Wedding season is looming on the horizon, a grand opportunity to choose a new hat!
Not being one of those people to turn up at someone’s wedding dressed ‘casually’, which I view as disrespectful. Life is casual enough for me- thank you very much, so seize the day everyone and wear a hat.
Planning ahead for Weddings, Christenings, Court proceedings, or Royal Ascot…check the diary and be prepared – a hat is a pre-fast fashion remnant. Buying a new hat should be done slowly and with awareness. One should never attempt to buy a new hat in a hurry – results could be hilarious.
When is a hat compulsory? Practically never actually, but it’s still the ‘smart’ thing to wear one. For Royal Ascot and Divorce proceedings; hats are traditional. Also traditional for British weddings, and a matter of personal choice for christenings or funerals.
Choosing a hat
The Basics of etiquette
Before you invest in the biggest, and most frou frou confection of a hat, be warned that oversized hats are hard to carry with grace. It is notoriously difficult, to socially kiss while wearing a wide-brimmed hat. (There is a knack to tilting the head at a suitable angle, which may take years to master. ) If you see two ladies both wearing wide brimmed hats, they should not attempt to kiss each other – that is an accident about to happen!
Wide brims are generally considered a vulgur choice, for early morning or late afternoon/evening. They are only for midday occasions. If the event carries on in the evening, best option is a small cocktail hat and do make sure you wear it at a nutty angle.
The etiquette states that the mother of the groom should wear a smaller hat than the mother of the bride, and no guest should wear a hat so elaborate as to outshine the hosts. That is true for the whole outfit, not just for hats.
As clichéd as it sounds, a hat really finishes off a look.
A hat can elevate a simple outfit into something smart and memorable. With a hat on, we can get away with murder! You’ll always get served first and you’ll always get to the front of the queue – always. Hat-wearing is all about etiquette and it’s fun to explore.
Get professional help!
Most beginners will need help to get started, what shape to choose etc. (Accessorising post here start simple and build up on it.) Go to a professional milliner and try on as many shapes as you can- ask for their help. Its best if you take the dress or the outfit with you, a photo at the very least.
Get a hat to suit your face, as opposed to just your clothes.
Which is where a professional milliner can help. Always look at the proportion of the hat in a full length mirror, walk, sit, trot! It needs to feel comfortable and it will just go with your clothes. Personally I avoid, matching hats, and I go for contrast. It’s more contemporary, but matching can be fine too. Look at the queen and the duchess!
The custom of wearing hats in church started for religious reasons, (same as how other religions still demand that women wear scarves or men wear little hats.) In the majority of Christian churches, hats are no longer compulsory, but we may still choose to wear them to “elevate” our looks into new heights of tres chic.
Department stores will carry a good selection, but My preference is the personalised service of a pro hatter like Atelier… Their prices are surprisingly reasonable, and their service is impeccable.
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