness of the chin. Short brims are perfect for you.
What to do with your hair? Tuck your hair behind your ears. If your hair is short, a small amount of hair can (and should?) frame the face under your hat.
What about color? Think about making some contrast with your hair color. Pale complexions look good in warm colors. Dark skins should avoid dark hats, unless they have bright colors or flowers for contrast. Consider your eye color. Whatever accentuates your eyes in clothing will be dynamite next to your face. Choose trims that accent eye color. Do match lipsticks with hat colors–warm lips with warm colors, cool lips with cool colors.
What are you wearing it with? It is not a must to match your hat to your outfit. In fact, a hat can provide great contrast. Wear a brilliant green hat with a beige suit, or a purple hat with navy.
What about fit? A hat shouldn’t squeeze your forehead or fall over your ears. If you aren’t sure whether a hat flatters you, try tilting it to see if the change makes it more interesting and flattering to your face.
Finally, if you can’t handle attention, don’t wear a hat. People love hats! They may not feel comfortable in them, but they will admire you for wearing one.
Want to have some fun with me? Wear a hat for the next five days and journal about it. It’s a great social science experiment to see how fashion and life intersect. How did you feel and how did it make others feel? In the photo above, can you guess which hat I wore with my Penelope Abstract Floral on the day of the Kentucky Derby? And, applying the guidelines above, can you tell where I really broke the rules for my long face?