Be a fashion icon The art and science of picking a hat - 9 things to consider

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Just as you’d consider your face shape when shopping for sunglasses or a pair of earrings you should do the same when shopping for hats. Your hairstyle is another thing that will influence your choice of hat. Also consider the dimension, colour and style of the hat before purchasing it.

1. What’s your class? Prior to fedoras (a hat that was commonly worn by men) hitting the fashion scene some years back, I used to think of it as an accessory for the “prim and proper” in society, worn to denote their social status; like you’d see in the movies where the fancy people would flaunt their hats at Polo events or other prestigious gatherings. I guess this assumption is also because in military circles, hats were used to denote rank etc. Consciously or unconsciously someone might have introduced this idea into the fashion world. 

2. Whether the Weather is Good of Whether the Weather is bad: Hats are not only for cold or bad weather, for covering bald hair, or for shielding your face and eyes from the sun. Hats can be a great complement to your outfit and it is important to choose one the properly frames your face.

3. Round face: If you have a round face, your facial angles aren’t well defined or distinct and you’d need a good hat that can provide some geometric dimension to your lovely face and also elongates you. Consider the crown and brim of the hat. Go for a full brim hat with unusual asymmetry especially if you have a fuller face so that you can tilt the brim (the edge of the hat) to one side to give your face the lines it cannot naturally create. For a petite lady, the smaller you are, the smaller your hat should be so that it does not overwhelm you. 

4. Thin Face: For a thin face you would need a hat that adds width to your face. Choose hats with a low crown in order to minimize the appearance of a long and thin face. Hats with brims that tilt downwards minimize the appearance of a long face and long neck.

5. Square Face:  An individual with a square face should wear a medium full crow hat which should be rounded rather than square! A round crown or turned up brim will help soften the square lines on your face.

6. You are not a Mannequin: Do not pick a hat just because it looks good on a mannequin!

7. A second opinion: Do not be bashful. Ask a sales person for assistance or ask a friend to accompany you when hat shopping.

8. Time and Place: Consider the time and place you would want to wear your hat. For example, it would be inappropriate to wear a cowboy hat at your wedding!

9. Hats to Choose From: Straw hats, Cowboy hats, Fedoras, Derby hats, Fascinators, Baseball cap, Turban, Top hats, Beret, Beanie, Chignon cap, etc.

By Abena Sekyiamah

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